Since January 2022, SOBE Concerned Citizens has taken on the mission of educating the public and government officials on the dangers of an “advanced recycling” plant proposed by SOBE Energy Solutions in Youngstown, OH. Billing itself as a “chemical recycling” business, the plant aims to superheat chopped-up tires, recycled plastics and computer waste to produce new plastic and carbon black to sell, while providing steam heat from this process, as well as some electricity and mining of cryptocurrencies. SOBE Concerned Citizens argues that the plant is disingenuously describing itself as a “green energy” provider, that will instead release harmful toxins, such as dioxins and furans, into the air. Youngstown is an EPA Environmental Justice Community of Concern – predominantly inhabited by persons of color or a substantial number of whom live below the poverty line and are subjected to a disproportionate burden and reduced quality of life due to environmental hazards.
Through education, organization and advocacy, Lynn Anderson, a group organizer for SOBE Concerned Citizens, works with others to unite residents in opposition to SOBE Energy Solutions’ plans to operate a recycling business that could be environmentally harmful to the community. The group has attended public meetings, hosted Town Halls, provided research and educational materials, created a petition, distributed yard signs and posted a billboard to draw attention to the issue and demand that the plant not be allowed to open. Their actions have met with some success: In a letter to the Ohio EPA, the federal EPA wrote that it “has determined that the draft permitting action raises potential environmental justice concerns” and recommends the Ohio EPA consider modifications before issuing a final permit to SOBE. Pointing out Youngstown’s demographics, the EPA states that the permitting action “may raise civil rights concerns” based on “environmental conditions already facing this community.”
For donations: ℅ TreezPlease, 1330 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505
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Environmental Justice Concerns
Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill, PFAS/PFOS
Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying
501c3 Tax Deductible