A fire at a Doral facility that incinerates about half of Miami-Dade County’s garbage has been burning for nearly a week.
Catch up fast: Roughly 200 firefighters responded to the blaze at the Covanta Energy Incineration Plant on Sunday, which sent black smoke into the sky. The cause of the fire is still unclear.
- Crews started demolishing the warehouse’s walls on Wednesday to reach the center of the fire, the Miami Herald reports.
- As of Thursday, county officials said during a press conference that the fire was still burning in two buildings and 100 firefighters were on scene.
- The county recommends that nearby residents stay indoors to avoid exposure to the smoky air.
Background: The incinerator, built in 1985, burns more than a million tons of garbage annually. Covanta is operating the facility on a five-year contract with the county.
- Nearby residents have long complained about a terrible smell, trouble breathing and the incinerator’s effect on property values. Some have called for it to be shut down.
- Last year, when the facility’s air permit was up for renewal with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, community groups such as Florida Rising spoke out against it.
- Environmental legal nonprofit Earthjustice filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency last March, alleging that the DEP had discriminated against residents of Doral — which has a majority Spanish-speaking population — by not providing information in Spanish during the process.
The latest: Earthjustice is now calling for more transparency about air testing and asking the EPA to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the fire.
What they’re saying: “We are monitoring this to make sure there are no toxic elements,” said county Mayor Daniela Levine Cava.
What’s we’re watching: The county will post updates on the fire here.
Of note: Trash collection is normal, but there could be some delays.
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