Sunday, April 24, 2011

Date set for Springfield City Council hearing on biomass incinerator

OK, this is it-- on Tuesday, May 17, 4:30 pm., at the request of Council President Jose Tosado and Councilor Melvin Edwards, Springfield City Council will hold a hearing to consider amending or revoking Palmer Renewable Energy's permit to construct a biomass incinerator in Springfield.

We who have been opposing this plant have been organizing for almost two years, doing everything we can think of to wake up our community to this threat to our already poor air.

I'll have a lot more to say about the City Council hearing in the days ahead, but there are two actions people opposed to biomass incinerators can take right now, whether you live in Springfield or not.

First, you can comment to the Dept. of Environmental Protection about the draft air permit for Palmer Renewable Energy.  From the Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield website:

Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield has recently learned that the developers of the PRE biomass incinerator have paid extra fees to 'fast-track' their state permitting process.  And they only need one more permit before they can put a shovel in the ground. Can you please spare a minute to click here and comment on the State's draft air permit? The deadline for the air permit comment period is Friday, April 29.

Hampden County is already home to the dirtiest, unhealthiest air in the state (please visit Several hazardous air pollutants are already alarmingly above allowable levels.  Springfield children have blood lead levels and respiratory disease rates twice that of the children of the state.

You can make a difference!  We have already stopped these developers from burning construction and demolition debris in their incinerator.  The state and city of Springfield are taking notice of our requests for clean air and its link to our health.  Thank you for continuing to support this citizen activist effort by sending the message that clean energy does not come from a smokestack. 

Second, you can sign a petition to Gov. Deval Patrick, asking for a three year moratorium on all biomass permits in Massachusetts.

More to come.

Photo from Basibanget's photostream at Flickr. Print Friendly and PDF

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