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New Haven celebrates a victory over a waste plant

The community in New Haven's Annex neighborhood says they are already subject to far too much pollution.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Underneath I-91 on the east side of the Quinnipiac River, you won't see the typical picturesque waterfront. Instead, massive oil storage containers and a waste facility are blocking the view.  When that waste facility planned to process more trash, Eastside residents took a stand.

"It’s a victory for the environment. It’s a victory for the community," said Mayor Justin Elicker. 

The community in New Haven's Annex neighborhood says they are already subject to far too much pollution. When Murphy Road Recycling, LLC put in plans to begin processing out of town residential waste at the facility neighbors said enough is enough.  

"With the state having no meaningful solid waste plan the de facto strategy for handling our waste is to put it into these neighborhoods or neighborhoods very similar to this," said Roger Reynolds of Save the Sound. 

Diverse neighborhoods like New Haven’s east side say they have been carrying the burden of the state’s waste and pollution. It’s a burden that they and some at the state level believe needs to be shared.  

"I think that that’s what we need to look at in terms of where has the health of our citizens already been impaired by decisions made in the past and make sure that that is capped and can’t be added to," said Sen. Martin Looney. 

The fight isn’t over. Rather, it is just beginning for Elm City residents who want to take their waterfront back.

"Look at here. It shouldn’t be like that," said Fereschteh Bekhard. "It should have beautiful buildings people going back-and-forth, using everything and we can do it together."

They hope it gives others a reason to look at the systematic discrepancies in the state’s waste management strategy. 

"I don’t consider this a victory lap I consider this a continuation and reinvigoration of our environmental justice needs that we need to be doing," said Chris Ozyck. 

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