From the department of Idiocracy, this information about the shell game being played with the hazardous, toxic, not at all good for living things WASTE being "handled" at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (RAAP). We learned at the BAE/U.S. Army community meeting on September 5th that the tenants at RAAP enjoy complimentary toxic waste disposal. As part of their "deal," (presumably negotiated under the unique RCRA permit), BAE accepts waste from their tenants for incineration in one of two Hazardous Waste Incinerators (HWI's) or firing up at the good 'ole Open Burning Ground (OBG). As the coveted corporate operator of this GOCO (Government Owned/Corporate Operated) facility, BAE Systems gets paid for this waste disposal service. According to representatives at the meeting last Thursday, the disposal is performed "at cost." (There was disagreement from the Army's man Charlie Sacks, who contended that what we're dealing with here is not actually hazardous waste, but the semantics of describing the poisons in what they burn and/or incinerate is arbitrary. What really matters are the long lasting effects it has on all things living here.)
"Now, here is where it gets tricky,"sometime in the last few months Alliant Techsystems (ATK), doing business as New River Energetics (NRE), got a new zip code of 24143. This is odd because the geographic coordinates listed on the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for each reporter indicate that they are actually co-located. That's right, the longitude (-80.540242) and latitude (37.182565) listed for the U.S. Army RAAP and New River Energetics TRI report are identical. But NRE reports sending their waste "off site" for disposal as if it was going somewhere. Instead, it gets "released" into the air we breathe and the New River at the same discharge points as the toxins from the rest of the Radford Arsenal operation - and the U.S. Army knows this truth! I'm not a geographer, but it seems a bit unorthodox to make a claim of moving something to "off site" when it's going nowhere. What gives?
The only advantage I can see to assigning this new 24143 zip code to NRE is to bolster the illusion that it's not sitting right there at RAAP - supposedly occupying the very same space. As an added bonus, the split of TRI reporting into 3 separate entities "dilutes" the source of toxins being released, thereby undoing RAAP's dubious distinction of "first place" on the TRI in Virginia every year since 2007. Alas, the old axiom that "dilution is the solution to the pollution" is not true. Oh, when we will ever learn?