FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1997                         (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                      AND REOPEN INCINERATOR

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Marine Shale Processors, owner and
operator of a Louisiana hazardous waste incinerator, today agreed
to pay more than $10 million to settle federal and state
allegations it incinerated hazardous waste without a permit and
planned to sell the contaminated ash as fill material to the
public.  A second company, GTX Inc., will spend $25 million to
buy and upgrade the incinerator, and clean up the contaminated
ash that remains in Morgan City, near the central coast of
     Marine Shale, located in Morgan City, was permitted by the
state of Louisiana in 1985 to process non-hazardous oilfield
wastes.  The company then began to burn hundreds of different
hazardous wastes, and attempted to sell the metal-laden residue
as fill material to the public for $1 a ton.

     As part of the agreement, GTX Inc., will purchase Marine
Shale's incinerator and clean up about 350,000 tons of
contaminated ash remaining in Morgan City, at an estimated cost
of $15 million.  GTX will be allowed to reopen the facility as
long as it obtains all of the environmental permits required to
operate a hazardous waste incinerator.  GTX also will invest $10
million to upgrade the plant's pollution control equipment, which
will result in cleaner air and water in the area.  Once GTX
reopens the incinerator, it will bring all of the combustion ash
it produces to a new state-of-the-art disposal facility.

     "This settlement is a victory for the environment and the
people of Louisiana," said Lois Schiffer, Assistant Attorney
General in charge of the Justice Department's Environment and
Natural Resources Division.  "Because of close federal and state
cooperation, the contamination Marine Shale spread around Morgan
City will be cleaned up, and the plant put to safe, productive

     "This is an important settlement for the environment and
citizens of Morgan City," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator
Jerry Clifford.  "It provides for the proper disposal of
thousands of tons of hazardous waste, not addressed before this

     "The case against Marine Shale is itself compelling evidence
of the U.S. Department of Justice's and my office's dedication to
the elimination of the continuing specter of hazardous waste
disposal and unnecessary pollution of our land and water by
industry," said Eddie J. Jordan Jr., United States Attorney for
the Eastern District of Louisiana.  "This settlement will serve a
critical three-fold purpose: First, to exact an appropriate price
from Marine Shale Processors for their contribution to pollution;
secondly, to help deter other companies from violating our
environment; and finally, to effect necessary inroads toward
reversal of these environmental damages."

     In 1990, the federal government and Louisiana sued Marine
Shale over whether the company could distribute its combustion
residue as a recycled product.  The federal and state governments
alleged that Marine Shale's recycling claim was a sham, and that
the facility had no permit to treat hazardous waste.  They also
alleged Marine Shale violated federal clean air and clean water
laws as well as hazardous waste regulations.  After a string of
rulings by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the
federal government's arguments, the Environmental Protection
Agency shut down Marine Shale's Morgan City incinerator.

     The settlement was lodged today by the Justice Department in
U.S. District Court in New Orleans, on behalf of the
Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Louisiana. 
Under the agreement, Marine Shale will pay more than $10 million
in civil penalties, with more than $2.75 million of that going to
Louisiana.  The settlement also bars the former owners of Marine
Shale, who are part owners of GTX, from controlling the new
company or having any control over operation of the incinerator. 
Marine Shale's former top managers also are prohibited from
participating in any environmental compliance or permitting

     The proposed settlement will be published in the Federal
Register for a 30 day period of public comment.  Comments should
be addressed to the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and
Natural Resources Division, Washington, D.C. 20530.