A politically-connected new company hoped to sneak an application through during the holidays for a 60 ton/day hazardous waste incinerator in Bristol Township, near Philadelphia, PA. Once word got out late last year, political opposition grew fast and furious. People packed local government meetings to overflowing.
Energy Justice director, Mike Ewall, who grew up in the adjacent township, presented at a packed local zoning board hearing last month, following the company's 2-hour presentation, tearing down the company's misinformation. One of the most appalling aspects of their misinformation was their presentation of (extremely low) projected air emissions, which represented only the emissions from the small amount of natural gas they'd burn to start the burners up, without presenting any data on the pollutants from burning the waste itself.
The incinerator would have burned alcohols and solvents, cleaners, paints, medicines and pharmaceuticals, aerosols, pesticides, herbicides and adhesives. It would have been located right next to a Dow Chemical plant, in a community already suffering from decades of chemical pollution.
Local politicians were falling over themselves to oppose it, and neighboring local governments, including those across the river in New Jersey, took positions opposed to the incinerator. Today, the company chose to withdraw their application for a zoning change. With the political winds against this company in all of the neighboring towns, it seems that this heavily industrialized corridor is saying "enough is enough" and is sending this incinerator proposal packing in short order. We will continue to work with local activists to ensure that local clean air ordinances are in place to protect these towns from any future proposals for incinerators.
Special thanks to Don Mobley, whose local political efforts made all the difference. While the company is talking like they might come back with a new application, it's clear that they have nothing to come back to but an even more organized community and to local politicians who want nothing of it. As we prepare the nails for the coffin of this short-lived incinerator proposal, it's clear that it's already dead on arrival.
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This is our third major incinerator victory of 2014, and many more are expected this year.