CLEVELAND — A standing-room-only crowd of 250 gathered for a public hearing last night on the incinerator proposed by Cleveland Public Power for the Ridge Road Transfer Station. Not one of those attending spoke in favor of the proposal. The Ohio EPA and the Cleveland Division of Air Quality, which are considering an air pollution permit for the incinerator, hosted the hearing.
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.
Dr. Anne Wise works at Neighborhood Family Practice, just blocks from the proposed site. She testified that when one of her patients vacationed to southern Ohio, she didn’t need her oxygen tank, but had to use it again when she came home to Cleveland. Andy Dzurick, who lives a mile from the proposed site, said, “It seems like we’ve got plenty of pollution sources already.” Congressman Dennis Kucinich testified that the incinerator is not an economically or environmentally sustainable way to make electricity or dispose of trash.
Jeff Ramsey, Director of the Detroit Shoreway Development Corporation, said that he was “appalled by the lack of community engagement,” in the decision to build the incinerator. He said Cleveland Public Power was not giving citizens ample time to give their input. Cleveland Councilman Brian Cummins, who represents Cleveland’s 14th ward, called for an extension of the public comment period.
— Nathan Rutz, Cleveland campaign organizer, Ohio Citizen Action
“Critics of Cleveland’s plans to build a $180 million trash-disposal plant on the city’s West Side say even a city air-pollution regulator thinks the plant would spew dangerous emissions. ‘This will be a new, and a large, pollution source,’ George Baker, commissioner of air quality, wrote in a Nov. 23 email that Ohio Citizen Action obtained through a records request and posted Monday on the watchdog group’s website.”
— Thomas Ott, Cleveland Plain Dealer
— Deb Lee, ABC News Channel 5