Mom’s Clean Air Force fights for kids and public health, and against the incinerator

Editors Note: The following is the testimony delivered by Julie to the Frederick County Board of County Commissioners during the “Public Comment” portion of their regular Thursday meeting on May 8, 2014.


Good Morning, commissioners.

My name is Julie Stuart, I’m a mom and I am here today with Mom’s Clean Air Force. Mom’s Clean Air Force is a nationwide community, 200,000 moms deep. Mom’s Clean Air Force is a lot of moms and dads united against air pollution. Our mission is to protect our children’s health by working in our community with community leaders like you to build stronger regulations and policies to protect our children’s breathing air.

brandispeaking250wThis Mother’s Day we are here to ask our community leaders to skip the flowers and candy this year. All moms want for Mother’s Day is clean breathing air for our children. We are asking you to not only consider supporting stronger regulations that would clean up our children’s existing breathing air but more specific to Frederick County, and no surprise, we are asking you to seriously consider taking the opportunity on August 1 to exit the incinerator project at McKinney Industrial Park with zero penalty to the county and its taxpayers and to consider alternatives to incineration.

There is the potential for serious harm to our children’s health from this incinerator. The incinerator will release more than 600 tons annually of toxic and carcinogenic pollutants from the incinerator’s stack, including: lead, mercury and other heavy metals; dioxins; acids and fine particles that are so small that they can penetrate to the deepest space in a child’s lung, and in some cases, pass directly into the blood stream. These types of pollutants have been linked with asthma, heart attack, stroke, cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, learning disabilities, cognitive deficiencies, neuro-motor impairment, reproductive disorders, and they have also been linked with premature death.

wtestack250wMany of these pollutants accumulate and persist in the environment, in the food chain, and in human bodies most vulnerable of course are our children. Some toxins can cross the placenta and harm the developing fetus, or be conveyed in mother’s milk. For some of these pollutants, such as lead, mercury, and dioxin, there is no known safe level of exposure.

The pollution released from the incinerator’s smoke stack is not Mom’s only concern when it comes to air pollution and children’s health. This industrial project is projected to generate more than 60,000 heavy diesel trucks trips on local roads every year, causing even more air pollution in our children’s breathing air. Those trucks would potentially carry to the incinerator enormous quantities of trash, sewage sludge, and tires annually, plus toxic chemicals to be used in operating the incinerator. They would carry away from the incinerator enormous quantities of ash contaminated with dioxin, heavy metals and other highly toxic pollutants.

We would like to note that Frederick County currently fails to meet the federal health-based clean air standard for ozone and fine particle pollution, meaning that our air already is polluted enough to impact our children’s health. This is one reason that the American Lung Association gives Frederick County’s air quality a failing grade, an “F”.

Given these facts, Mom’s seriously object to the continued pursuit of construction of an incinerator in Frederick County.

Lastly, Mom’s are deeply concerned about the serious risks posed by the incinerator considering the project’s proximity to neighborhoods, schools, day care centers, parks, recreation fields, the Monocacy River, and the Monocacy National Battlefield Park.

momscleanairforce250wMom’s are asking commissioners to consider that this facility will not be immune to fires, explosions and failures of their pollution controls. Montgomery County’s Dickerson Facilities Notification Protocol covering that county’s currently operating trash incinerator states that residents who live within three miles of that facility are to be notified by phone, and if necessary through door to door communication, in the event of an emergency at that incinerator site. If constructed, Frederick’s incinerator will be within three miles of approximately 11,000 school children [22 private and public schools] which are located within a three-mile emergency evacuation zone.

Thank you for your time and consideration for our Mother’s Day Request for stronger regulations to protect our children’s breathing air and please consider alternatives to construction of the incinerator. Godspeed to all!

Thank you

Click below to watch Brandi’s public comments to the county commissioners.

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