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Crematorium burning 3,000 bodies a year bad for Oakland, suit says

A lawsuit filed this week by an East Oakland environmental group alleges the city approved a large crematorium without considering the impact that burning roughly 3,000 bodies a year could have on neighbors.

The group, Communities for a Better Environment, believes city planners incorrectly labeled the crematorium a "general manufacturing facility" that did not need a public hearing to be approved, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Area residents are concerned the crematorium will send toxins into the already-polluted air.

"We're in the midst of more toxic pollution here because we're a disenfranchised community," said Maxine Oliver-Benson, an East Oakland resident and member of Communities for a Better Environment. "Our families' health is not being taken seriously and we don't want the dead to kill the living."

A spokesperson for the group that runs the crematorium, which currently operates in Emeryville, told the Chronicle they had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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