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Residents Reject Name Change to Protest Incinerator

May 11, 1994

ALLENWOOD, Pa. (AP) _ It was with a sigh of relief that Natalie Buss answered the phone Wednesday morning with her usual cheerful ″Gregg Township.″

On Tuesday night, voters rejected a plan to change the township’s name to ″Death Valley Township″ to protest a proposed hazardous waste incinerator planned in this Susquehanna Valley town 60 miles north of Harrisburg.

″We’re not dead yet. Don’t bury us until it’s here,″ Buss, the township secretary, said after the 131-74 vote.

Members of the Organization United for the Environment had petitioned to have residents consider changing the township’s name.

″The vote is not a referendum on how we’re doing. We didn’t do a real sell job on it,″ said Clyde Peeling, vice president of the organization.

United States Pollution Control Inc. of Pennsylvania has won preliminary state approval for the $100 million incinerator, but still needs permission to build and operate it.

Company president Anthony Donatoni was pleased with the vote.

″It would have been inappropriate and it would have been quite bothersome to refer to an area where we would like to do business in the future as Death Valley,″ Donatoni said.

He also was thankful that the protest was peaceful. Previously, protesters had presented Donatoni with a cobra hidden in a box and shot up models of the incinerator site.

Buss welcomed the election results because a name change would have meant new township stationery and seals.

″It just seemed like it would create a lot of work,″ Buss said.

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