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Sobe Concerned Citizens

STOP SOBE Campaign

We, SOBE Concerned Citizens, stand united in opposition to the toxic, unwanted "advanced recycling" plant proposed by SOBE Energy Solutions, because it is an untested, dangerous set of technologies to be shoved in right next to our revitalized downtown and into our US EPA- designated Environmental Justice Community of Concern. We condemn SOBE’s “greenwashing” of their toxic technology-calling it “green energy” and we refuse to let their attempt at environmental racism hurt our beloved community.

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our vision

We are proud members of the Mahoning Valley and we applaud the area's commitment to green energy, environmental recovery, and rebuilding downtown Youngstown into a vibrant, multicultural center. We know that the future of our area is in clean, green, and healthy development, not toxic and unsafe technologies like those SOBE proposes.

our concerns

Because SOBE intends to profit as a “chemical recycling” business, superheating chopped up tires, recycled plastics and computer waste to make carbon black, synthetic gas and more plastic: 

  • We are endangered by an industrial site prone to explosion and fire being placed next to our revitalized downtown

  • We are endangered by the day to day toxic pollution this plant will generate compromising the health of our neighborhoods 

  • We are endangered by the usurping of funds that could be used to employ our citizens in green sustainable jobs being used by a dangerous polluter



Brightmark "Advanced Recycling” plant that was superheating plastics to create fuel in Ashley, Indiana explodes and burns May 14, 2021. Photo courtesy of Mike and LeeAnne Foulk.

We placed a billboard near SOBE's proposed site

We provided yard signs to Youngstown residents

We continue to demand that regulatory agencies and officials represent the citizens of
Youngstown and Lowellville by prohibiting an untested, unsafe operation near people

OUR actions


SOBE Concerned Citizens have united Youngstown residents in opposition to this plant by organizing meetings, providing research and educational materials and hosting our own Town Halls. We have attended meetings of the Public Utilities Committee of the Youngstown City Council in November 2021, and July and November of 2022.


We organized an October 12, 2022 public meeting where 75 residents listened and questioned some City Council members, SOBE CEO David Ferro and Buckeye Environmental Network Organizer Teresa Mills about the process. Attendees could take yard signs that said Stop SOBE.In January, 2022 we placed a billboard on Belmont Ave., shown at left.SOBE Concerned Citizens (SCC) and ACTION wrote letters to Youngstown's mayor signed by many residents, voicing opposition to the plant. A larger public meeting was held January 9th at the Covelli Center, resulting in a scheduled meeting with Mayor Brown for February 7. Another public meeting was held February 17th after the East Palestine train derailment showed the similar types of chemicals that could be released at this plant were in the emissions from the controlled burn. SOBE Concerned Citizens continued to speak at city council meetings and meet with neighborhood groups, and did a calling campaign to the OH EPA.


On March 30, a Town Hall meeting was held at the Dorothy Day house where the President of City Council, Tom Hetrick presented the zoning opinion petition and SCC organized to get signatures. From April 1 until May 2, 553 residents signed, and we presented these petitions to Mayor Brown on May 9, 2023. On April 22 Tom Hetrick sent THIS LETTER to the OH EPA. It included all of the areas of concern that SCC and the residents of Youngstown and Mahoning County have with this dangerous, polluting, untested proposed process. On May 18, 2023 SCC held a press conference where he read the response from the OH EPA which says that if a locality determines a location is not zoned for industry, it cannot be placed there. READ HERE

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