Waste Storage Firm Will not Rebuild in N.C., Relinquishes Permit

October 17, 2007

A hazardous waste storage company is relinquishing its permit for a site in Apex, N.C., that caught fire last year, forcing thousands of town residents to flee.

The state Division of Waste Management says EQ Industrial Services also agreed to pay more than $400,000 in penalties, fees and reimbursements.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board says the October 2006 fire probably would have been minor, but it was fueled by unspent oxygen generators that were stored at the plant by mistake.

Town officials asked 16,000 residents to evacuate when the massive blaze erupted, and about 30 people were treated for respiratory problems.

Wayne, Mich.-based EQ Industrial Services had said in the past that it would fight proposed fines and try to keep its permit.

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