“This is a harbinger of a new, human-rights based, Fair Development policy in Baltimore.”-NESRI
Baltimore regional governments and institutions pull the plug on financial support of the Energy Answers incinerator in south Baltimore
Baltimore, Md. — A proposal to build the largest trash burning incinerator in the U.S. suffered a major setback recently when a Baltimore regional coalition of governments and institutions voted to terminate its energy-purchasing contract with the proposed Energy Answers Incinerator in Baltimore.
The action by the 22-member Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee removes an important source of revenue for the project in the Fairfield neighborhood of far south Baltimore. Students, community members and environmentalists have been protesting the massive waste-to-energy plant because it would cause more air pollution to a community that already suffers some the most toxic air pollution in Maryland.
Public scrutiny of the purchasing contract grew when students, parents, and teachers from Free Your Voice, a human rights committee of United Workers based in Curtis Bay, called on the Baltimore City School Board to opt out of this agreement last spring. Free Your Voice mounted a public pressure campaign across the region, most recently meeting with members of the Purchasing Committee – the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum. Media also grew with national stories in the New York Times, Grist.org, and viral videos on social media promoted by 350.org and Pulitzer prize winning author Margaret Atwood.
Destiny Watford, Free Your Voice leader, “This is a really big step for us. I’m excited that purchasing committee voted to withdrawal their support for the incinerator. This decision gives us the opportunity to work with the purchasing committee for a truly healthy and sustainable project in Baltimore that respects our human right to clean air”.
Free Your Voice, United Workers, and the Environmental Integrity Project, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to enforcement of the nation’s environmental laws and protection of public health are working to end the trash burning incinerator project. Many members of the community are pushing for fair development in the neighborhood that will create jobs and opportunities, but not add to the already heavy pollution burden.
“This troubled project has had persistent and ongoing problems complying with multiple laws, including state incinerator siting laws and the federal Clean Air Act,” said Leah Kelly, attorney for the Environmental Integrity Project. “In addition, it could add large amounts of toxic pollution –including brain-damaging mercury – to the air and water in an already-polluted area.”
Amanda Maminski, Curtis Bay resident, “We believe there are other alternatives to the proposed incinerator, alternatives that will not involve poisoning the already-toxic environment within and around the Curtis Bay community. One of those alternatives gaining popular community support is a solar facility, a solar farm, on the tract of land currently owned by FMC Corporation.”
Join United Workers for Leadership Day this Saturday Feb 21st at 1pm to celebrate this amazing victory and keep building momentum for Fair Development!
What: United Workers Leadership Day
Where: 2640 St. Pauls St Baltimore MD 21218
When: Saturday Feb 21st 1-4pm
Register for Leadership Day here