Thursday, August 10, 2023

Public Ohio EPA Hearing Aug 10 2023 re: SOBE tire pyrolyzing in Youngstown


We invite you to join us at Ohio EPA PUBLIC MEETING Thurs., August 10, 6:00 pm
Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center
903 Otis Street, Youngstown, OH 44510


Make sure to tell all of your family, friends and neighbors to submit their concerns via email or mail (postmarked by Aug. 24, 2023!)(addresses below)
Email or Mail Comments & Questions to Ohio EPA: [Erik Bewley]

Write the Ohio EPA: "Do NOT issue permit to SOBE!"

Andrew Hall
Permit Review/Development Section
50 West Town Street Suite 700
PO Box 1049   
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
Ohio EPA DAPC, Northeast District Office
2110 East Aurora Rd.
Twinsburg, OH 44087

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Hello friends,

We are reaching out as we try to connect the folks and organizations working and/or concerned about stopping SOBE’s pyrolysis plant next to revitalized downtown Youngstown. 

You may have seen some of this information but we are compiling it in one place for easier share-ability. 

Hope you can attend the meeting and can help to get the word out.

PLEASE, if you know of others who could weigh in on this DRAFT permit, forward this blog post to them.


Materials to Share:

DRAFT permit from OH EPA for the SOBE plant

For more information about SOBE, citizen’s actions and other info, visit us at:
Sobe Concerned Citizens of Youngstown   facebook:

Submit public Comment to OH EPA using a form:

Submit public Comment to PUCO (Public Utilities Commission) using their form - explained here:

Zoning Petition urging NO industrial variance be granted to this pyrolysis plant:  pdf
Frequently asked questions about the SOBE proposed site via OH EPA:  pdf

Thursday Aug 17, 6 pm - 8 pmSOBE Concerned Citizens are having a “Public Comment Party” to generate public comments to send to the OH EPA. Lite refreshments served.
Dorothy Day House

620 Belmont Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

SOBE Concerned Citizens & Dorothy Day Public Townhall on proposed incinerator in heart of downtown Youngstown, Ohio

SOBE Concerned Citizens & Dorothy Day will hold Public Townhall on the proposed SOBE incinerator in the heart of downtown Youngstown.
WHEN: Thursday, March 30, 2023 6:00pm – 7:30pm
WHERE: Dorothy Day House - Youngstown, 620 Belmont Ave, Youngstown, OH 44502

Guest speaker Sil Caggiano, a HazMat expert, will discuss the Norfolk Southern train derailment disaster in East Palestine, Ohio and similar possible air emissions from the SOBE incinerator project, including the similarity of the toxic chemicals released at the East Palestine controlled burn after the train derailment.

Presentation of the US EPA EJ[Environmental Justice] Screen and tutorial on how to use it.

Refreshments will be served

MORE INFO:  330-333-1264

SOBE Concerned Citizens & Dorothy Day Public Townhall on proposed SOBE incinerator in heart of downtown Youngstown, Ohio
6 PM March 30, 2023
SOBE Concerned Citizens & Dorothy Day Public Townhall on proposed SOBE incinerator in heart of downtown Youngstown, Ohio

For More Info:
FOLLOW Sustainable #Youngstown on facebook at
“SOBE NO WAY!” Billboard unveiling at Belmont and Burlington, Youngstown, Ohio!
Billboard unveiling at Belmont and Burlington, Youngstown, Ohio!

SOBE Concerned Citizens Public Town Hall Meeting
“Preventing Toxic Air Pollution In Youngstown and Lowellville, Ohio
Thursday March 30, 2023
6:00 p.m.– 7:30 p.m.
The Dorothy Day House, 620 Belmont Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502
Free to public, pizza and refreshments served


March 27, 2023


Lynn Anderson:  Sustainable Youngstown 330-333-1264

Susie Beiersdorfer, OHCRN,  330-881-1050

YOUNGSTOWN- On Thursday, March 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. concerned citizens will gather to discuss information gathered and actions being taken by the community to stop a facility that will superheat tires to create fossil fuel synthetic gas to sell and to burn for producing steam heat, next to downtown Youngstown. Sil Caggiano, retired Youngstown Fire Dept. battalion chief and HazMat expert, will speak about the toxic chemicals released from the East Palestine train derailment controlled burn and similarities to a pyrolysis plant accident that would release the same type of toxic air emissions. See website:

The CEO of SOBE Energy Solutions announced publicly on February 20 he will build another plant to superheat computer waste and recycled plastics in Lowellville. Previously the business plan he presented to the public detailed that warehouses for chopping up tires and plastics would be located there and pyrolysis would happen in Youngstown. SOBE Energy Solutions is located in Dublin, Ohio but seeks to operate here. The US EPA classifies Youngstown as an Environmental Justice community. Congress has warned that polluting pyrolysis plants are targeting “disadvantaged communities” across the U.S.

In November of 2021, PUCO granted a permit to purchase the defunct Youngstown Thermal, LLC that provided steam heat to downtown buildings to SOBE Energy Solutions of Dublin, Ohio. It has come to light that SOBE misrepresented their business plan, submitting their application as SOBE Thermal, a heating and cooling company.  The CEO, David Ferro, has said in two public meetings before Youngstown citizens that his business will make money by super-heating chopped up tires, recycled plastics and computer waste to produce synthetic gas (syngas), new plastic, and carbon black for sale, plus sell electricity to a subcontractor to mine cryptocurrency.  He said they would also provide steam heat to Youngstown buildings. Residents questioned the SOBE CEO due to concerns that their permit from PUCO is only for a steam heating/cooling plant, not an industrial plant producing these products for profit. 

SOBE Concerned Citizens is informing and uniting Youngtown residents in protecting our community from toxic air pollution. We are demanding that this business produce steam heat only as they applied to do with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). We are telling the US EPA to codify into law "Interim Environmental Justice and Civil Rights in Permitting” policy and take immediate action to stop granting permits to these type of “advanced recycling” businesses. We stand with the 48 Congress people and Senators who wrote to the US EPA: ”As our transportation, energy, and industrial sectors transition to clean energy, the oil and gas industry is doubling down on petrochemicals and plastics, with plans to substantially expand production in the United States. These new facilities will release toxic pollutants that will disproportionately impact the communities living in and around the facility and produce additional greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.”

February 9, 2023 Letter to US EPA from Congress and Senate:

SOBE Concerned Citizens and Sustainable Youngstown’s phone number: 330-333-1264
Sustainable Youngstown’s FaceBook page:




Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Bill Dale (Beach Buddies) Oct 20, 2021 speaker 7pm at YSU: "Our planet and how the young generation can change the future"

Bill Dale of the Isle of Man in the British Isles, the founder of Beach Buddies and a recent recipient of the British Empire Medal, visits us virtually this week as part of the Dr. Ray's Energy & the Environment Speaker Series at Youngstown State

Dale speaks 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, in Room B100 of Cushwa Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

**Pre-registration is required only to join us virtually/online as a webinar:

Event via facebook:

In October 2006, Dale founded Beach Buddies, an organization devoted to cleaning the beaches on the Isle of Man, an island of about 85,000 residents located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland.
Today, the group has more than 8,000 volunteers, and Dale says the island’s beaches are the cleanest in Great Britain, and probably all of the world. In 2016 Beach Buddies was recognized by UNESCO Biosphere as “an excellent example” of how to tackle the problem of marine litter on the world’s beaches. Queen Elizabeth has honored the organization for “Services to the Marine Environment.”

A native of the Isle of Man, Dale is a former journalist, newspaper editor, ferry boat operator, bricklayer, electrician, plumber, footballer, shark watcher and architect. Today he is a regular
guest speaker and is currently in the middle of a new education program in schools designed to raise awareness of the danger to the environment and wildlife by careless litter disposal.

For more information on Beach Buddies, visit


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Concerned Citizens Say Public Meeting Needed Since Carcinogenic Chemicals Have Been Found in Youngstown Drinking Water

News Release:
Frackfree Mahoning Valley
Frackfree America National Coalition, based in Youngstown, Ohio
For Immediate Release: November 19, 2019
Contact: Lynn Anderson, M.Ed. Phone: 330-792-0428 or 234-201-8007
 Concerned Citizens Say Public Meeting Needs to be Held Since
Carcinogenic Chemicals Have Been Found in Youngstown's Drinking Water
Concerned citizens want to hear Youngstown Public Water’s plan to provide filtration to all their customers to eliminate the cancer risk caused by the chemicals now found in our drinking water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database Update(1), released October 22, 2019, revealed that Youngstown City Public Water System contains 7 cancer-causing chemicals. The City's water supplier, Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD) does not test for the first 6 of the following:

1. Bromodichloromethane
2. Dibromochloromethane
3. Trichloroacetic Acid
4. Chloroform
5. Hexavalent Chromium
6. Dichloroacetic Acid
7. Total Trihalomethanes

When we examined the MVSD website to see what they do test for we were horrified that they have listed "fracking lab results" and show how much Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, Xylene and Bromide is currently in our drinking water.
We are concerned that the Trihalomethanes previously determined to be present in our drinking water at unsafe levels now contain the more dangerous brominated forms.
Youngstown Public Water Engineer Dan Blakely sent a letter to all customers in September 2015 when the U.S. EPA cited them for unsafe levels of trihalomethanes in our drinking water. It warned that drinking this water over time could cause cancer.
Given the well-known events in Flint, Michigan resulting in the contamination of their water supply, what concerns us most is the possibility of a similar pattern of dismissal of citizen concerns by state and local officials.
We need officials to take action to protect the public health and safety immediately.
We would like to ask for a public meeting to be held within the first two weeks of December to address this serious issue. We would like to invite James W. Jones, Chief Water Engineer of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, Harry L. Johnson, III, Water Commissioner of Youngstown, and representatives of the Environmental Working Group.
Citizens want to hear MVSD’s and Youngstown Public Water System’s plan to provide filtration to all their customers to eliminate the cancer risk caused by these chemicals being in our drinking water.

For more information or media inquiries, please see   Email:  or call:  234-201-8007

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Youngstown City drinking water consumer report

Friday, April 12, 2019

OH SB33 Testimony by Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, Executive Director of UUJO (Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio)

Opponent Testimony – SB 33
April 1, 2019
Rev. Joan VanBecelaere Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, Columbus OH
Chairman Eklund, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Thomas and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
I am a Unitarian Universalist minister and the Executive Director of Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio which includes the UU congregations in Ohio and their many members. I am also a concerned citizen of Ohio and I am deeply opposed to SB 33.
Others will argue about how this bill attacks freedom of speech and freedom of association. I want to also raise the argument that this bill attacks freedom of religion and prohibits justice-oriented faith traditions from exercising what they believe is their religious duty to engage in public witness at those places where the health and life of people are endangered and the sacred integrity of the environment is put in jeopardy.
SB 33 does not directly focus on preventing terrorist attacks. Why, then is it needed? The major purpose seems to be to discourage justice-focused organizations and their members from protesting oil and gas sites that pose a danger to health and pollute land, water and air.
Ohio law already prohibits ‘criminal trespass’, ‘aggravated trespass’, and ‘criminal mischief’ to property. This bill only serves to increase penalties for citizens and non-profit organizations who engage in non-violent public witness at critical infrastructure sites. It was originally drafted by the oil and gas industry in response to the public outcry at Standing Rock and other locations where landowners and fellow citizens protested large oil, gas, and pipeline projects.
The bill adds a new prohibition under the offense of “aggravated trespass”, that expressly prohibits a person from entering or remaining on a “infrastructure facility” with purpose to destroy or “tamper” with the facility. And the bill adds a new prohibition under the offense of “criminal mischief” that prohibits a person from destroying or “improperly tampering” with a “infrastructure facility”.
SB 33 makes violation of these new prohibitions third degree felonies. These undefined acts of tampering or intending to tamper do not have to be violent in nature to be judged worthy of a felony conviction under SB
33. And the definitions of “tamper” or “intend to tamper” are wide open to a variety of possible interpretations. One person’s non-violent, faith-based public witness may be another’s “tampering.”
And then, SB 33 specifies that any organization found guilty of the vaguely defined act of “complicity” in a violation under this bill, is to be punished with a fine ten times the maximum that can be imposed on an individual for a third-degree felony. This means possible fines up to $100,000.
The bill also holds a person or organization that pays a violator’s fines or damages in a civil action, liable for any judgment against the person who may have ‘tampered’ with the infrastructure facility. Thus, if a faith-based justice group or a church is found complicit (whatever that means) when one of its members is found guilty of “intending to tamper” or “improperly tampering” with a “critical” facility, the church may face a $100,000 fine. Of course, this would destroy most churches and most faith-based organizations.
And a church may not assist a member in paying a fine in a civil action. Which blocks a congregation from its religious duty to care for its members in times of distress and need.
SB 33 would criminalize the ministry of justice-focused churches and faith-based justice organizations who engage in and promote peaceful public protest at critical infrastructure sites. Congregations from many different faith traditions in Ohio could be held liable for the crime of complicity, be forced to pay fines that would destroy the, and be unable to assist their members in need. This constitutes an attack on freedom of religion. People of faith who feel called by God to speak truth to power and stand up for environmental justice could find their congregations deeply damaged or destroyed under SB 33. It would become a crime to assemble for public witness at those facilities that are the worst offenders for environmental pollution, that create health crises in our most vulnerable communities. It would be illegal for people of faith to speak truth to power at those pipelines and fracking wells that expand fossil fuel use and destroy our climate.
In summary, SB 33 is a dangerous assault on civil liberties: freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. And SB 33 also attacks freedom of religion and the right to speak in holy witness to those who believe their economic power is threatened by protest. This bill is clearly intended to keep faith groups as well as environmental groups on the sidelines for fear of being found guilty of complicity and facing their own destruction.
When Americans abandon their commitment to freedom of speech and assembly and freedom of religion, the world will notice, and disaster will follow. SB 33 deserves to be condemned by all people of faith.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ohio Residents Open Legal Fund To Stop Fracking Waste Injection Well - Please Support!

Residents of Brookfield, Ohio and the surrounding area have been lawfully opposing five (yes,  five!) proposed toxic fracking waste injection wells planned to be constructed and operated way too near family homes, a stream,  businesses, and government buildings in a region that we believe is now man-made earthquake-prone and is an abandoned coal mine area.

Will you please help us stop this insanity? Please donate if able and please share our GoFundMe, thank you!

Gloria Douglas is a grandmother who has lived in her beloved Wyngate Manor home for 31years. Gloria calls it her “forever-home” because she can’t imagine ever having to leave the home she’s lovingly cared for and lived in all these years.[1]

Gloria’s home is way too close to waste injection well number five – the one we are currently trying to lawfully stop.[2] Her home is in the below image which is courtesy of Ted Auch, Great Lakes Program Coordinator, The Fractracker Alliance,

There are hundreds of homes with families living nearby in Brookfield.  It is tragic and astonishing that this heavy industrial injection well operation could even happen to the hundreds of people who live so close to this injection well.

READ MUCH MORE at campaign description:

[1] “Brookfield residents rally to stop injection wells,” by Michael Roknick, The Herald (Sharon, PA), April 7, 2018 ;
 “Brookfield one step away from getting more injection wells,” 21 WFMJ – TV News, by Glenn Stevens, March 21, 2018,

[2] “Fracking waste injection wells proposed to be sited way too near family homes, businesses and government buildings:   A heartfelt plea for help to lawfully stop them, Blog post, Frackfree America National Coalition, January 19,2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Citizens Townhall-style Meeting on NE Ohio Fracking Waste Injection Wells on September 27, 2018

Citizens will hold an anti-injection well public townhall-style meeting in Brookfield, Ohio on Thursday, September 27, 2018,  at 7 PM to 9:30 PM,  to discuss proposed fracking waste injection wells planned to be sited way too near family homes, businesses, government buildings and important waterways. 
       Building upon the success of a very well-attended August meeting, citizens will hold another public town hall-style meeting on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 7 PM to 9:30 PM at the Brookfield Ohio Fire Hall (social hall), at 774 State Route 7 NE, Brookfield, Ohio 44403.  There will be a public discussion about five proposed Brookfield fracking waste injection wells and also a new toxic waste injection well proposed for Hubbard Township, Ohio.

A petition opposing the proposed Hubbard Township injection well will be available for attendees to sign.

        These wells are planned to be sited way too near family homes, businesses, government buildings, and important waterways. This is unacceptable, say citizens.
       Meeting organizers are reaching out to invite and involve residents from Brookfield, Hubbard, Hubbard Township, Vienna, North Lima, and the entire region, including people in Pennsylvania. All elected and public officials and candidates are also invited. The meeting is free and open to the public. All media are urged to please attend.

       Meeting organizers say that Ohio cannot be used as a toxic waste dumping ground.  
       Injection well-related spills and releases that result in water contamination can occur such as the release in Vienna, Ohio in 2015 that destroyed two wetlands and a pond.  Groups say injection wells, such as the ones proposed for Brookfield and Hubbard Township, pose unacceptable risks of potential adverse impacts to air, water, and land. They also pose unacceptable risks of more man-made earthquakes, like the 2011 magnitude 4.0 Youngstown injection well-linked quake, in an already earthquake-prone region where abandoned coal mines exist.
       Citizens are calling for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to be proactive and to immediately deny the injection well permits and revoke those that are already issued in order to protect the public interest, the environment, and the public health, safety, and welfare.
       Groups stress that ODNR must not force families, individuals, and communities to accommodate and adjust to the unfair and risky placement of toxic waste injection wells located practically in some peoples’ backyards. Citizens have private property rights and rights to the protection of public health and safety, as well, that must not be violated by the unwise siting of injection wells so near family homes, important waterways, and other vulnerable structures.

       Groups helping to coordinate the September 27th meeting are Brookfield Citizens Against Injection Wells (BCAIW)  (  )    Frackfree America National Coalition (FANC), based in Youngstown, Ohio ( ) and  Buckeye Environmental Network (BEN) ( ).
         The groups, FANC and BEN, believe based upon science and experience, that injection is inherently unsafe and that no amount of regulation can make it safe, especially in a highly populated, earthquake-prone area where Hubbard Township and Brookfield are located and where there are abandoned coal mines.

       For information about local injection wells, man-made earthquakes, and more, please see:

       The Facebook event page for the September 27th town hall is at:

       For more information or media inquiries, please see   Email:     or call:  234-201-8007

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Citizens' public townhall-style mtg Brookfield #Ohio Thurs Sept 27, 2018 @ 7-9:30 PM on proposed #fracking waste injection wells planned to be sited   way too near family homes, biz &, govt bldgs & imp waterways - Hubbard, Brookfield, Vienna, North Lima, & NE OH region invited
Citizens will hold an anti-injection well public townhall-style meeting in Brookfield, Ohio on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 7 PM to 9:30 PM, to discuss proposed fracking waste injection wells planned