Intervention Needed to Address Crematory Pollution

Oral arguments are scheduled for March in the appeal over a proposed crematory on York Road in North Baltimore, a contentious issue that has drawn the attention of the community. The recent community meeting at Govans Presbyterian Church, organized by the York Road Partnership and attended by over 160 community members and some Loyola University students, shed light on the concerns and objections surrounding the proposed crematory.

At the meeting, representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment explained the process for writing the air permit for the proposed human crematory at Vaughn Greene Funeral Home. Despite strong community objections, the Baltimore City zoning board approved the request a few years ago, a decision that was upheld by the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. However, legal battles against the decision continue, reflecting the ongoing efforts to address community concerns.

One of the major concerns raised at the meeting is the potential impact of increased traffic pollution from transporting bodies to the proposed crematory, which could harm the Health of residents in the predominantly African-American community. Additionally, the lack of monitoring and enforcement of permit stipulations for crematoria in Maryland has raised questions about the potential environmental and health hazards posed by such facilities.

The issue of environmental justice has also been highlighted in this context, with community members urging state and city officials to take urban environmental problems more seriously. Gov. Wes Moore’s emphasis on environmental justice during his campaign has brought attention to the need for fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws and policies.

The concerns over the proposed crematory in North Baltimore are just a part of the larger environmental justice movement taking place in various communities in Maryland. From Curtis Bay in the south to Govans in the north, residents are coming together to address issues of pollution and environmental health. It is hoped that state officials will prioritize environmental justice legislation in the future to address these pressing concerns.

As the community continues to advocate for their rights and the well-being of their neighborhoods, the issue of the proposed crematory on York Road serves as a reminder of the importance of environmental justice and the need for meaningful community involvement in environmental decision-making processes. It is a call for a more sustainable and equitable approach to urban development and environmental policies.

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