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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2008

Dann calls for disclosure by Envirosafe

BY TOM HENRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dann Dann
JAY LAPRETE / AP Enlarge

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann is doing something his predecessor, Jim Petro, didn't do: Require Envirosafe Services of Ohio Inc. to disclose details about its ownership.

The company's attorney, Richard Sargeant, acknowledged he is in receipt of a letter dated last Friday in which Mr. Dann revealed he would not waive such disclosure requirements.

Both Mr. Sargeant and Doug Roberts, Envirosafe president, said they were unsure if the company would appeal.

Envirosafe operates Ohio's only commercially operated hazardous waste landfill. It is along Otter Creek and Cedar Point roads in Oregon.

Ohio several years ago passed disclosure requirements so that state officials can do background checks on those who operate or have a financial interest in landfills.

That was done to check for any criminal convictions as well as any performance records that may have been generated from other activity in the waste-disposal business, said Dale Vitale, chief of the environmental enforcement section for Mr. Dann's office.

Direct sanctions may not necessarily be imposed if Envirosafe fails to comply. But the state attorney general's office will take the company's response into consideration in a forthcoming report for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Vitale said.

The use of that report will be at the discretion of Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski and future chiefs of that agency who may decide the fate of Envirosafe's operating permit, he said.

Envirosafe's permit is valid through the end of 2015, barring any legal action to revoke it beforehand.

"It ultimately becomes a director's decision how important that [background information] is," Mr. Vitale said.

Envirosafe was granted its original waiver on April 29, 2005. That waiver, which is supposed to be reviewed annually, applies to several officers, directors, and/or shareholders of the corporate entities that own Fairlane Management Corp. or GSC Partners of Florham Park, N.J., including GSC Recovery II, L.P.

It was renewed Jan. 3, 2007.

Both waivers were signed by Mr. Petro.

Records show Envirosource Inc., the Pennsylvania parent company of Envirosafe, merged with ES Acquisition Corp. in 2001. State officials determined that ES Acquisition is a wholly owned subsidiary of GSC Recovery II L.P. The latter is a subsidiary of GSC Partners.

Envirosafe has argued the waiver excludes equity shareholders, Mr. Sargeant said.

Mr. Vitale said Mr. Dann "believes very strongly in full disclosure both from the government and to the government."

"He just looked at the same set of facts and came down with a different opinion, which he's entitled to do," Mr. Vitale said.

Neither Mr. Sargeant nor Mr. Roberts was surprised by Mr. Dann's opinion.

"We had heard that Mr. Dann was going to be more conservative with waivers," Mr. Sargeant said.

Contact Tom Henry at:

thenry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6079.



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