Community Members Oppose Mega Crematorium in Oakland

Though the Neptune Society of Northern California has won city approval to build a mega crematorium near the Oakland International Airport, opponents remain determined and rallied this week at the meeting of the city’s Community and Economic Development Committee meeting at City Hall.

“I think the project is completely inappropriate to environmental justice,” said Councilwoman Libby Schaff at Tuesday’s CED meeting.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo recently ruled that an ordinance in opposition to the project that was passed unanimously by the City Council could not be used against the Neptune Society because the company’s permit predates the council decision.

“For a resident [already] experiencing issues of violence and [now] you tell them there building a crematorium burning 3,000 bodies, that’s shock and awe,” said Nile Malloy of Communities for a Better Environment.

Community members are angry about the permit Neptune Society received, which did not call for the company to go through a complete legislative process. Construction of the crematorium could begin as early as next year.

“This speaks to the tone-deaf people in public office. Acceptable levels of toxins? Who is it acceptable to? Not the community,” said Rev. Alan Buford of Allen Temple Baptist Church.

“You need to think about what Oakland is being known for. Other cities are attracting baseball teams, we’re attracting SWAT teams, war game practices and crematoriums,” he added.

The crematorium issue is expected to be discussed in a closed City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct 1 at 2 p.m. Those who have concerns about the crematorium are encouraged to arrive early and speak at open forum before the meeting officially goes into closed session.

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