Proposed Youngstown Tires-To-Gas Plant Paused Over Environmental Justice

"The mayor and city council have enacted a one-year moratorium after the EPA raised multiple environmental justice concerns, from toxic air to hazardous waste."

"Officials in Youngstown, Ohio, have dealt a setback to a company’s plan to build and operate a recycled tire waste-to-energy plant near the center of the city and adjacent to a neighborhood of predominantly Black residents, enacting a one-year moratorium on such industrial processes.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown signed the ordinance Dec. 26.

The developer, SOBE Thermal Energy Systems, has proposed turning discarded tires, plastic waste and used electronics into energy at 30 locations, starting with the Youngstown plant situated next to a jail, a Youngstown State University dormitory and a neighborhood where there’s already environmental justice concerns.  The plant would turn the tires into a synthetic gas to be burned to produce steam for  heating and cooling buildings.

But those plans in Youngstown have stirred a robust opposition from local and state environmental and citizens groups, and pushback from some national groups, including Beyond Plastics, a nonprofit activist organization based at Bennington College in Vermont."

James Bruggers reports for Inside Climate News January 3, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 01/04/2024