My name is Destiny Watford and I am a leader with United Workers and Free Your Voice. I want you all to mark down Tuesday Dec. 15th on your calendar as a crucial day for the future of Maryland. The fight to stop the incinerator is far from being over. In fact, Energy Answers has claimed that they’re going to start construction in 2016. Despite the fact that Baltimore City and 22 public entities have withdrawn their support of the project, and despite our clear message that the incinerator will put our lives at risk, and the vast number of community members that have stated that they don’t want the project to continue and have been developing positive alternatives. On top of all of this, E.A.’s permits, which they need to construct, have expired. Despite all this the incinerator still plans to continue. The Maryland Department of the Environment, MDE, whose sole job is to protect the environment and the lives of ALL Marylanders, is allowing the project to continue. MDE’s own site inspection reports confirm that, “Energy Answers has not performed any additional work since MDE’S LAST INSPECTION OF NOV 1ST 2013”. So, it’s clear that E.A. hasn’t constructed since Nov. 2013, which means, right now - as you’re reading this - their permit has expired. So, why has MDE not taken action?
Since August, we’ve consistently asked MDE to enforce the law--we wrote letters, thousands of people signed petitions, people created video testimonies stating why the incinerator shouldn’t be built and their longing for positive alternatives to it. Since then, MDE’s response has been silence. MDE’S mission, as I have stated, is to protect our health. So, when thousands of people express concerns and disapproval of a project that could put their lives and lives of the people they love at risk - and has been recognized nationally as a major environmental justice issue - silence is not an option. With the unrest and uprising in Baltimore deep-rooted injustices have been exposed - the incinerator is one of many. The world is watching Baltimore and how we respond to the injustices we face. For MDE to remain silent is unacceptable. So, how do we break this silence?
All of those petitions, letters, and video testimonies are serious acts of democratic participation that come with an expectation. We’ve waited long enough for a simple response. Now, we are giving MDE until Tuesday December 15th to enforce the law.
On the 15th, every single person who has taken the time to share their concerns and expectations with MDE will follow through on them. Everyone who has been involved in this fight will come together at MDE headquarters on 1800 WA Blvd - the big Montgomery Park Building, to demand that MDE do the right thing, act on the facts, and enforce the law. It’s time to act.
1800 Washington Blvd
Baltimore , MD 21230
Google map and directions