Wheelabrator, which owns a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Baltimore, is suing the Baltimore County government for damages “to exceed $32 million” for not sending enough trash to its facility.
According to The Baltimore Sun, in 2018, the county delivered 65,813 fewer tons of waste than required under its contract with Wheelabrator. In addition, the company alleges in its lawsuit that the county did not deliver enough in the first months of 2019 to be on track to meet the target.
Wheelabrator’s facility in Baltimore has been at the center of controversy lately. In March, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh signed into law the Baltimore Clean Air Act, unanimously passed by the City Council in February. The law is expected to force the closure of two large waste incinerators in the city: Wheelabrator and Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, the nation’s largest medical waste incinerator, which accepts waste from 20 states and Canada.
In February, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) sent a letter to the Baltimore City Council urging it to reconsider its proposed air quality regulations. NWRA said the regulations would require the installation of monitoring equipment that is costly and may not accurately measure the air emissions as required by the rule. NWRA also noted that both facilities are already regulated by strict state and federal regulations.
The Baltimore Sun has more information:
The owner of a waste-to-energy plant in southwest Baltimore is suing the Baltimore County government, saying it reneged on a contractual agreement to send an annual minimum amount of trash to the facility.
In a lawsuit filed Thursday in the Baltimore County Circuit Court, Wheelabrator representatives wrote that a reduction in the amount of trash sent to the incinerator is a breach of a contract, “causing Wheelabrator damages currently estimated to exceed over $32 million.”
According to the lawsuit, Baltimore County signed a contract in 2011 agreeing to send 215,000 tons of waste per year to Wheelabrator in exchange for price reductions.