Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bio incinerator air permit hearing April 5 - We won't give up!

 Almost two years-- that's how long Springfield residents have been organizing to stop a biomass plant proposed for Springfield. We'll have LOTS more to say about this in the next month, but right now, the most important thing to know is the air permit hearing is scheduled for April 5.  The following alert is prepared by Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield member Lee Ann Warner:

 Please save the date of Tuesday, April 5, 6:30 PM and plan to attend the public hearing at Duggan Middle School, 1015 Wilbraham Road, where the state will present its draft air permit for the PRE biomass incinerator proposed for Page Boulevard in Springfield.  This is the final permit the developers need before they can put a shovel in the ground. Please prepare to speak, submit written comments or just come and show support with your presence which really does matter!

At the hearing, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will let you know that they have tightened the technology for this biomass incinerator to emit less pollution.  They will tell you that 99.9% of the particulate matter will be filtered out and that other pollutant emissions have been reduced. Although this could be true, you must remember that this incinerator will still be emitting over 50 hazardous pollutants into our already polluted air. From the DEP draft air permit, PRE's incinerator will emit over 37 tons per year nitrogen dioxide, over 81 tons per year carbon monoxide, over 26 tons per year sulfur dioxide, over 22 tons per year volatile organic compounds, over 13 tons ammonia, over 89 pounds per year lead, and over 42 tons per year PM2.5, the very fine particulate matter with the worst effects on health.  Particulate matter 2.5 is now directly linked to not only asthma and respiratory disease (Springfield's rate is already twice the state average!) but also heart attacks and diabetes.  In addition, this incinerator will also emit approximately 500,000 tons per year carbon dioxide which will result in increased global warming.

Please tell DEP that Springfield's air must be cleaned up immediately and no more pollution is acceptable.  DEP's own data already show excessive levels of toxic contaminants that are harmful to human health in the air now - before this plant is even built - and DEP does not even know the sources.   From DEP's own monitors, arsenic levels are at 535% allowable ambient level (AAL), cadmium is at 810% AAL, formaldehyde is at 2688% AAL, acetaldehyde is at 246% AAL, benzene is at 718% AAL and ethylbenzene is at 94% AAL.  Springfield clearly has a problem that must be remedied, and the remedy is not more pollution.

Together we have made a difference.  With a strong showing at this hearing, we can show not only the state but also the city of Springfield - which can still choose to revoke or modify the developers' special permit - that this incinerator cannot happen.  Please forward this to your friends, co-workers and neighbors and plan to pack the hearing!  For up-to-date information and action alerts in the coming month, please visit our website at Print Friendly and PDF

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