Metro-East News

Residents plan to protest hazardous waste burning near East St. Louis

United Congregations of Metro-East will host events Tuesday in an effort to draw attention to a facility in Sauget that burns hazardous waste.
United Congregations of Metro-East will host events Tuesday in an effort to draw attention to a facility in Sauget that burns hazardous waste. United Congregations of Metro-East Facebook page

Residents say environmental regulators have all but given a pass to operators of a hazardous waste incinerator that causes health problems in the area.

Events in East St. Louis on Tuesday will attempt to draw attention to the issue as residents urge further regulations on the Veolia North America-Trade Waste Incineration facility.

The facility accepts waste such as propellants and explosives, reactive metals and poisonous materials for disposal, according to the company’s website.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a proposed permit for the facility, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Concerned residents say the permit goes too far in allowing Veolia to contribute to poor air quality, according to the United Congregations of Metro-East, the group hosting the events.

In the proposed permit, Veolia agreed to install improved mercury emission controls on two incinerators that don’t have them, according to the permit.

An Environmental Protection Agency hearing will be held at 5 p.m. at the East St. Louis Higher Education Center (601 James Thompson Blvd., Building D, Room 2002). A showing of the documentary “Reinventing Power Good Shepard of Faith United Church of Christ” will follow from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 1514 Kansas Ave. in East St. Louis. A media event will precede the events at 4:15 p.m. at the education center.

The United Congregations of Metro-East is an interfaith and multiracial organization that aims to improve social injustice in the metro-east region.

Paris, France-based Veolia is an environmental services company offering waste and water management, transport and energy services.

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