LUTZ, Fla. (WFLA) — There’s growing pushback surrounding a proposal to build air curtain incinerators in Lutz.

The facility would sit near homes, senior living facilities and a school.

“Every single person I’ve talked to that’s heard about this project is ready to leave Lutz if this gets passed,” Lutz resident Jen Messer said. “The problem is – is we don’t know how much pollution is going to be into the air, what we’re going to be breathing in.”

Jen Messer lives in the Promenade at Lake Park subdivision, which is near where the facility would go.
She says aside from the health impact, and traffic concerns, they’re worried about their children.

“If you read any of the research that’s out there of what it can do to our children asthma, cancer, COPD,” Messer said. “We really don’t know what the long-term effects are and even though they’re calling it yard waste, think about the types of yard waste that are coming in.”

The proposed entrance to the facility is off Crystal Lake Road, across the street is a church. Homeowners say there’s concern that it would sit so close to a church, a school, senior living facility and their homes.

“Building a facility like this in a residential, highly populated area in the back yard of children’s is extremely inappropriate,” Messer said.

A notice from the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission addresses air quality impacts, saying this operation has the potential to generate smoke and dust.

Commission Chair Mariella Smith told 8 On Your Side she’s very concerned about the air quality and the possible health impact.

“There are better places for a place like this to be built, and Lutz is not it – so go somewhere else,” Messer said.

Messer, like many of her neighbors, is making sure her voice is heard.

“If you wouldn’t build this in your own backyard, why would you think it’s appropriate to build it in ours?” Messer asked.

The Air Curtain Incinerator Application is on the Environmental Protection Commission’s agenda on Aug. 18.

EPC will host a virtual community meeting on Aug. 23, 2022, at 6 p.m. The meeting will provide an overview of the proposed project, the process for public comments and an opportunity to address questions and provide answers.