December 2014
Volume 1, Issue 6

In Energy Justice Network's most exciting year yet, grassroots campaigns that we've started or supported have won 16 victories, mostly against biomass and waste incinerators, along with some pro-active policies or other facilities (landfills or gas-fired power plants). This brings the total number of incinerator victories in our network to 50 since 2010!

Please support our ability to win in 2015 by making a tax-deductible donation of $10-100. We'd particularly like to help ensure more victories against gas-fired power plants in the next year, as well as more incinerator victories, and steps toward implementing zero waste alternatives.


We're proud to have contributed in small or huge ways to each of these great wins in 2014:

  • Frederick, Maryland: After a decade-long fight, local groups we supported, No Incinerator Alliance and Waste Not! Carroll stopped a planned 1,500 ton/day incinerator to burn trash, tires and sewage sludge.
  • Bloomington-Normal, Illinois: Organized local residents to quickly stop plans by Paradigm BioAviation for an experimental trash and tires gasification facility that aimed to incinerate the waste, and eventually try to convert it into jet fuel. We've learned that they plan to try again in the state, and in McAllen, TX, and we're warning residents to make sure they're stopped for good.
  • Washington, DC: Got a large (389 living unit) cooperative complex in the nation's capitol, Tiber Island Community Homes, to be the first to add a "no incineration" clause to their waste contract, paving the way for other apartments and co-ops to take control of where their waste goes when it's hauled "away." Some of their waste has been going to the large trash incinerator in Lorton, VA, profiled in this article on DC's Waste and Environmental Racism.
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania: Stopped plans for an experimental trash and sewage sludge incinerator planned in the heart of the Hispanic community in the state's 3rd largest city. We formed the Allentown Residents for Clean Air group and this was a priority fight for us since 2012, which continues in its efforts to preserve the rights of all Pennsylvania local governments to adopt their own clean air laws.
  • Stafford County / Fredericksburg, Virginia: Plans for a trash and tire pyrolysis incinerator were shelved after a year of local opposition that we supported.
  • Lorton, Virginia: A construction/demolition waste landfill expansion was defeated by the Citizens to Stop the Dump and South County Federation. We helped a bit, going door-to-door in the community that is also overshadowed by the 4th largest trash incinerator in the U.S. and surrounded by two other landfills. We brought in experts on zero waste to speak about alternatives for recycling those valuable materials.
  • Washington, DC: Washington, DC city government passed two major waste laws we worked on, banning Styrofoam, instituting curbside composting, requiring the city to adopt a zero waste plan, starting electronic waste recycling and much more to move the nation's capitol toward zero waste!
  • Jasper, Indiana: Biomass incinerator to burn Miscanthus grass stopped by our biomass network members, Healthy Dubois County, after a protracted and expensive fight.
  • Maryland: Working with the Zero Waste Maryland coalition and other allies, we helped stop legislation, for a second year in a row, that would have put Maryland on the path to burning nearly all of its waste that is not recycled.
  • North Las Vegas, Nevada: Gigantic plan for a construction and demolition gasification incinerator stopped by our biomass network members, Citizens of North Las Vegas United.
  • Bristol Township, Pennsylvania: Proposed hazardous waste incinerator stopped after we testified to expose corporate misinformation, and supported grassroots and political opponents who reached out to us in late 2013.
  • North Springfield, Vermont: Large biomass incinerator stopped by North Springfield Action Group, a grassroots group we helped launch an opposition campaign.
  • White Deer, Pennsylvania: Proposed tire incinerator stopped by grassroots leaders with Organizations United for the Environment and the Tire Burner Team, who we've supported since 2011.


From Shock to Victory: The Planet's "Immune System" at Work

- by Jan Baty, Newark Residents Against the Power Plant

As I saw Alex Lotorto (campus and community organizer for Energy Justice Network) step out of his car, unloading materials for the meeting he was to lead at my house, I had a flashback to how I had discovered the Energy Justice Network. In Newark Delaware, residents had taken on the enormous task of stopping a project the University of Delaware was considering, a data center power plant, proposed by The Data Centers, LLC (TDC), to be built in the heart of this college town and the university, at a former Chrysler plant site. The plans for the power plant had now grown to 279 megawatts — at least two times larger than any other on-site power generation facility at data centers in the U.S.

News of this proposal had been kept tightly under wraps for over a year by City of Newark staff, TDC, the State of Delaware and the University of Delaware until June 2013, when the CEO of TDC approached the local Sierra Club chapter seeking an endorsement for this project as being “green.” The alarm was raised by the directors, Stephanie Herron and Amy Rowe.

An official resident’s group was formed, Newark Residents Against the Power Plant (NRAPP), which by now had hundreds of members and dozens of working groups and neighborhood groups across Newark. Much effort was going into persuading city council to withdraw their support of this proposal. City council meetings were filled with passionate statements by citizens, including revelations of results from FOIA requests, and uncovered information about TDC’s plans. There was a continuous stream of letters to the editor of the Wilmington News Journal

Knowing how long it often takes for governments to respond, some of us were eager to pour our energy into educating university faculty, and students about this — since most knew nothing about it! We realized that if given enough pressure the University could certainly stop this project...



Incinerator in Frederick, MD Canceled After Decade-Long Fight

- by Patrice Gallagher, No Incinerator Alliance

On November 20, 2014, Frederick County, Maryland's Board of County Commissioners cancelled plans to build a 1,500 ton-per-day waste-to-energy incinerator, ending a 10 year citizens' effort to kill the project and put better alternatives for community waste management in place.

The vote was 3 to 2, and all three who voted to cancel had previously supported the project.

As a citizen activist who has fought this project since 2006, it feels great to finally be able to put this terrible idea to rest, and begin to help our county focus on more recycling, repurposing and composting — perhaps in the form of a Resource Recovery Park, as many other communities around the nation are doing successfully.

How did we do it? I suppose the best answer I can give for this is: persistence...


Energy Justice Now provides critical reporting on the entire spectrum of the Dirty Energy Resistance, highlighting the voices of community organizers battling fossil fuels, nuclear power, and biomass and waste incineration from sea to shining sea. We are accepting submissions at Josh AT

Cover photo by: No Incinerator Alliance

n Solidarity,

Mike Ewall, Josh Schlossberg, and Samantha Chirillo

Editors, Energy Justice Now

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Logo by Alex Zahradnik Design



Please Donate to Energy Justice Network Today


Energy Justice Network is one of the few national nonprofits in the U.S. organizing with grassroots communities to say NO! to all forms of dirty energy, from fracked gas, to coal plants, to biomass and waste incineration, to nuclear power.

We know there are a lot of organizations out there clamoring for your financial support, yet here's what's different about Energy Justice Network:

1) Grassroots - We offer our organizing expertise to communities fighting dirty energy proposals, empowering their advocacy, not taking it over.

2) Bang For Your Buck - Our lean and mean staff of six means the vast majority of your donation directly funds grassroots community support work, instead of wasteful organizational overhead. 

3) Taking the Hard Line - We believe that any energy source requiring a smokestack or cooling tower does more harm than good to the community that hosts it.  We work to develop national solidarity to support only genuinely clean energy projects.

You can scour the nation and not find as focused, effective, and efficient organization as Energy Justice Network to support with your tax-deductible donation. We hope we can count on your help this year!


The Faces of Energy Justice Network

You may be wondering just who are the people behind Energy Justice Network's powerful grassroots advocacy work? Well, the real answer is you! We're just here to help you connect with others and win...

Creating and facilitating these networks takes considerable time and effort. We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Energy Justice Network's bright and dedicated staff.

MIKE EWALL - Founder and Director         


Active since high school in 1990, Mike's student and community work has helped many communities achieve victories against coal and gas power plants, landfills, incinerators, ethanol plants, medical waste facilities, and other noxious industries. His work includes research, writing, programming, organizing, networking, public speaking, legal work, policy analysis, advising and more. Find his full bio here.

TRACI CONFER - Co-Director


Traci is a Jill-of-all-trades who lets her cats walk all over her. She started out in 1997 and has worked with Energy Justice ever since, helping with administration, research, database management and community organizing.

AARON KREIDER - Web Developer


Aaron is our web developer. He focuses on developing the Energy Justice Communities Map, our new site, and also works on the main website.

ALEX LOTORTO - Community Organizer & Project Director of Frack University         


A lifelong resident of the Upper Delaware River region in Pennsylvania, Alex has spent years in the trenches voicing his opposition to all forms of natural gas development.  He administers our Energy Justice Shale Initiative.

SAMANTHA CHIRILLO -  Coordinator of the Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign


As coordinator of the nationwide Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign,   Samantha (M.S., M.P.A.) supports activists fighting bioenergy facilities. Samantha lives in the "logging epicenter" of Oregon and likes to monitor forests. Neither the slash piles nor Samantha are going anywhere.

JOSH SCHLOSSBERG - Editor of Energy Justice Now & The Biomass Monitor 


A member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, Josh has lived in the Northeast, the Pacific Northwest, and the Rockies, which has broadened his understanding of -- and appreciation for -- the  natural ecosystems that sustain us...though sometimes making it hard for him to remember his current zip code.