Waelz Sustainable Products blocked from Polluting Muncie

City Council Institutes Environmental Impact Committee

American Electric Power Agrees to Implement Pollution Control

The Muncie–Delaware County community has two important reasons to celebrate this summer: first, the reversal of a decision that would have damaged public health and well-being, and second, the institution of a governmental safeguard that will help prevent similar threats in the future.

Waelz Sustainable Products (WSP)

Muncie is Safe-r

Waelz Sustainable Products (WSP) sought and received City support for a facility installation at the site of the former Borg-Warner plant. While the project was presented as a positive development for Muncie, as a recycling project that would provide jobs, it would have also led to the release of hazardous environmental pollutants, contaminating the region with lead, mercury, dioxin, and dangerous particulates.

Over 600 local residents turned out to protest the project at the Muncie City Council meeting on August 5th. Also, citizens organized and attended meetings on the issue, signed petitions, wrote letters to the editor, and contacted local and state legislators. In response to overwhelming community opposition, WSP’s plans to install the factory were withdrawn—a big win for area residents, whose lives will be healthier as a result.

But the win didn’t end there. Because residents demonstrated not only that the community is strongly engaged in issues of public health and environmental, but also that elected officials will be held accountable to their constituents for the decisions they make on our behalf, the City Council has instituted an environmental impact committee. This committee will be responsible for reviewing new proposed projects that might negatively affect air, soil, and water quality in the area. Its members are required to seek advice from professionals before making decisions that would affect environmental conditions.

Not only did Muncie and Delaware County citizens successfully overturn a decision that would have compromised our overall health and well-being for years to come, but we also demonstrated that “we, the people” do indeed have a powerful voice—that when we insist on being heard, we can help direct community development in ways that enhance our quality of life rather than jeopardize it.

For more information, follow these links to coverage by the StarPress:

comprehensive collection of links

environmental committee creation

A planned steel-dust recycling facility in Muncie would look similar to this one. (Photo: Waelz Sustainable Products)

AEP Commits to Retire Largest Coal Unit

More good news on the environmental front: American Electric Power Corporation has signed a legal agreement to implement increased pollution controls that will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from its two Rockport power plants in Spencer, Indiana, by at least 58%. Furthermore, one of the two units is scheduled for complete retirement by December 31, 2028, which is expected to prevent the ejection of 9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—the equivalent of removing 2 million cars from the road. In addition, the company will provide $3.5 million to fund projects aimed at improving energy efficiency and pollution reduction.

For more information, see the Sierra Club article at https://www.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2019/07/american-electric-power-commits-retire-largest-coal-unit-beyond-coal-campaign.

Waelz Zinc Processing Facility to Replace Borg-Warner

Muncie City Council tonight voted to assign study of the Waelz Zinc Processing facility to a committee that will invite testimony from scientists and citizens. 

The committee will then recommend a revised ordinance or rescind the original ordinance. 
They will hold a public hearing—date TBA.   

 

Put this on your calendar too!

 Waelz Zinc Processing facility public meeting

Tuesday, August 20

—see notice below-

July 31, 2019 Contact: Ali Alavi - 317-334-7067 WSP understands the concerns being expressed by the Muncie community regarding the proposed new zinc production facility. We want to emphatically reiterate our commitment to the protection of human health and the environment with respect to our planned operation - a core value of the two partners in WSP - and continuing to communicate and engage with our neighbors. We are targeting Tuesday August 20, 2019, for our next meeting with the community during which additional details regarding the project can be presented in a setting more conducive to personal interaction with members of the community. The more intimate setting will allow WSP representatives the opportunity to answer questions, address concerns and provide facts and accurate information we are confident will prove reassuring to its neighbors. We are keenly aware of the specific questions circulating in the community regarding mercury emissions and want to be lear that the facility will operate in compliance with environmental laws and in accordance with air regulations and its final air permit, all of which ensures an operation that protects human health and the envirnment. IDEM will not issue a final air permit without ensuring the safety and health of area residents. We support Representative Errington and Senator Lananes idea of IDEM holding a public hearing when the draft air permit is issued and continuing to carry out its mission of acting in the best interests of the citizens of Indiana.

Muncie City Council Meeting Aug 5, 2019

Various photographers

Girl holds sign with concerns over possible pollution from Zinc Oxide plant
Man wears high quality dust protection mask and protective plastic suit
Boy holds sign that reads “Don’t poison the air. We like it here.”
Man holds sign questioning Muncie allowing Toxic Steel Dust in our community
Boy and man hold signs outside Muncie City Council meeting in protest of Waelz factory
Overflow crowd waiting outside The Muncie City building at Aug 5, 2019 City Council meeting
Rally at Muncie City Council on August 5, 2019

Democracy is not a spectator sport

Videos of the City Council meeting on Aug 5, 2019, coverage of the upcoming meeting on Channel 6, and a video of children chanting “Please don’t poison us!”

Video of The Muncie City Council meeting

Video: After Council President left the building

Channel 6 was covering the rally but missed the fireworks at the end of the meeting.

The Indy Channel

 

Photos from Josh Arthur’s post in Change of Plans Click picture to visit the event on Facebook
  • regulation of pollution sources by control and penalties;

  • inspection and monitoring;

  • full disclosure of pollution data;

  • incentives to accelerate pollution control;

Thanks to the Hoosier Environmental Council, this is for those of you who will want to…

Speak Out for Our National Forests

The Trump Administration is proposing to dramatically weaken the rules that govern environmental review and public input for management activities in America’s national forests. The result, if these changes become final, is that major forest management projects including logging and road building that affect thousands of acres will be virtually exempt from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act. Furthermore, the public will lose its opportunity for meaningful input into these management decisions. For Indiana’s Hoosier National Forest, every logging project over the last 15 years would have been excluded from public comment and environmental analysis requirements under the proposed rules.

Take Action: 

Read our blog and take action today. Comments are due by August 12th.

The blog reference is:

https://www.hecweb.org/2019/07/31/trump-administration-seeks-to-reduce-oversight-and-public-notice-for-national-forest-logging-projects/

At the end of the blog you can click on the “public participation portal” that gets you to a quick way to submit your individual comment. 

 

Liz Solberg and Dave Simcox, on behalf also of Lisa Harris and Jeanette Neagu
LWVIN Natural Resources Advocacy Coordination

Change of Plans: Mercury, Lead in our Systems

 

Josh Arthur > ‎Change of Plans – Mercury, Lead in Our Systems Yesterday at 10:04 AM · Public · in Photos from Josh Arthur’s post in Change of Plans – Mercury, Lead in Our Systems

CITY HALL – MONDAY – 7:30p – 8/5

Please change your Monday plans so you and your people can attend. We want to show 1000 strong in solidarity for the future of our community.

As you’ve read, there are plans for the largest facility emitting airborne mercury pollution in the United States to open on Kilgore. It would be 15th in the United States in lead emissions. That’s 5x more lead than Exide, and 10x more particulates than Exide.

 

*Consider asking council members to reconsider their votes in favor of tax abatement for this proposed facility.*

 

Our council members would love to hear your thoughts about this:

Map of Districts:

http://www.cityofmuncie.com/documents/MuncieCityCouncilDistricts_2017-1.jpg

Districts 1-3

Doug Marshall
District #1
dougmarshall@comcast.net
district1@cityofmuncie.com
(765)702-7951

Dan Ridenour
District #2
dan.ridenour@yahoo.com
district2@cityofmuncie.com
(765)760-2118

Lynn Peters
District #3
district3@cityofmuncie.com
(765)729-8138

Districts 4-6

Brad Polk
District #4
bpolkdist4@gmail.org
district4@cityofmuncie.com
(765)717-5498

Jerry Dishman
District #5
dishjd@netscape.net
district5@cityofmuncie.com
(765)215-9747

Julius Anderson
District #6
jjanders125@gmail.com
district6@cityofmuncie.com
(765)289-6639

Districts At-Large

Denise Moore
At-Large
dmoore1956@hotmail.com
(765)215-1660

Linda Gregory
At-Large
lindagregory@comcast.net
(765)286-2925

Nora Powell
At-Large
npowellmuncie@gmail.com
(765)284-3991

 

Please stay up to date with this event as more content is added.

Further details for the City Council meeting and contacting IDEM are forthcoming on Facebook.

https://m.facebook.com/events/374940503196029/?active_tab=about

Expect Beautiful


2019 White River Cleanup:  September 21

Muncie-Delaware Clean and Beautiful has announced September 21 for the White River Cleanup from 8AM to 12PM at Westside Park.  Registration will be available July 2019.

From beautifulmuncie.org

The White River Cleanup happens each September, and is a statewide public service event stretching along much of the White River.  Many counties including Delaware, Hamilton, Monroe, Madison and Morgan Counties participate in cleaning up the White River on or near the same date.  Thousands of pounds of trash are removed every year including large amounts of tires.

Volunteers walk the bank, river and land where possible removing debris from and around the river. When that is not possible, volunteers use canoes to navigate through the water filling them up along the way with the debris they find.

The White River Cleanup is sponsored by the Stormwater Management Department and organized by Muncie-Delaware Clean & Beautiful.

2019 White River Cleanup:

  September 21

from 8AM to 12PM at Westside Park
Registration will be available July 2019

Muncie-Delaware Clean and Beautiful

Visit

beautifulmuncie.org

 

Ride for the Mounds:

September 14, 2019

Bicycle distances are 15, 25, 45 miles.

Show your support for Mounds Greenway by joining Ride for the Mounds on September 14, 2019, 12 noon, at Canoe Country in Daleville.  Tour the Mounds Greenway Corridor to see all the greenway seeks to conserve and connect.  Bicycle distances are 15, 25, 45 miles.

Canoe Country in Daleville

September 14, 2019, 12 noon, at Canoe Country in Daleville.

Online Information:

http://www.moundsgreenway.com

Email: bweaver@hecweb.org

 

Canoe Country
12 Noon
September 14, 2019

Ride for the Mounds