County Cuts Ties With Company Shipping Aborted Babies to Incinerate for Energy

State   |   Dave Andrusko   |   May 12, 2014   |   3:27PM   |   Salem, OR

When last we posted on allegations that the remains of aborted and miscarried babies were being burned to generate electricity in Oregon, a vice president for the company that owns and operates the Marion County Waste-to-Energy Facility plant in Brooks, Oregon categorically denied the charge.

Jill Stueck told the Portland Tribune, “It’s not just inaccurate; it’s completely false.” Stueck is vice president of marketing and communications for Covanta Energy Corporation.

burningwaste3As NRL News Today wrote at the time [], Stueck believed the explanation was simple. The newspaper that first ran the story– the Vancouver-based B.C. Catholic–assumed that “fetal tissue” refers to babies who have been aborted or miscarried, which was not the case.

Stueck told reporter Tyler Francke

“’fetal tissue’ refers to other biological material associated with birth, such as umbilical cords and placentas — not fetuses. Fetuses would be classified as ‘human remains’ and are in a different category.

“’This is a mixing-together of terms that mean completely different things,’ she said. ‘We’re not burning babies.’”

However, Stueck also “admitted that the waste in question is delivered in sealed containers that her company’s employees are legally prohibited from opening,” Francke reported in an updated story that ran yesterday.

The assurances were not enough for The Marion County Board of Commissioners which had halted the transport of medical waste while it investigated the allegations. On Wednesday the board moved to cancel its contract with Stericycle Canada, the Canadian company that transports the medical waste.

“The commissioners also amended their solid-waste ordinance to specifically exclude human fetal tissue from approved infectious waste,” according to Francke.

If the other 15-20 companies that contract with Marion County to transport medical waste wish to continue operating, they must meet the new criteria. Francke reports this includes “that their contracts be amended to prohibit the transfer of human fetal tissue, that they provide certification that their waste stream does not contain fetal tissue and that they allow inspections for verification purposes.”

Said Commissioner Sam Brentano, “We’re asking for certification,” adding, “And we will have the ability to — as gross as it is — examine the manifests of boxes.”

The original story, written by Steve Weatherbe for the B.C. Catholic, reported that an unnamed member of the communications branch of the B.C. Health Ministry emailed the newspaper

“that ‘biomedical waste,’ including ‘human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue,’ is ‘disposed of through appropriate contracted providers.’

“It added, ‘The ministry understands that some is transferred to Oregon. There it is incinerated in a waste-to-energy plant.’”

Weatherbe lead his story with “The remains of British Columbia’s aborted and miscarried children are ending up in an Oregon waste-to-power plant, likely mixed with everyday trash, incinerated to provide electricity to the people of Marion County.”



KOIN Channel Six quoted a former temp worker at Covanta Marion. According to KOIN, Bud Waterman “said two to three times a week, 53-foot tractor trailers carrying biohazards dropped off loads at the facility in Brooks.

“On more than one occasion, Waterman said the contents of the truck spilled out of their containers.

“’It would make you sick, especially if you had to clean it up or have to pull a box off the trailer,’ said Waterman.”

In the same story published by KOIN, Waterman went further. He said the bodies of fetuses have not only been burned for energy at the Marion County facility for years, but also that “They knew it, they had to. I don’t see how they could not know it.”

But according to Francke,  reporting on Wednesday’s meeting of the Marion Board of Commissioners

“Brentano made it clear that he was not disputing Covanta — which he called ‘a wonderful partner’ — but he does believe fetuses were present in the material transported by the Canadian contractor, a belief he said was based on intuition, not hard evidence.

“’I believe they were in there,’ he said. ‘If it didn’t happen, that’s wonderful. I hope it never happens. But what we did was everything we could do in this last week to make sure it couldn’t happen.” Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared at National Right to Life News Today.