Accomplishments of C-4 and the Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living
...and other victories that came in the years following CRCQL and C-4's work
- September 2005: Clean Metal, LLC shut down.
This messy operation that recycled metals out of Covanta's incinerator ash operated for 2-3 years without a permit, then closed down soon after being granted a permit by DEP. This plant was also subject to protest by Chester residents and the Laborer's International Union Local 413.
- December 9, 2002: DEP Denies tire-burning permit to Kimberly-Clark Tissue Corporation (formerly Scott Paper) paper mill.
After test burning tires for fuel in the plant in 1999 (and finding a 4,000% increase in dioxin emissions), Kimberly-Clark tried to get a permit to burn tires on a regular basis. Thankfully this was stopped by DEP (after protests by CRCQL and the Laborer's International Union Local 413). The company later appealed this denial and settled.
- June 10, 1998: Ogborne Construction/Demolition Waste Transfer Station Defeated!
Ogborne Waste Removal, a local waste company based in Chester (the one where the president of the company drove a waste truck through a line of protestors a few years ago) wanted to build and operate a 200 ton per day construction & demolition (C&D) waste transfer station.
- April 2, 1998: Students Storm RR&Z Office Building
University of Pittsburgh Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) organized a rally and protest in Pittsburgh to show their disapproval of RR&Z's blatant abuse of Chester, PA. Along with activists from Chester, Pitt SEACers led a peaceful demonstration in the offices of RR&Z, only to be led out by security about an hour later. They continued their protest outside of the offices while collecting signatures and letters from passerby.
- December 30, 1997: Federal Court Gives Green Light to Environmental Racism suit against PA DEP!
This landmark victory upholds the environmental racism case and sets the precedent that a community doesn't need to prove that this type of discrimination is intentional. (Unfortunately, on a technicality, the Supreme Court later declared the case moot -- because Soil Remediation Systems, the subject of the lawsuit, withdrew their permit application -- and "set aside" this tremendous court victory, requiring that the precedent be set again. The defeat of the proposed Soil Remediation Systems facility, which would have burned off toxic gases from contaminated soil, was itself a major victory.
- December 18, 1997: Chester Residents Win Case Against DELCORA!
The settlement with the DELCORA sewage treatment plant & sludge incinerator will require new pollution controls and will help the fund a Children's Lead Poisoning Prevention Program for the community.
- November 7, 1997: Cherokee Biotechnology plant defeated!
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection denied a permit
to Cherokee Biotechnology for their proposed contaminated soil bioremediation plant. This is the first time that DEP denied a pollution permit to a corporation targeting Chester. The reasons for their denial depended heavily on corporate non-compliance history exposed by citizen activists. Chester Residents particularly thank the Environmental Background Information Center for their valuable research help. The real (unofficial) reason that the permit was denied surely had a lot to do with the fact that DEP is being sued for environmental racism by Chester Residents.
- January 23, 1997: Delaware Solid Waste Authority votes to stop sending waste to
Chester's incinerator! This accounts for 25% of the incinerator's waste stream. (note: this victory was short-lived, in that the new incinerator owner, American Ref-Fuel cut a deal with the DSWA a few months after this declaration.)
- January 16, 1997: Pet Crematory beaten!
A pet crematory proposed by Dr. Rebbecchi from Philadelphia was defeated.
Last Thursday (1-16-97) at a Zoning Hearing mtg, he withdrew his
application after lots of opposition. The Chester Residents Concerned for
Quality Living (CRCQL) did a lot of education and outreach, speaking to
local businesses and residents and gathering much opposition. Dr.
Rebbecchi declined to meet with CRCQL & local businesses when offered.
- November 30, 1996: Soil Remediation Services (SRS) is defeated!
SRS lost their DEP air permit when it ran out today. They
might appeal it to the EHB (Environmental Hearing Board), but they'll
likely be turned down. If they want another permit, they'll have to
reapply under more stringent regulations. SRS is appealing the expiration of their permit.
- November 22, 1996: Protest in Delaware State's Solid Waste Authority, resulting
in meetings that led up to the Authority's decision to stop sending waste to Chester.
- April 22, 1996 (Earth Day): Held the only Earth Day activity in Harriburg,
a press conference in the state capital followed by a protest against the
Department of Emissions Permitting
(they call themselves the Department of Environmental Protection!).
- April 12, 1996: Brought students from as far as Delaware, New York and
throughout Pennsylvania to protest at the corporate headquarters of
Russell, Rea & Zappala
in Pittsburgh (the firm behind the cluster of waste facilities in Chester, PA).
- 1995: Thermal Pure, the nation's largest medical waste autoclave, shut down. Later attempts by California-based Ally Capital Corp to reopen the plant failed early in the permitting process and the building was ultimately town down.
- 1994: Chester passes one of the most novel zoning ordinance changes, with language that prevents companies from locating certain types of waste facilities in the city unless they can prove that they will not create a net increase in pollution. [This was later watered down in 1999.]
Return to the Environmental Racism in Chester Homepage