RI regulators say no to medical waste burning plant

RI regulators say no to medical waste burning plant

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WEST WARWICK — Citing a just-passed state law as well as deficiencies in the proposal itself, environmental regulators have rejected an application for a medical waste-to-energy plant on the East Greenwich town line that was widely opposed by neighbors, elected officials and environmental advocates. 

In a decision released Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Management ruled that MedRecycler-RI’s proposal for a facility that would be the only one of its kind in the nation could not go forward in part because of a bill signed into law on Friday by Gov. Dan McKee that effectively bans high-heat medical waste processing facilities in Rhode Island

The bill, written to stop the West Warwick project, was introduced in February, six months after MedRecycler submitted its final application to the DEM and a month after the agency opened its review period. Although the company has insisted that the law does not apply to its proposal – because it was already well into the permitting process – the DEM, in the decision signed by acting director Terrance Gray, said it believes otherwise. 

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Mellisa Cullwell