SAUGET, Ill. – The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing a waste incinerator in Sauget, Illinois to emit heavy metals into the air. Dozens of residents gathered outside the plant to protest what they claim is the burning of hazardous waste in their community.
“We are going to fight the good fight and save our community, save our children,” said Mamie Cosey.
Some residents are outraged after the EPA announced it will allow Veolia North America Trade Waste Incineration to relax heavy metal emissions monitoring.
“If they were concerned about the children and seniors they would be glad to put up a monitor,” Cosey said.
Dozens gathered in front of the facility Wednesday in protest with masks on their faces and signs in their hands demanding the EPA reverse its decision.
The EPA released a statement and the new permit goes into effect in July. It will require Veolia to install and operate mercury emission controls on two incinerators that previously did not have mercury controls. The permit continues to include significant improvements to Veolia's feedstream.
“Yesterday, EPA ruled in favor of the company after telling us they considered all viewpoints but they only considered one viewpoint,” said protester Cheryl Sommer.
The facility accepts waste such as explosives, poisonous material for disposal, and reactive metals. The EPA added that the permit will continue to include significant improvements for the company residents disagree.
Fox 2/News 11 reached out to the incinerator company to try and get a response but we’ve yet to hear back. However, in previous reports, Veolia said it worked with the EPA to ensure it was following regulations set under the Clean Air Act.
Meanwhile, residents said they plan to appeal the EPA’s decision.