NEW BEDFORD — A group of concerned citizens are holding a walk and rally this weekend in New Bedford in opposition to the proposed Parallel Products facility near the industrial park.

South Coast Residents United organized the event to raise awareness, share concerns and voice opposition to the bio-waste and solid-waste facility proposed by the company. The new facility would be located on Duchaine Boulevard, near its existing glass recycling plant.

Mayor Jon Mitchell has been recently stepping up the fight against Parallel Products’ proposal, with the City Council following suit last week, voting unanimously to approve the Mayor’s request for $250,000 to be allocated for legal representation against the company.

In June, the City of New Bedford moved to retain the Boston-based municipal law firm of KP Law, P.C. (formerly known as Kopelman & Paige) to oppose the Parallel Products proposal. KP Law has significant experience in working with the relevant state regulatory agencies, and the firm has established a strong record as serving as outside counsel to the City in other matters.

“Titled a ‘Sustainability Project’ by the proponent, it is being marketed to the community as a responsible solution to the City of New Bedford's waste management problems, but local residents disagree. Municipal solid waste (human waste) will be transported to the facility in open air trucks from cities OTHER than New Bedford, adding more than 400 truck trips daily to an already traffic-congested site in an established residential neighborhood, as well as odors, emissions, noise, pests and pollution,” South Coast Residents United said in a statement.

Over the coming months, the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Office (MEPA) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will review the Parallel Products proposal.

“The process of converting this waste into fertilizer will involve the production and release of methane and other unknown toxins. Historic New Bedford does not deserve to be polluted further, but instead deserves clean, healthy businesses that respect their neighbors and the community,” the citizen’s group said.

“Impacted residents are rightfully worried about the effects this facility would have on their health, safety and property values. This event will give them the opportunity to express those concerns, and other community members the chance to learn more about this project.”

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