Protest Planned Against Hazardous Waste Facility Proposed For Hartford
By DAVID FUNKHOUSER
October 10, 2008
The organizers of a protest planned for next week are hoping to light a fire under residents and officials to oppose a hazardous waste transfer facility in Hartford's South Meadows.
Heritage-Crystal Clean of Illinois wants to operate a warehouse at 94 Murphy Road to store hazardous waste such as used motor oil and solvent cleaners collected from around the Hartford area.
Members of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice say that's one dangerous and polluting facility too many in the city.
The city already is home to a sewage treatment plant, a sewage sludge incinerator, a garbage-fueled power plant, two recycling centers and two landfills. Coalition members say these put an unfair health burden on city residents from air pollution, noise and traffic.
"We know you have to make all these things and get rid of them, but we don't have to have them all in Hartford," said Dawn Simonsen of the coalition.
The coalition will stage a "die-in" and set some brake fluid ablaze to dramatize the possible effects of an accident or fire at the proposed facility.
The protest is slated for 4 p.m. Tuesday at Constitution Plaza, just before a planning and zoning commission meeting. The coalition will ask the panel to ban hazardous waste storage and disposal facilities from the city.
The company needs permits from the commission and the state Department of Environmental Protection and plans to seek those within a few weeks, said company Vice President Catherine McCord.
Heritage-Crystal Clean's transfer center would send two trucks a day to area businesses to collect the waste. Every 10 days, a semitrailer truck would cart the waste to a facility in Philadelphia.
"We're taking hazardous waste out of the community," McCord said.
She said she has met with members of the coalition and would be willing to meet again. The company, McCord said, sought advice from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which led them to Murphy Road.
McCord said the materials are kept in drums that would not be opened at the Murphy Road site.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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