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E-M:/ Press Release: City of Hamtramck Calls for Incineration Phase out

Enviro-Mich message from RobC313@aol.com

Press Release


City of Hamtramck Calls for Incineration Phase out

What: City of Hamtramck urges MDEQ to phase out municipal incineration.

Why: To protect the environmental health of the community 

When: Tuesday Night 1-29-02

Quotes from: Mayor Gary Zych and Councilman Rob Cedar

For more information contact 
Rob Cedar- 313-365-4722

In a rare unanimous vote the Hamtramck City Council passed a resolution 
calling for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to deny 
the Detroit Municipal Waste Incinerator a full operating permit, asking 
instead for the implementation of aggressive recycling, waste reduction and 

The resolution was introduced by first term Councilman and Director of the 
Hamtramck Environmental Action Team (HEAT) Rob Cedar, who explained saying, 
"The State needs to recognize that there are safer, cheaper and more 
environmentally friendly ways of dealing with municipal waste''.  "As long as 
the state allows this incinerator to operate the surrounding neighborhoods 
will suffer unnecessary health risks"  Adding that "This resolution tells the 
state that we care about the health of our community and want them to take 
the necessary actions to improve the quality of our air."

Hamtramck is an enclave of Detroit and with 25,000 residents is the only 
urban Michigan community with a population growth during the last census.  

Endorsing the resolution, Hamtramck Mayor Gary Zych said: "With the increased 
population in Hamtramck we need to be concerned about keeping our 
neighborhoods safe and attractive. The continued operation of this 
incinerator is in no way attractive and is a health threat to Hamtramck and 
nearby communities."

Less than one half mile upwind of Hamtramck the Detroit incinerator (a.k.a. 
Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Facility) is located near the junction of 
I-94 and I-75.  With a burn capacity of  3600 tons per day it's the largest 
in the U. S and is allowed to emit to the air over 1800 tons per year of 
toxic metals, acid gasses and hazardous chemical compounds including mercury 
and dioxins.  "The Incinerator is located in a predominantly poor and 
minority nighborhood making this an environmental justice issue."  Said Cedar.

The Council Resolution was part of a public comment period regarding the 
MDEQ's review of a new permit that will allow the incinerator to continue 
operation for another five years.  "Meanwhile", says Cedar, Detroit and 
nearby communities barely make and effort to recycle and Toronto is taking 
advantage of Wayne County's cheap landfill space." Not only is the 
incinerator bad for the health of our communities but it has become an 
unnecessary burden on our pocketbooks."  

The Hamtramck Environmental Action Team is a grass roots organization working 
to improve the environmental health and quality of life in the Hamtramck area.

Here is a copy of the Resolution.

A Council Resolution:

Whereas the City Council of Hamtramck is greatly concerned about the quality 
of life and health of our residents,

And whereas the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing a 
Renewable Operating (RO) Permit to be issued to Greater Detroit Resource 
Recovery Facility located at 5700 Russell Street in Detroit, Michigan, also 
known as the Detroit Municipal Incinerator.

And Whereas the Detroit Municipal Incinerator is the largest such incinerator 
in the United States burning 400,000 Tons of waste each year and emitting 
thousands of tons of toxins and air pollutants into our air.

And whereas the City of Hamtramck is directly downwind of the Detroit 
Municipal Incinerator,

And whereas there are readily available less expensive and more 
environmentally friendly methods of waste disposal, 

Therefore, We The City Council of Hamtramck do hereby resolve and request 
that the MDEQ deny the permit for full and continued operation of the Detroit 
Municipal Incinerator and instead implement programs to phase out the use of 
incineration for the disposal of municipal waste. As an alternative we ask 
that you move toward aggressive recycling, waste reduction, pollution 
prevention and appropriate landfilling.

City of Hamtramck

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