LAWSUITS and CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF DIAZ CHEMICAL
YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE DIAZ CHEMICAL COMPANY ASSAULTED the homes, the cars, and the bodies of Holley residents with 2-chloro, 6-fluorophenol. But this particular accident (obvious, publicized, and smelly as it was) was just one more in a long series of explosions, spills, and other disasters caused by DIAZ CHEMICAL.
The issue goes far beyond
January 5, 2002 and 2-chloro, 6-fluorophenol. There are diminishing few who
still do not see this. But the Attorney General of the State of
( http://www.doctoryourself.com/diaz3.html ) What’s more, law enforcement had been watching DIAZ for longer than you might think.
I have in front of me a 69-page report entitled “NEW YORK UNDER A CLOUD: The Need to Prevent Toxic Chemical Accidents.” It is grim reading.
The poster child of this
Yes, Holley is featured prominently in this report. Page 19 presents a map of Holley, and a calculation of how, if the wind blows even an extremely gentle 3.4 miles per hour, a major toxic release by DIAZ CHEMICAL would kill the lot of us in minutes. If you like, you can look to see exactly where your house is on this map. All the schools are there, too. The caption reads, “Holley Primary, Intermediate, and Jr./Sr High Schools; 1300 attendees. Approximately 1 mile away from Diaz.” And every child there could be dead before you could even get to them.
Says the report: “The message is clear: a toxic cloud can arrive in a matter of seconds while implementation of protective measures requires many minutes or even hours.” (p 19)
You may be wondering who
authorized and published this report. The answer is, Robert Abrams, our
previous Attorney General, of
The report was issued May, 1989.
So 13 years later, something happens. Fortunately, the January 5, 2002 explosion did not involve bromine, a chemical DIAZ has a long history of handling 20 TONS at a time. If it had been bromine, I would not be alive to write this.
Holley has been working without a net since 1974, when Diaz came to town. Just because we are still alive does not mean the danger is over. Diaz has been given time to clean up its operation. It has not. It has been given time to clean up its factory. It has not. Diaz has been given time to clean up the neighborhood. It has not. A village-blanketing chemical explosion, sadly enough, is what it took to fully wake everyone up.
This is why the January 5, 2002 Diaz disaster was so important, and Diaz knows it. Sources tell me that the very night of the explosion, Diaz bosses were heard saying, “They are going to sue us. They are going to sue us.”
So Diaz, like any cornered animal, lashes back. It summarily fires its workers, rather than gainfully employ them to clean up. Diaz owes nearly $50,000 in unpaid local and school taxes and fines, and yet Diaz hires lawyers and pays out enormous legal fees in a futile attempt to evade justice.
And then DIAZ goes and sues its victims. For as little as $8.42! Yes, a corporation with over 15 million dollars in annual sales sues in Federal court for 8 bucks, saying that the people driven from their homes “conspired to defraud” Diaz. Other displaced Holley residents are being sued for small amounts as well. (Index Number 02-CV-0357(S), page 19, Second Counterclaim, December 30, 2002, sections 112-115.)
And all this by a corporation that owes almost 50 grand in unpaid local and school taxes.
Diaz’s counterclaim was filed late, contrary to the judge’s order, and should be rejected simply for that. You can be sure if the citizen’s attorneys filed papers late, or the Attorney General filed papers late, that Diaz would certainly pull every string to get them dismissed.
But it does not matter. Even if Diaz’s ridiculous and tardy counterclaim is accepted, it will be tossed out for lack of merit. In it, DIAZ basically says:
“We did not do it; and if we did do it, we did not hurt anyone; and if we did hurt anyone, the statute of limitations says we cannot now be sued for it.”
Tell it to the Attorney General, Mr. Cliff “Not Me, Not Now” Jenney.
The Attorney General says,
"the history of recurring spills and releases at the Diaz Plant,
including the January 2002 Explosion, constitute repeated illegal
acts and persistent illegality." (Paragraph 4,
The Attorney General puts
drug kingpins and Mafia dons in jail. There is nowhere Diaz can hide any
more, and that includes
Diaz can no longer run nor hide. It does not matter if they stay or if they leave. If they stay, they pay. If they leave, we breathe. Either way, the next task is to thoroughly clean up the DIAZ factory site of its 28 years of toxic waste. It is a big job. But then, like their court papers, they did make a big mess of it.
Bank Sues to Collect $4.1 Million
“Bank of America is suing two businessmen
who ran a
M. Jenney of
“In September 2002, the company borrowed $6.5 million and eventually went out of business.
“But Jenney and Chiras had each signed guarantees for half of the unpaid principal, plus any interest, court costs and other fees if Diaz defaulted on the loan. In January, the bank notified the two businessmen that the loan was in default. In May, BOA told Jenney and Chiras to pay off the loan, but they didn't.
“The bank has sued in U.S. District Court to collect the money.
“Chiras couldn't be reached for comment. Jenney, reached at his home in New York, blamed the bank for the company's problems.
“"All I can tell you is [Bank of America] took over the company and drained all the cash out of it and ruined its viability," he said. "They wanted their money back. And they didn't get it back."
“He said the plant closed in August 2006.
“Jenney said Diaz wasn't in financial trouble when it defaulted on the loan. He added that he "couldn't answer too much" about the company's financial situation.
“In 1997, Diaz announced it was building a
$4.5 million plant on 2 acres in
A shortened version of this article is also posted at:
The lawsuit was filed May 18, 2007. Details at
Bankruptcy Trustee Claims Mismanagement by Company
July 16, 2005
BUFFALO - The trustee representing creditors of the bankrupt Diaz Chemical has filed an "adversarial proceeding" against a Diaz sister company, and its owners, seeking they pay creditors for assets that Diaz transferred to Diaz Intermediates, a company that opened in 1998 in West Memphis, Ark.
The trustee, in a complaint filed June 22, also alleges Diaz, behind the leadership of Ted Jenney, his son Clifton Jenney and Stanley Chiras, passed on Diaz technology, confidential trade secrets and other
proprietary information to Diaz Intermediates. That allowed the
"What occurs essentially is a company ends up with the technology, the trade secrets and goodwill and runs with it," Brown told The Daily News.
Diaz listed $1.4 million owed to creditors in bankruptcy papers, but Brown said that figure "is a little light" with the amount due to creditors much more. He didn't put a price on the tally. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is seeking reimbursement for the money it is spending testing and attempting to remediate the former Diaz plant and its neighboring properties. The EPA said it could spend $6 million cleaning up after Diaz. The chemical plant is a federal Superfund site.
Diaz operated in Holley for 30 years before declaring bankruptcy in June 2003. The company had been sued by the state attorney general's office after a chemical leak into the community Jan. 5, 2002. Diaz released
about 80 gallons of 2-chloro-6-fluorophenol and toluene, which are classified as extremely hazardous substances under the federal Clean Air Act.
Diaz officials stated to the Bankruptcy Court the company spent $882,810 in cleanup costs, hotel bills and other expenses for Holley residents after the 2002 leak. Those costs drained the company's cash reserves, Diaz officials told the Bankruptcy Court.
In the AG lawsuit, Diaz owners repeatedly refused to provide financial records, saying the data contained confidential information about its suppliers, the raw materials purchased to create products, its customers,
and products sold to customers, Brown states in the complaint in Bankruptcy Court.
But Brown said the company shared that same information with Diaz Intermediates, which Diaz Chemical VP Clifton Jenney told the court was a
separate company, even though Chiras and the Jenneys also are among the leaders of Diaz Intermediates.
Diaz Chemical received little, if any, financial remuneration for sharing its trade information, as well as equipment, with Diaz Intermediates, Brown told The Daily News. By not receiving compensation for the information and technology given to Diaz Intermediates, Diaz Chemical's leaders mismanaged the company, breached their fiduciary duties to the company's shareholders, and dissipated the corporation's assets, Brown said in the court filing.
Intermediates should be forced to pay the value of the assets it acquired
from Diaz Chemical, Brown said. He wants the court to have a trial to
determine the value of the trade secrets, customer lists, technology and
other assets Diaz transferred to the
Diaz Intermediates, Chiras and the Jenneys should then compensate the bankrupt estate of Diaz Chemical for those assets, so the debtors can be paid, Brown said.
AND DON’T FORGET:
YES, THERE CERTAINLY WAS A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF DIAZ CHEMICAL
Responding to my letter published
in the Suburban News of Oct 17, 2004, a reader wrote (Oct 31) that she
was "deeply bothered" by "implication that Diaz's owners
and/or Diaz Arkansas (aka Diaz Intermediates, or
"DINT") are subject to criminal investigation," and termed my
letter "misleading." The reader appears to be one of the people who
find it singularly difficult to accept that Diaz Chemical is indeed under
Federal criminal investigation. This has been verified for the record by
This investigation has been "ongoing" for much longer than most people realize. Over a year ago (Sept 2003), a two-page statement from the office of Michael A. Battle, United States Attorney for Western NY, asserted that a "criminal investigation" of Diaz was underway.
Furthermore, there is
correspondence (January 16, 2004) between the US Department of Justice and US
Bankruptcy court in which the
A February 12, 2004
letter from Trustee Ring to the EPA, Department of Justice, and the
That the reader is "deeply bothered" by such documentation is understandable. But whether we like it or not, these are the unpleasant facts of the matter.
DIAZ OWES EVERYBODY: BANKRUPTCY PAPERS REVEAL ALL
(July 23, 2003)
DIAZ CHEMICAL COMPANY owes its own attorneys nearly
$300,000. Diaz hasn't paid their phone bills, their electric bills, their
company physician, or even
And it looks like they owe the DuPont chemical company over half a million dollars.
Here's a partial (!) list of who else Diaz owes money to, and how much Diaz owes them:
(Case Number 03-14769)
NYS Taxation and Finance: $199.51
ABF Freight Systems: $1,091.00
ACM Medical Laboratory: $132.70
Aftek, Inc. $458.20
Agilient Technologies: $279.00
Airgas East: $30.46
American Chemical Society: Unpaid Dues of $445.00
American Institute of Chemical Engineering: Unpaid Dues of $390.00
Associated Sales and Bag Co.: $122.33
Barclay Water Management: $2,145.79
BBL ("Supplies and materials"): $93,205.86
BDI Industrial Bearing Corp.: $$36.72
Brinkmann Instruments: $1,610.13
Browning-Feris Industries: $908.41
C&H Distributors: $140.37
Charles S. Freeman Co.: $407.70
Chemical Distributors, Inc.: $3,050.00
Cingular Wireless: $328.14
Clean Harbors: $9,919.20
Commercial Paint and Imaging: $393.54
Compensation Planning Corporation: $403.91
Dastech International, Inc.: $336.20
Davis-Ulmer Sprinkler Co.: $482.33
Day-Timers, Inc.: $93.25
E. I. DUPONT DENEMOURS & COMPANY: $515,208.80
Easylink Services Corporation: $1,544.10
Falls Road Railroad Co., Inc.: $900.00
Forms In A Wink: $202.62
FRANK'S VACUUM TRUCK SERVICE: $2,404.08
GAB Robins North America, Inc. (Insurance appraisers): $12,975.52
Glass Technology & Services, Inc.: $9,081.00
Gradient Corporation: $9,958.01
Graphics Controls Corporation: $208.62
Hometowne Energy Co.: $64.26
DIAZ' ATTORNEYS, Jaeckle, Fleishmann & Mugel: $292,733.12
JP Farm Market: $222.03
Kaplan Containers: $490.35
KIMMINS COFFEE SERVICE: $173.40
Lehigh Safety Shoe Co.: $401.68
Loomis & Co., Inc.: $2,608.71
Marcor ("Supplies and materials"): $17,788.29
Modern Industries, Inc.: $2,327.20
Praxair, Inc. ("Supplies and materials"): $12,872.73
Purchase Power: $1,067.73
RAJ METHA, M.D.: $1,837.84
Reed Business Information/Schnell Publishing (Advertising): $4,840.00
Safety Solutions: $34.56
Service Office Supply: $3,057.32
Servpro ("Supplies and materials"): $22,711.28
Sigman Aldrich, Inc.: $184.40
Sirness Services, Inc.: $381.77
Stetson Chemicals, Inc. ("Supplies and materials"): $16,572.00
Stockham Lumber Co.: $22.89
Swiftlift, Inc.: $16.12
TIME WARNER COMMUNICATIONS: $249.85
UGI Energy Services: $135,762.27 (no explanation is provided in the bankruptcy court documents)
Verio, Inc.: $199.80
Verizon Yellow Pages: $192.32
VP Supply Company: $130.17
VWR International: $242.97
Attorneys Woods, Oviatt, Gilman: $825.90
Xerox Corporation: $424.83
And the owners of DIAZ
Totally, Diaz owes over 5.2 million dollars. (There are others, mostly individuals, that Diaz owes as well.)
These documents submitted to bankruptcy court carry the
signatures of Diaz secretary,
Personally, I think Diaz should have at least paid off Frank's Vacuum Truck Company. But no. Diaz found five grand to pay their bankruptcy attorneys IN ADVANCE (bankruptcy attorneys weren't born yesterday), as "Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtors" indicates. And yet Diaz evidently could not quite manage to pay Holley's VP Supply, just down the way, the $130.00 Diaz owes them. Or even Holley's own Stockham Lumber, Diaz's next-door neighbor, the twenty bucks Diaz owes them.
THERE ARE NOW OTHER LAWSUITS AGAINST DIAZ
In addition to the civil lawsuit filed by 173 Holley residents, Diaz also lists the following lawsuits against them:
NYSAG on behalf of NY DEC v. Diaz;
McFadden v. Diaz, an "employment discrimination" suit; and
Boarhead Farms PRP Group v. Diaz, over "site clean up expense."
I said it over a year ago and I will say it again: DEADBEAT DIAZ took the profits at everyone else's expense, whether health, safety or financial.
I think the next lawsuit may come from DuPont, who might just take a burn that Diaz's bosses conveniently have another company ("Diaz Intermediates"), and what I believe are personal lifestyles of the rich and famous. The DuPonts might just bring a court case for their $515,000.
And let's not forget that unpaid EPA fine of over 23 grand.
As for Frank's Vacuum Truck Service, I hope he gets paid, too.
Holley to take Diaz to task over emission levels
Meaghan M. McDermott, Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle
DIAZ LAWBREAKING: A
(Source: Industrial User
Wastewater Permit Monthly Reports, available on request from the
These are actual quotes about
a chemical disaster you may have heard of. No, this particular one was Union
But it sure sounds familiar.
Especially that part about how they "didn’t warn anybody." The 911 tapes and other records clearly show that Diaz played down the disaster they caused. And there is no better word than "disaster" to describe what happens when an explosion at a chemical plant that coats an entire neighborhood with smelly poison, forcing residents to leave their homes for nearly a full year. The United States EPA agrees; that’s why they and the nation’s taxpayers (and NOT Diaz, who has STILL not even paid their local taxes) have been footing the bill for the relocation of displaced Holley families.
When Ralph Nader commented on
Just like Diaz Chemical Corporation in Holley.
In the Union Carbide
But who knows for sure, especially long-term? A rule in toxicology is that low doses of a poison over a long period of time are often just as bad as high doses over a short time. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "SAFE" OR "ACCEPTABLE" CANCER RISK. NEVER.
Just because we were
"The more complex the (chemical manufacturing) system, the more likely an unforeseen interaction of small failures will cause a disaster. And this is to be feared. For the first time in history, engineers can wipe out whole cities by mistake." (Dean Vallas, "Engineering Disasters")
Residential areas are no place for chemical plants. Never have been; never will be.
DI-AZ LI-AZ YOU HAVE SO FREQUENTLY HEARD
"Diaz has given so much back to the community, especially the Holley Schools."
Yeah, right. There can be no possible price on the long-term health dangers that Diaz pollution inflicts on the children of Holley. Scholarships to some on the one hand do not buy the right to hurt all kids with the other hand. But wait: there’s more.
DEADBEAT DIAZ DOES NOT PAY SCHOOL TAXES
It’s true: Diaz has not even paid its school tax.
According to official
records at the Orleans County Treasurer’s Office, as of Dec 12, DIAZ OWES AT
LEAST $27,464.26 IN UNPAID, OVERDUE HOLLEY SCHOOL TAXES and penalties. And
this is just on DIAZ property in the village, and does not include other Diaz
real estate holdings in our area. (Example: Did you know that, until very
recently, DIAZ owned many acres of land in the town of
This holiday season,
let’s all chip in and rent Diaz boss Clifford Jenney
a U-Haul. But first, Cliff, there is a not-so-small ADDITIONAL matter of
$15,195.58 that Diaz owes the
So the total that DIAZ owes the taxpayers and children of Holley is over $44,027.44. And it is MONTHS past due.
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OF DIAZ INCREASING:
1) RESOLVED AND PASSED
December 10, 2002 , at the
"WHEREAS...Diaz Chemical Company appears to be in violation of the terms of the (Village's Industrial Use) permit; and
"WHEREAS...efforts have been made in the past to amicably discuss, and resolve, alleged permit violations to no avail;
"NOW, THEREFORE, BE
IT RESOLVED that the Village Attorney (John Sansone)
is hereby authorized to take whatever steps necessary to investigate, and
enforce, the terms of the aforesaid permit on behalf of the
This is, to my knowledge, the first time in 28 years that our local government has acted against Diaz's polluting our village. Thanks to Mayor Schiavone and the Trustees for this important decision.
DIAZ EMPLOYEE GOES IN FRONT OF TOWN OF MURRAY COURT ON CRIMINAL HARASSMENT CHARGES, January 29, 2003, probably 7 PM.
AND: The $60 million civil suit by 173 residents against Diaz is now in Federal court. And we will win.
ATTORNEY GENERAL GETS
RESTRAINING ORDER to stop DIAZ from sneaking any more of their factory's
equipment out of town. The rumors evidently were true: DIAZ was seen trucking
its equipment out of its beleaguered plant in
WHERE WAS DIAZ TRYING TO
TAKE ITS ASSETS?
What do they do there?
According to DIAZ' own website
(October, 2002) DIAZ BOSS CLIFF JENNEY TELLS REPORTER THAT DIAZ CHEMICAL AND DIAZ INTERMEDIATES ARE SEPARATE ENTITIES. Technically, sure they are. It's an old accounting trick. But answer me these questions three:
1) WHO ARE THE PRIMARY OWNERS OF EACH COMPANY? I'll bet it's the Jenney family in each case. If I'm wrong, please correct me. No offers so far.
2) If they are "separate," how come DIAZ says, again at its website, that "DIAZ manufactures several families of chemicals which are marketed both by DIAZ and by Diaz Intermediates Corporation (DINT)."
3) However, if they are
"separate" on a technicality, can anyone fail to see why the
Attorney General and a judge agreed to a restraining order to stop DIAZ from
moving its equipment from Holley down to
Believe it or not, DIAZ
has refused to comply with NY Attorney General's repeated demands for the
company's financial records and documents. DIAZ attorney cites
"proprietary information that could be used by competitors" as
DIAZ REPEATEDLY BREAKS THE LAW
Official documents confirm DIAZ Chemical Company violating pollution laws most months of the year 2002.
August, 2002: DIAZ
dumps 1,000% (TEN TIMES!) the legal limit of PHENOLS
July, 2002: DIAZ dumps over 600% of the legal limit of iron.
May, 2002: DIAZ dumps over 700% more than the legal limit of PHENOLS into village sewers.
April, 2002: DIAZ maximum pollution flow limit exceeded
March, 2002: DIAZ flushes 33% more waste copper than the law allows.
February, 2002: DIAZ dumps 500% over the legal limit of PHENOLS into village sewers.
(Source: Industrial User
Wastewater Permit Monthly Reports, available from the
DIAZ CHEMICAL SUES THE OWNER OF THIS WEBSITE. In papers filed, DIAZ seeks to silence Andrew Saul's criticisms of their company, even though the state's Attorney General has stated in court that DIAZ engages in "repeated illegal acts and persistent illegality" and has been termed a "Public Nuisance" that carries on "abnormally dangerous activities." Saul has been one among many citizens involved in the DIAZ DANGERS Newsletter. Here is the complete text of two of the specific Newsletters that DIAZ takes such exception to:
DIAZ DANGERS NEWSLETTER No 21
May 15, 2002
**BREAKING NEWS!** DEADBEAT DIAZ DIAZ owes over $10,000 in hotel bills and refuses to pay them, according to a meeting called by Ralph Dollinger, owner of the Holiday Inn Express in Brockport. This is has been "home" for chemically-flushed-out residents of Holley, who have been reluctantly living there now for MONTHS. DIAZ, which has been court ordered to pay for displaced residents' housing, is probably in contempt of court. And so to the DIAZ bosses who write, or in this case won't write, the checks. Such as Cliff "Luxury Red Convertible" Jenney, who has been spotted zipping through Holley in a new, flashy, expensive automobile. Cliff's company says they don't have the money. Where did it go, Cliff? Your company boasts over $15 million a year in sales. Man, that's a lot of convertibles, even ritzy ones like BMW's.
"Good Neighbor" Diaz is trying to welch on even providing out-of-the-rain shelter for the people it poisons. Fortunately, Assistant Attorney General Linda White is a law enforcement officer who is right on the ball. All have been impressed with her prompt and appropriate actions to put an end to chemical EXPLOSIONS at DIAZ's Jackson Street hazardous waste dump, that puts SO MUCH BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY. Everything but compensation for victims, that is. Shame on you, Mr. Jenney.
DIAZ TO BE DRAGGED INTO COURT
AGAIN by the Assistant Attorney General, in order to reinstate Alex Hinkley's right to shelter while his house is
decontaminated, or sold. And it is not certain if either are even possible at
this point. The trial is scheduled for May 24th,
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE BEING FUNDED RIGHT AND LEFT by Holley business people and private citizens. Hundreds of little trees for Arbor Day: PAID FOR by donations, without a cent from DIAZ. DARE T-shirts for drug prevention: PAID FOR by donations, without a cent from DIAZ. And more scholarships are coming, but often quietly. That's because many a person in Holley knows that in giving, you are not to let your right hand know what your left is doing. THANK YOU TO ALL who have already come forward quickly, and without fanfare, to REALLY give back to the community. We can now see just who our "good neighbors" truly are, . . . and in the case of DIAZ, aren't.
MAYOR SCHIAVONE GETS NY STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO OFFER URINE TESTING TO ALL WHO WANT IT. Mayor Schiavone writes, "I have been able to get the DOH to offer urine testing for CFP to anyone who lives or works within the Village. They will be at the Village office from Noon until 8pm, Tuesday May 21 to hand out collection kits. They will be back the next day to collect t he samples (early morning and PM hours will be available, times to be announced). "I encourage everyone to get tested. This may be your final chance." Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
(AND ALSO: )
HOLLEY MAYOR SCHIAVONE SUES DIAZ CHEMICAL
A LAWSUIT WAS COMMENCED TONIGHT, April 18, and entered in Town of Murray Court to compel DIAZ to pay for chemical damage to Mayor Schiavone's personal automobile, which was downwind of and damaged by 2-Chloro, 6-Fluorophenol (and who knows which of dozens of other chemicals) emitted by the explosion at Diaz on the night of Jan 5, 2002. Mayor Schiavone is seeking to make DIAZ pay the $2,200 that he had to spend to have his car repainted. DIAZ representatives had previously said they would pay for the repainting, but after it was done tried the oldest sneaky legal trick in the book. They handed the mayor a four-page document to sign, releasing DIAZ from ALL claims of ANY kind at ANY time, past present and future, for ever and ever.
Our mayor did not fall for that one, though, and refused to sign. So DIAZ refused to pay.
And this is how they treat our top elected official? Can you believe the arrogance?
Of course, this is the same DIAZ
Chemical that has essentially said that the Attorney General of
Which is, of course, true.
But a couple of weeks ago, DIAZ underboss Wally Sanford told the
Note to Wally: one of your most recent "pressure releases" trashed our mayor's car, and your company doesn't seem to want to take responsibility for fixing it. Your company tries to punish the village's children by stopping their scholarships. You fire your own workers, but DIAZ bosses still have THEIR jobs.
Everyone can clearly see why this company simply must be taken to court. Judges and juries have the power to curb DIAZ once and for all. DIAZ's strategy in years past has been to handle complaints and claims one at a time, and always keep it quiet, private, and out of court.
This "divide and
conquer" approach might have worked then, but no longer. The people of
MORE ABOUT DIAZ:
NY Attorney General
Sues DIAZ CHEMICAL for "repeated illegal acts and persistent
illegality." DIAZ termed a "Public Nuisance" that carries on
"abnormally dangerous activities." These are the words of the
highest law enforcement officer in the State of
The history-making $60
million civil lawsuit against DIAZ Chemical now being heard in Federal Court,
DIAZ CHEMICAL LOSES IN
DIAZ violates judge's
court order requiring that they provide and pay for housing for the people
driven from their homes by DIAZ's illegal release
of smelly 2, chloro 6, fluorophenol.
DIAZ, with over $15 million/year in sales, says they have no money. (
DIAZ Attorney Tom Walsh
disputes NY State Attorney General; compares long term safety of 2,chloro, 6-fluorophenol to gasoline. (
173 people in
Read the full text of environmental attorney Alan Knauf's March 25, 2002 statement to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in response to their "too little, too late" clean-up proposals: Click here
(These reprints are courtesy of the dozens of people who have written, contributed reporting, edited, printed and distributed this citizen's newsletter.)
For UPDATED information
on the civil lawsuit by 173 people against Diaz Chemical Corporation,
please call Richard J. Lippes' office at (716)
884-4800 or write to Allen and Lippes,
Special Message to DIAZ employees and their families: Click Here
Anonymous message FROM some very company-loyal DIAZ employees: Click Here
Our factual response to the above message: Click Here
DIAZ TOXIC CHEMICALS
ENDANGER CHILDREN IN
An explosion at Diaz Chemical Company released over 80 gallons of a mixture containing 2-Chloro, 6-Fluoro Phenol (plus other chemicals) into our air late Saturday night, Jan 5, 2002. Many houses were literally sprayed with this smelly poison. Some residents have had to leave their homes now for nearly NINE MONTHS.
What do we know about
We DO know that
2-Chloro-6-Fluoro Phenol does NOT belong in our air, or in our ground water,
or in our yards, or in our houses. It does not belong in your house, on
your car, in your carpet, or in your family's lungs. BUT IT IS THERE
ALL THE SAME, THANKS TO DIAZ CHEMICAL CORPORATION,
Phenols in general are skin-peeling products. ( http://www.injuryboard.com/ )
2-chloro-Phenol is not a
safe substance. It is classified as "CHEMICAL WASTE PROHIBITED FROM
DRAIN DISPOSAL." Toluene is also prohibited. (From: Chemical List date:
May 13, 2001 , Oregon Health and
BUT DIAZ CHEMICAL COMPANY QUIETLY RELEASED BOTH OF THESE HARMFUL CHEMICALS INTO THE AIR OUR FAMILIES BREATHE, WHILE WE SLEPT ON SATURDAY NIGHT, January 5, 2002.
Phenols may be a cause of
ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's, and Asthma
Holley has a higher than average number of children with special education needs and leaning disabilities. What role does Diaz have in this? IF DIAZ CHEMICALS HURT OUR CHILDREN'S ABILITY TO LEARN, A FEW SCHOLARSHIPS IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH! Not by a long shot.
WHAT ABOUT THAT SIREN that is supposed to warn us of a chemical accident at the Diaz plant? IT NEVER SOUNDED. WHY NOT?
Why weren't village residents evacuated, or at least notified, about this chemical release until AFTER you breathed it, AFTER it got all over your house and lawn, and AFTER you saw it on the TV news?
Diaz does not even know the long-term effects of 2-Chloro-6-Fluoro Phenol. Yet they make it, and spill it, and YOU find out a day or two later… when you watch the TV news.
DIAZ profits while polluting our homes.
Read for yourself (further down this page) the health hazards of the CHEMICALS DIAZ HAS USED BY THE TON: Benzene, Sodium Hydroxide ("DRANO"),Toluene, 2-Chloro 6-Fluoro Phenol, and BROMINE. These are all extremely dangerous poisons.
DIAZ CHEMICAL CORPORATION must be held to a MUCH higher safety standard. This is our village, our air, and our water. We are all in this together.
Did you also know that:
BROMINE is included on
the State of
FACTS ABOUT BROMINE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
TRANSPORTATION LABELING REQUIREMENTS, 49 CFR
TOXICITY DATA: 1000 ppm inhalation-human LCLo; 750
AT INCREASED RISK FROM EXPOSURE: Persons with pulmonary and respiratory disorders.
CORROSIVE/TOXIC. 10 ppm Immediately Dangerous to
Life or Health.
Inhalation of small amounts may cause copious mucous secretion, blephritis, coughing, rhinitis or nosebleeds, feelings of oppression, epistaxis, vertigo, and headache. Delayed symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pains. In addition, respiratory difficulty with hoarseness, asthma, dyspnea, and crepitations in the lungs as well as as well as generalized vesicular, morbilliform or measles like rashes may occur. Inhalation of high concentrations may cause inflammatory lesions of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, fatal chemical burns, respiratory failure. The tongue and palate may appear inflamed and edematous with a characteristic odor of the breath. Glottal spasms and asthmatic bronchitits may occur. Pulmonary edema, pneumonitis or pneumonia may be delayed for several hours. A case of pneumomediastinum induced by accidental occupational exposure was reported. The pathology of animals exposed to 300 ppm for 3 hours showed pulmonary edema, pseudomembranous deposit on the trachea and bronchi, and hemorrhages of the gastric mucosa. Functional disturbances of the central nervous system were observed in animals that died several days after exposure.
CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Prolonged or repeated exposure to concentrations less than 0.1 mg/m3 may cause headache, chest pains, anorexia, indigestion, irritability and joint pains. Persons exposed to excessive concentrations for 1 year complain of headache, pain in the region of the heart, increasing irritability, loss of appetite, joint pains and dyspepsia. After 5-6 years of exposure to this level there may be loss of corneal reflexes, pharyngitis, vegetative disorders, thyroid hyperplasia accompanied by thyroid dysfunction and bone marrow depression. Cardiovascular disorders may occur in the form of myocardial degeneration and hypotension. Functional and secretory disorders of the digestive tract may also occur. Hematologic effects may include inhibition of leukopoiesis, leukocytosis, moderate hypoglycemia or altered blood sugar curves, hypercholesterolemia, reduction of total bilirubin, decreased hemoglobin concentration and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rates.
Bromine may be deposited in the tissues as bromides and accumulate to cause central nervous system disorders and effects of bromism as detailed in chronic ingestion.
SKIN CONTACT: CORROSIVE.
CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Prolonged or repeated contact may cause dermatitis and slow healing ulcers.
EYE CONTACT: CORROSIVE.
CHRONIC EXPOSURE- Mice fed 0.02-0.2 mg/kg for 3 months exhibited increased blood sugar, decreased cholinesterase and amylaminase activity, alopecia (hair loss and baldness) and behavioral changes. Bromine may be stored in the body as bromides. If sufficient amounts accumulate, effects of bromism including confusion, irritability, tremor, memory loss, anorexia, emaciation, headache,slurred speech, delusions, psychotic behavior, ataxia, stupor and coma may occur. An acneiform papular eruption of the face and hands may also occur.
ANTIDOTE: No specific antidote.
(Information Source: FISHER SCIENTIFIC, 1 REAGENT LANEFAIR LAWN, NJ 07410)
BENZENE HAZARD SUMMARY
REASON FOR CITATION
HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU
ARE BEING EXPOSED
ODOR THRESHOLD =
WORKPLACE EXPOSURE LIMITS
(Remember: YOU DO NOT EVEN SMELL BENZENE UNTIL 12 PPM. Benzene can hurt you before you smell it.)
Benzene is a
CANCER-CAUSING AGENT in humans. There may be no safe level of exposure to a
carcinogen, so all contact should be reduced to the lowest possible
Post hazard and warning information in the work area. In addition, as part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all information on the health and safety hazards of Benzene to potentially exposed workers.
HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
Exposure can cause symptoms of dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, and vomiting. Convulsions and coma, or sudden death from irregular heart beat, may follow high exposures. Exposure can also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat.
Chronic Health Effects
SPILLS AND EMERGENCIES
It may be necessary to contain and dispose of Benzene as a HAZARDOUS WASTE. Contact your Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or your regional office of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for specific recommendations.
Prepared by: NEW JERSEY
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Right to Know Program
Sensitivity Data: BENZENE
TOLUENE was released into our air and water and homes on Saturday night. Toluene is a harmful chemical. It is a PAINT THINNER. Imagine what it does to children’s lungs.
FACT SHEET OF TOLUENE DANGERS
(Excerpted from "USE & STORAGE OF TOLUENE" (Code: SB-94-7, Date: 7/8/94, NEW YOUR STATE DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION)
Toluene (or toluol) is an organic aromatic solvent found in paint and some degreasing products. Toluene is a colorless liquid with a benzene-like odor and a flash point below 73 F (class 1B flammable). Toluene can enter the body through inhalation and exposure to high airborne concentrations and can cause neurological impairment similar to intoxication. Skin absorption is another way toluene can enter the body. Toluene will dissolve fats and oils in the skin to produce drying and cracking.
All operations involving
the use of toluene shall be performed outdoors whenever
STORAGE & DISPENSING
Toluene shall not be stored in occupied buildings unless kept in approved storage rooms especially designed for such use.
'Flammable - Keep Fire Away'.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT & PROCEDURES
Toluene requires respirators with activated charcoal filters. Toluene has early warning properties to alert respirator wearers of exposure at very low concentrations. As soon as the odor of toluene enters the mask, cartridges shall be replaced. Store cartridges in an airtight plastic bag to prevent the activated charcoal from absorbing material from the room air and losing its effectiveness.
Skin contact with toluene
should be avoided. Hands and other skin areas shall not be cleansed with
toluene. Contaminated clothing resulting from a spill or splash must be
removed. After contact, skin must be washed with soap and water or other
suitable cleaner. Eyes must be flushed with clean water for at least 15
minutes after contact, and medical attention provided.
What does it take to get a local industry to be responsive to public safety concerns?
The civil lawsuits might just do it.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition. Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise. Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician. Consult your doctor before making any health decision.
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