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Property owner wants Miami-Dade to build new incinerator facility at Medley site

Owners of Medley industrial site want Miami-Dade to build a new incinerator there
Owners of Medley industrial site want Miami-Dade to build a new incinerator there 03:15

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 was, 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.

Miramar launches campaign to stop a trash incinerator from being built near the city 02:59

"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.

The owner of the Medley site wants it there and has put forth an offer to the county that he said should not be refused.

"It is the best economic opportunity for all the residents of Dade County," said Lowell Dunn II, the CEO of D3 Energy.

Dunn's family owns the land for the proposed medley site. He sent a letter to Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and other county officials outlining why he thinks the Medley plant should be chosen.

For one, Dunn said, the site is already zoned for waste by the town of Medley. Secondly, if the county wants to purchase the land, Dunn said it's essentially a no money down deal.

"It's five percent down, five percent carrying costs, and then pay the principal out of the proceeds once the revenue is generated from the waste to energy facility years down the road," said Dunn.

He added that all proceeds from the sale would go to a charitable foundation that supports many local charities.

CBS News Miami's Betty Nguyen spoke to Levine Cava earlier this year about the Medley site. At the time, the mayor said there were some things to consider.

"They are selling us that property versus the airport west site, which is county-owned, and the Doral site, which is county-owned. So that is a factor," she said.

If the county doesn't want to buy the land, Dunn's proposal said the county could create a contract to outsource waste disposal from the medley site.

Dunn said a major consideration should be given to the damage any incinerator could do to the wetlands.

"Our site doesn't have any wetlands," he said.

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. Miramar Commissioner Winston F. Barnes said there are over 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 which would be located about a mile away from city residents.

"To have a nuisance be placed right at the back door doorsteps is just unconscionable," said Messam.

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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