(BALTIMORE – April 22, 2020) – In honor of Earth Day City Council President candidate Carl Stokes is urging Mayor Jack Young to appeal a March 27th federal court ruling that struck down the Baltimore Clean Air Act.
The Act, adopted unanimously in February 2019, was to go into effect this September. It would have forced the closure of the two large waste incinerators in the city unless they comply with modern requirements to monitor, disclose, and reduce their air pollution.
“Baltimore has until next week to do the right thing and stand up for families and children impacted by the waste put out by these incinerators,” said Stokes.
“Asthma and other conditions are exasperated by the polluting of Baltimore’s air and water. We must do better by our children. I am asking Mayor Young to support Baltimore’s Clean Air Act,” he added.
This law affects two waste incinerators: the Wheelabrator Baltimore and Curtis Bay Energy. Wheelabrator burns up to 2,250 tons per day of trash from the City, six Maryland Counties and seven other states. Curtis Bay Energy is the nation’s largest medical waste incinerator and accepts medical waste from 20 states, DC, and Canada.
Neither incinerator has made efforts to try to comply with the law. Instead, they sued the city in April 2019, arguing that the law is illegal. Federal District Court Judge George Russell, III struck down the city law on the basis that it conflicts with state-issued air pollution permits by “prohibiting” and “criminalizing” the levels of pollution allowed under state regulations.
The Baltimore City Council and numerous environmental and health advocates have urged the appeal of the court’s decision.