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Youngstown City Council, Mayor Applauded for Using Zoning Regulations, Moratorium Ordinance to Bar Pyrolysis from Youngstown, Ohio 

Updated: Mar 16

SOBE Concerned Citizens Applaud Youngstown City Council and Mayor for Using Zoning Regulations and a Moratorium Ordinance to Prevent Toxic Air Pollution In Youngstown, Ohio 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2024

Contact:

SOBE Concerned Citizens:

Lynn Anderson   330-792-0428

Susie Beiersdorfer   330-881-1050

 

YOUNGSTOWN- SOBE Concerned Citizens want to keep the community informed about the status of preventing SOBE Thermal Energy’s expansion to industrial operations at 205 North Avenue next to our revitalized downtown area.

 

Many citizens have voiced concerns that the February 14, 2024 issuance of a final air pollution permit by the Ohio EPA to SOBE Thermal Energy allows the business to proceed with its plans. An overwhelming amount of public comments in opposition to the OH EPA draft air pollution permit were submitted by many residents and local and state-wide organizations. Additionally, the US EPA, which classifies Youngstown as an Environmental Justice (EJ) community, notified the OH EPA on September 11, 2023 that they needed to more thoroughly address the EJ concerns. Nonetheless, the OH EPA granted SOBE Thermal Energy the air pollution permit, stating that they are “obligated” to grant this permit.

 

SOBE Concerned Citizens believe that local control measures put in place, which include the Mixed-Use Community zoning designation and the one year moratorium ordinance passed by Youngstown City Council, are sufficient to render SOBE Thermal Energy’s industrial expansion plans null and void. Specifically, the zoning regulations state that the SOBE location is in a Mixed-Use Community Zone and cannot expand and intensify its industrial operations, but is “grandfathered in” as a steam heating and cooling utility. In late December 2023, Youngstown City Council passed a year-long moratorium on pyrolysis and gasification in Youngstown and will continue to protect our citizens from toxic air, water, and soil pollution caused by for-profit businesses trying to locate in our city. The Mayor and the City Council have joined with SOBE Concerned Citizens to make sure that our residents' health and safety are preserved and that our community is not turned into a “Sacrifice Zone.”SOBE Concerned Citizens continue to inform and unite Youngstown residents in protecting our community from toxic air pollution. We reiterate that SOBE Thermal Energy can produce steam heat only as they applied to do with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Zoning Map Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u58aQhF0syzK8oiT9I6lWKpH9pmnXik5/view?usp=sharing



Read the Moratorium Ordinance passed by City Council and signed into law by the Mayor  December 26, 2023: https://www.stop-sobe.com/post/emergency-ordinance-passes-with-unanimous-vote-by-youngstown-ohio-city-council-dec-20-2023-placi

Contact and information: SOBE Concerned Citizens and Sustainable Youngstown’s phone number: 330-333-8410 FaceBook page www.facebook.com/sustainableyoungstown and website: https://www.stop-sobe.com


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