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The Dripby Ian Round7:15 pmAug 17, 20200

End negotiations with Wheelabrator, City Council tells Young

Lame-duck mayor should instead defend Baltimore’s Clean Air Act during his final months in office

Above: A “die-in” protest outside of Wheelabrator’s trash incinerator last month. (Brew file photo)

The Baltimore City Council told Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young to end negotiations with Wheelabrator Technologies, operator of the BRESCO trash incinerator.

Unanimously passing a resolution at tonight’s meeting, the Council also called on the mayor to defend the Baltimore Clean Air Act against a legal challenge by Wheelabrator in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Councilman Ed Reisinger, who sponsored the resolution and the Clean Air Act, said negotiating with Wheelabrator does not “make any financial, health or environmental sense.”

“Extending it will cost us money, but will also make us lose our chance for zero waste,” added Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

Under Scutiny

Young has been feeling the heat from clean air and zero waste advocates after Mike Ewall, of the Energy Justice Network, reported that the mayor’s office was negotiating an extension to the incinerator’s contract.

A few days later, protesters for zero waste took their boldest action yet, blocking trucks from entering or exiting the South Baltimore facility for two hours.

Ewall today called on the city to “zealously defend the Baltimore Clean Air Act, to support clean air, health and environmental justice, and zero waste.”

Former mayoral candidate Thiru Vignarajah weighed in as well, circulating an email he sent to Young, whose term as mayor ends in December, and Acting City Solicitor Dana Moore.

“Please terminate the current negotiations, allow any subsequent negotiations to be done openly and in plain view of the public, or simply do no harm and allow your successor to conduct these negotiations on behalf of the city in just a few short months.

“Anything short of this,” Vignarajah warned, “should not be your parting environmental legacy.”

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