Disposal Safety, Inc.

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

"Remarkably timely, extensively researched and accessible."-- The Washington Post

"Startling, intense, and brilliantly elucidated... thoroughly researched and refreshingly nonpartisan... an unlikely page-turner."--Booklist

"...a commendable effort to present the history of industrial environmental harm with candor and clarity in a readable, anecdotal form."-- Chemical Engineering News


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.

You can order your own copy today! The Polluters, on Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com

Articles by Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter

Contact Us
~ By Mail: 3625 Tilden Street, NW Washington, DC, 20008 ~ By Phone: 202-213-3278 ~ By Email: Steven Amter or Benjamin Ross ~