Blowin’ smoke 

With the public’s chance to comment on the state operating permit for the Detroit incinerator ending Feb. 28, environmentalists, community activists and ardent fans of fresh air are rallying to get the massive trash oven shut down.

But the new permit is apparently a done deal. Michael Brinker, director of the incinerator authority, said the facility — located on Russell near the intersection of I-94 and I-75 — has been well below federal emissions limits since 1994, when a scrubber was installed at the demand of state authorities. Brinker said the new permit is merely “pro forma” and state officials plan to grant it. Furthermore, the permit won’t alter the incinerator’s operations, but it will increase self-monitoring requirements, said Lillian Woolley, district supervisor for Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division.

Now, don’t you feel better?

It may be a waste of breath, but additional comments can be sent to the Air Quality Division, Department of Environmental Quality, 300 River Place, Ste. 3600, Detroit, MI 48207.

Lisa M. Collins contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]

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