LEAD CONCERNS FUEL FIGHT VS. INCINERATOR
Residents say plant is source of another public health issue.Karen Yi For The Star-Ledger
The mid-November snow whipped across their faces, piling on their hats and coats. But the kids were undeterred.
“Newark is (at) risk right now. Our air is not good enough,” 12-year-old Al Tyquan Pickett said before jumping on his bicycle and joining his friends congregating on Cortland Place.
Hours before the city’s roadways began to clog amid the snowstorm, dozens of students and their parents marched a mile from their neighborhood toward Covanta, the garbage incinerator operating in the industrialized section of the Ironbound, to demand cleaner air.
The waste-to-energy plant emits lead, dioxin and other pollutants, but Covanta officials say they’re operating well below allowable emissions — and are continuing to improve.
“This would not be allowed in a rich, affluent neighborhood,” said Maria Lopez, director of environmental justice and community development for the Ironbound Community Corp., the group that organized the protest. “They would never have a garbage incinerator burning trash a walkable distance from the elementary school.”
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