The operators of a controversial trash-burning power plant planned in Fairfield in South Baltimore would get a larger ratepayer-paid subsidy if Maryland lawmakers approve pending legislation to boost facilities that generate electricity by burning trash, The Baltimore Sun reports today.
The Maryland Senate has already passed a bill that would effectively increase subsidies to the state’s three waste-to-energy facilities (Baltimore’s RESCO plant as well as incinerators in Harford and Montgomery counties.)
Still pending, the Sun reports, is the House of Delegates’ version of the bill, which would also apply to the 120-megawatt facility planned by New York-based Energy Answers International on the site of a former chemical plant near South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
Environmentalists, including lawyers from the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project, have been trying to block the project, saying that it will burn fuels that could include old tires and other car parts and that it will release as much as 240 pounds of health-harming mercury annually.
Energy Answers says the facility is designed to be non-polluting and helps the environment by using material that would otherwise fill landfills. They cite the jobs the project would bring to the area.