Disposal Safety Incorporated
About Disposal Safety
Disposal Safety Incorporated specializes in evaluating current and potential contamination of groundwater and soil by hazardous chemical and radioactive wastes. The firm's small staff combines outstanding scientific qualifications with an extensive familiarity with the regulatory process. We believe that a thorough understanding of the geological, chemical, and physical controls on the distribution and movement of contamination is the soundest basis for environmental decision-making. Our company also has an exceptionally strong capability in the calculational tools of hydrogeology, including the use and interpretation of computer models. In addition to its strictly scientific work, Disposal Safety has conducted historical research into what was known in the past about the dangers of groundwater and soil contamination.
Steven Amter, the president of Disposal Safety, has more than 30 years of experience in contaminant hydrogeology, including site assessments, water, soil, and chemical investigations, monitoring well installation and aquifer pump tests. He has testified as an expert witness and has provided litigation support to the United States Department of Justice. He holds a M.S. magna cum laude in hydrology from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in geology from the State University of New York.
Dr. Benjamin Ross, retired as president of Disposal Safety in February 2014, was a
member of the National Academy of Science's Committee on Remediation of
Buried and Tank Wastes and served on two subcommittees of USEPA's Science Advisory Board. Dr. Ross has more than thirty years of
experience in the hydrogeological analysis of waste disposal sites and
has published twenty-eight articles in peer-reviewed scientific
journals. He has testified as an expert for the U.S. Dept. of Justice
and private attorneys. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and an A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard
University. His second book, Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, was published in 2014.
Now Available for Immediate Purchase! The Polluters:The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment
Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter tell the story of how the chemical industry, abetted by a compliant government, set loose a plague of pollution that began in the years before and directly following World War II, a plague that still lingers today. The advent of new synthetic chemical products such as Nylon and DDT created new
hazards just as the expansion and mechanization of industry exacerbated old
ones. Environmental dangers well known today--smog, pesticides, lead,
chlorinated solvents, asbestos, and even global warming--were already recognized
in that era by chemists, engineers, doctors, and business managers. A few of them spoke out about these dangers, others overlooked scientific truth in pursuit of wealth and prestige, and many struggled to find a balance between the interests of industry and the needs of the wider world.
By the middle of the twentieth century, the chemical industry understood that it needed to curb its pollution. But federal government regulation, the only mechanism by which effective control could have been put in place, faced implacable hostility from the industry. Driven by the twin forces of pecuniary interest and ideological hostility to governmental control, chemical manufacturers exercised their considerable political and economic power to forestall outside oversight.
Discovery of new environmental problems was discouraged, and research that might find them was starved of funds. When dangers did emerge, well-paid advocates concocted grounds for doubt. If a crisis exploded into public view, money and influence were deployed to steer investigations toward reassuring conclusions.
The Polluters provides a panoramic view of intertwined political and scientific struggles in which the apparatus of science was harnessed to the pursuit of political victory rather than objective truth. The chemical industry lobbied congress, suppressed unwelcome research, co-opted experts, and used endless study as an excuse for inaction. Eventually the political and bureaucratic institutions created by the industry to fight off governmental oversight took on a life of their own, continuing to obstruct as the need for environmental controls became clearer and clearer.
Articles by Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter
Deregulation, chemical waste, and ground water: A 1949 debate by Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter
Was contamination of southern California groundwater by chlorinated solvents foreseen? by Steven Amter and Benjamin Ross
Risk-based corrective fiction by Benjamin Ross
Dynamics of DNAPL penetration into fractured porous media by Benjamin Ross and Ning Lu
Effciency of air inlet wells in vapor extraction systems by Benjamin Ross and Ning Lu
Pentobarbital found in ground water by Benjamin Ross, William P. Eckel, and Robert Isensee
Glycol ethers as groundwater contaminants by Benjamin Ross, Gunnar Johanson, Gregory D. Foster, and William P. Eckel
The diversion capacity of capillary barriers by Benjamin Ross