Baltimore City Board of Estimates Votes to End Agreement with Energy Answers Incinerator Project
Baltimore City School Board today is ending a similar agreement with the Curtis Bay project
This follows Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee decision in February to end its support for trash burning project
Baltimore City leaders reverse years of support for the troubled Energy Answers trash-burning incinerator, when the Board of Estimates voted to terminate its energy purchasing agreement with the company. The action by the Board of Estimates removes an important source of revenue for the project in the Fairfield neighborhood of far south Baltimore. Additionally, the Baltimore City School Board has decided to end its agreement with the incinerator project as well and is in the process of informing Energy Answers. Students, community members and environmentalists have been protesting the massive waste-to-energy incinerator because it would cause more air pollution to a community that already suffers some of 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 leading to the larger Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee’s decision to end its support for the project. 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.
Josh Acevedo, Free Your Voice leader, “There’s already a lot of pollution and Curtis Bay has been treated like a dumping ground for far too long. Breathing clean air is a basic human right. This milestone shows that the city is acknowledging that this incinerator isn’t a good idea and that there are humans whose lives would be affected if it were to be built.”
Free Your Voice is organizing a celebratory Concert for Fair Development the week of Earth Day on April 25th at Benjamin Franklin High School that will highlight healthy and equitable alternatives including solar farm projects, zero waste reuse and recycling industries, and local agricultural initiatives.
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.”