Trash incinerator hearing draws large crowd of opponents

Brian Cummins with someone who doesnt like pollution very much
  • Brian Cummins with someone who doesn't like pollution very much

A public hearing was held last night at the Estabrook Recreation Center on Fulton Road on the proposed trash incinerator Cleveland Public Power wants to build on Ridge Road on the near west side. According to a report from environmental public advocacy group Ohio Citizen Action: “Standing room only as 250 attend Cleveland hearing; No one speaks in favor of trash incinerator.”

OCA’s report says,

After David Hearn of the Cleveland Division of Air Quality gave a power point presentation on the mechanics of incineration, thirty-one people gave public testimony, including neighbors from six Cleveland neighborhoods: Brooklyn Centre, Old Brooklyn, Detroit-Shoreway, Tremont, Clark-Fulton, and Ohio City. All but one spoke against building the incinerator, and the other asked for more information.

For background on the so-called “gasification plant,” check out Maude L. Campbell’s story “The Mysterious Mr. Tien,” from early December, which covers the questions about the claims made for the project by its emissary Peter Tien, as well as about the EPA approval process.

Among those who spoke in opposition were Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth. He released a statement that said in part, “Trash incinerators have left a trail of pollution which is borne disproportionately by inner city communities. Incinerators emit toxics like mercury, cadmium, dioxins, and furans into the air and into the Great Lakes. … They emit significant quantities of climate change pollution, which is a step backward from efforts to make Northeast Ohio more economically and environmentally sustainable.”

Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation executive director Jeff Ramsey and Cleveland councilman Brian Cummins spoke at the meeting, advocating for more citizen input and an expansion of the public comment period. — Anastasia Pantsios

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