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Lutz neighborhoods worried about potential pollution from proposed air curtain interactors

There will be a community meeting to hear from the public about the proposal for two air curtain incinerators in Lutz.

LUTZ, Fla. — A notice of pollution for people living in Lutz has many people in the area angry and upset.

A proposed air permit is warning people in the Lutz area two air curtain incinerators (ACIs) may be constructed along Crystal Lake Road.

"This is a neighborhood. This is not zoned for commercial use. We should not be burning things and putting pollution in the air," Jen Messer, a resident of the Promenade at Lake Park, said.

She's referring to a proposal by Louis Geraci LLLP to construct two air curtain incinerators in Lutz. 

If you're not familiar, an air curtain incinerator (ACI) is a device that burns materials like wood waste, clean lumber and yard waste.

The Florida DEP says the goal is to control air emissions during burning — which can generate smoke and dust. 

"It’s absolutely disgusting and you should be absolutely ashamed of yourself for putting our children at risk," Messer stated.

In Messer's community, there are a ton of kids. She lives three minutes from where the ACIs would be constructed. Surrounding her community is other housing communities, homes, a school and a senior living facility — all very close to the site for the ACIs. 

"You’re talking about commercial incinerators in the backyard of residential neighborhoods. It’s not appropriate," Messer added.

The Hillsborough County EPC notice of air pollution said along Crystal Lake Road in Lutz is where Louis Geraci LLLP is proposing to have commercial vegetative yard waste and land clearing debris disposal facility. The address they list to construct is where a house is currently located. 

The Hillsborough County EPC stated the two proposed ACIs could impact air quality. There is the potential for smoke and dust from burning the materials.

"I'm really nervous about the effects to our lungs. The long-term effects with all of the carcinogens that we’re going to be breathing in," Messer said.

10 Tampa Bay reached out to the Hillsborough County EPC to see how they’re addressing those concerns, but no one returned our calls or email. 

On Aug. 23rd, Messer plans to get an answer at the community meeting to discuss the proposal. People need to register for that meeting beginning on Aug. 16th. It will be virtual.

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