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NEW: Controversial EP Debris Recycling Plant Expansion Bill Faces Vote

Thursday, April 14, 2011

 

An East Providence construction debris recycling site that faces severe neighborhood and city opposition to its expansion is targeted by a bill that faces a vote today at the General Assembly.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on legislation sponsored by Sen. Daniel Da Ponte (D-Dist. 14, East Providence, Pawtucket) addressing issues relating to the TLA/Pond View facility next to Omega Pond.

The bill (2011-S 0184) bans any debris processing facility within 1,000 feet of a residential area -such as TLA/Pond View- from processing more than 150 tons of waste per day. TLA/Pond View currently processes 500 tons of waste per day and is seeking to expand operations to 1,500 tons per day. The bill would return TLA/Pond View to its previous workload of 150 tons of waste per day.

“This is a quality of life issue, and for those who live surrounding TLA/Pond View, their quality of life has certainly been negatively affected due to TLA’s presence and practices. No one is looking to drive TLA out of business, but there are serious issues present, most notably a rising trend of respiratory problems within the neighborhood. In order for TLA/Pond View to continue operating in the area, all health and environmental problems must be taken care of,” said Da Ponte.

An official decision on the expansion of the site is currently undergoing review before the Department of Environmental Management.  The state Attorney General's office and EP City Council have joined the local citizens group East Providence Coalition in legal action against the expansion proposal.

A recent press event protesting the expansion by TLA/Pond View was led by the EPC, a neighborhood organization that opposes the expansion, citing issues of noise, foul odors and increased traffic.

EPC member Jo-Ann Durfee noted that she lives within 700 feet of the facility, and that the Myron Francis Elementary School lies 1,500 feet away.  She now feels intimidated by the close proximity of TLA/Pond View, never mind the possibility of a site nearly tripled in capacity.

“We are prisoners in our own homes,” she said.

 

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