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Miramar Mayor Messam raises concerns about proposed incinerator site so close to city's border

Miramar getting support in opposition to a proposed incinerator site near their residents
Miramar getting support in opposition to a proposed incinerator site near their residents 03:49

MIAMI - Miami-Dade has a dirty controversy on its hands, where to build a major trash incinerator to replace the one that burned down last year in Doral.

Currently, air quality testing is being done at three proposed sites; the site in Doral where it went up in flames, the defunct Opa-locka West Airport, and an industrial site in Medley.

Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam says he doesn't want the county dumping its trash in Broward's backyard which is what would happen if they choose to build the waste management site next door at the airport site.

"If you're west of I-75 you're going to be impacted. There's probably over, maybe 200,000 to 300,000 Broward County residents that would be within limits of the impact of this facility," said Messam.

On Tuesday, Messam held a news conference to address his concerns about the proposed site being less than a mile from the city's western border. Mayors from neighboring cities, state senators, and environmental activist groups came out to support him.

"You have a site that's already zoned for solid waste (Medley site). You have a willing seller that is available and has offered to the county to sell that sight. So our question is, has Miami-Dade County engaged or responded to that proposal? If selection is coming soon, how can you select the Medley site if you don't have any terms of purchase on the table. Any intent to purchase or some document that states that if we select this site, we'll go there," said Messam.

The airport site, however, is right next to the Everglades which is another reason why Miramar officials don't want the county bringing trash to their backyard. There are more than 30 endangered species living in the Everglades and nearly 60 species of endangered birds in the Miami-Dade, Broward area that would be affected by wind-borne emissions from the proposed incinerator site. 

"The mayor and the commission of Miramar should not be up here saying we don't know if it's going to happen in five minutes, you know, five days, a month, six months. They should have the right, they should be at the table with Miami-Dade County. It's right on their doorstep. This is just not right. I understand borders, I understand where one county ends and the other county begins. But it affects them more than anyone else. The fact that they are blocked out of that conversation is just not right," said Southwest Ranches Mayor Steve Breitkreuz.

The City of Miramar has launched a 'stop the incinerator' campaign.

Miami-Dade's chief operations officer said once the testing is complete, they will bring a recommendation to the board of county commissioners for their consideration. 

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