“Energy Answers” Waste-to-Energy Incinerator Raises More Questions
Energy Answers International has secured a construction permit to build a waste-to-energy incinerator in
Baltimore, just one mile away from Curtis Bay Elementary School and Benjamin Franklin Middle School.1
These incinerators take household and hazardous wastes and burn them to create electricity.
Waste companies, politicians, and other proponents highlight the ability of this technology to move
Maryland towards “zero-waste.”2 But is that really true? What are the real facts about this proposed
Claim: It is a source of clean energy – more favorable than the use of fossil fuels like coal and oil.
o If constructed, this plant could be one of the largest sources of mercury emissions in the state since the
passage of the Maryland Healthy Air Act.3
o Per unit of energy (MWh), the incineration of municipal solid waste produces more carbon dioxide
than the combustion of coal.4
o The dangerous substances in wastes do not disappear when they are burned. Waste incineration emits
gases and ash laden with toxic chemicals and heavy metals that threaten human and ecological health.
o Incineration can release ultra-fine particulate matter (PM) – which is so small that it is one of the most
difficult pollutants to control and one of the most dangerous to human health – even more dangerous
than the particulate matter produced by coal plants.5
o Installing even the most cutting edge pollution control technology does not eliminate toxins – it can
only collect them into concentrated forms that must be land-filled.6
Claim: It decreases the volume of waste that must be handled by the state.
o Burning trash transforms solid waste into gases that enter our atmosphere and negatively impact
human health and the environment. Eventually, in the form of costs incurred by public health
problems and environmental remediation, the state will have to pay for and deal with these wastes.7
o The goal of “zero waste” in Maryland will not be met by waste incineration. Instead, this will create an
energy generation process that demands the continued production of wastes and the importation of
waste from other states.
o We can truly achieve “zero waste” only by encouraging reuse, recycling, and composting.8 If national
recycling rates were to double, over 1 million new green jobs could be created.9
Despite how this waste incinerator will unequally risk the health of some citizens so that others may profit,
certain Maryland politicians are supporting it as a quick and easy way to meet state renewable energy
Act now: Urge Governor Martin O’Malley to reverse course on his support for this trash incinerator and to
stop incentivizing incineration in the state of Maryland. Sign the petition here:
CCAN is committed to pushing the state of Maryland farther in production and development of
real clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels for the health of our communities and our
environment. For more information, contact Leslie Morrison by email at
[email protected] or by phone at (240)-396-2140.
Bay Energy. About Us.
A. E. 2011. Environmentalists urge O’Malley to veto waste-to-energy bill.
3Environmental Integrity Project. 2010. June 10, 2010.:
4Environmental Protection Agency. 2007. Clean Energy: Air Emissions.
5Allsopp, M., Costner, P. & Johnston, P. 2001. Incineration and Human Health.
6Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives. 2008. Incinerators Trash Community Health.
7Allsopp, et al., above n 5.
8Greenpeace. Pollution and health impacts of waste incinerators.
9Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, above n 6.