Baltimore protesters arrested during trash-to-energy plant demonstration
- Seven people were arrested this week during a protest — led by Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club and United Workers — against the approved construction of a trash-burning plant in South Baltimore.
- The group refused to leave the Maryland Department of Environment headquarters, as they voiced that emissions from the 160-megawatt Fairfield Renewable Energy Power plant would threaten the health of residents of nearby Curtis Bay, according to the Baltimore Sun. Further, they said the plant's construction, delayed for more than a year, is in violation of permits. Energy Answers International, the plant’s owner, countered that the facility would meet or surpass air quality requirements while generating clean power and providing a landfill alternative.
- State regulators have asked Energy Answers for an updated status report on the project, but is saying at this time that the plant emissions would comply with legal limits.
Energy Answers President and CEO Patrick F. Mahoney said the community has been included in planning the trash-to-energy facility. He said the safety and permit violation allegations are "misleading, irrational and not productive."
"Their facts are not accurate," he said to the Baltimore Sun. "I just don't understand the objective of the protest."
Protestors — unhappy enough that Curtis Bay has the highest levels of toxic pollution in the state, and that the property sits less than a mile from a school — sat with State Environment Secretary Benjamin H. Grumbles Tuesday to punctuate their concerns and call for action.
"The Department of the Environment deeply appreciates knowing the views of citizens and advocacy groups on this project," Grumbles said in a statement. "We are committed to following applicable laws and regulations and to ensuring permit conditions are respected and enforced."