State considers lifting 20-year-old trash burning ban - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

State considers lifting 20-year-old trash burning ban

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Massachusetts could start burning solid waste for the first time in 20 years. This comes after the Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell's announcement to lift the moratorium on new incineration facilities in the state.

However, back in 2009, Gov. Deval Patrick promised the moratorium would remain.

On Thursday morning, environmental advocates and Springfield residents gathered outside of the Federal Building on Dwight Street to deliver comments to Springfield's DEP office.  

Over the past two months, more than 10,000 citizen comments opposing the burning of solid waste have been collected.

The group brought a stack of letters signed by more than 90 city businesses against burning trash and in favor of clean air.

The American Lung Association already has given Hampden County a failing air quality grade.

Environmental advocates told CBS 3 that incinerating waste will only make matters worse.

"When you burn trash, you release heavy metals, like mercury, and lead into the air, as well as pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, soot, smog, things that really aggravate folks with respiratory issues," said Claire Miller, Massachusetts State Director for the Toxics Action Center.

The DEP will be taking comments from the public about the moratorium on burning solid waste until March 1.

To make your voice heard about this issue, go to http://www.toxicsaction.org.

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