UPDATED: Setback for Energy Answers' proposed incinerator in Baltimore: purchase contracts terminated

Big news on the proposed trash-to-energy incinerator slated to be built by Energy Answers on Baltimore's Fairfield peninsula: A regional purchasing cooperative of 22 local governments and institutions has decided to end contracts to buy EA's energy, according to a press release issued today by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Integrity Project, which has long opposed the project. (Update: Environmental Integrity Project's Tom Pelton informs City Paper that today's press release was a three-way effort with United Workers and Free Your Voice.)

"The action" by the Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC), the press release says, "removes an important source of revenue for the project," which "students, community members, and environmentalists have been protesting" because "it would cause more air pollution to a community that already suffers some the most toxic air pollution in Maryland."

The students, with guidance from Greg Sawtell of the human-rights group United Workers, have coalesced as Free Your Voice, a protest group. Sawtell says in an email that the BRCPC's decision means Energy Answers has "lost a major portion of their energy buyers while already struggling to secure financing" to proceed with the plant's construction. Meanwhile, Sawtell continues, "students and community members are developing proposals for positive alternatives," such as "a solar farm in Fairfield," and "see this as a major step towards making them a reality." 

UPDATE, Feb. 19: Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) spokeswoman Laura VanWert today provided a statement clarifying, to a point, that BRCPC on Feb. 10 "voted to go in another direction" over its contract with Energy Answers, and "recommended termination" of the contract. Asked whether the vote meant the contract was dead, or whether member jurisdictions now must each take up the question of termination, VanWert said, "I can't answer that question."

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