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Springfield residents should contact their city councilors to support these resolutions and contact Governor Patrick to urge him to uphold state law.
Springfield, MA - November 17, 2011 - Members of Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield (STIS), a volunteer group opposed to the building of the Palmer Renewable Energy (“PRE”) biomass incinerator, are outraged at the issuance of the building permit by Springfield Building Commissioner Desilets that would allow construction to begin on the incinerator. According to Lee Ann Warner, STIS spokesperson, "This permit flies in the face of the Springfield City Council's 10-2 revocation vote of PRE's special permit. It sets a very dangerous precedent for Springfield to allow utility-scale incinerator development within the city limits without any special permitting. This effectively eliminates the public’s voice in decisions that affect our health."
Patrick Markey, concerned Springfield citizen and attorney, states, "The city’s issuance of a building permit for the PRE incinerator is contrary to the requirements of the City’s zoning rules. The facility lacks a necessary special permit."
Sue Reid, Director of Conservation Law Foundation – Massachusetts, added "The issuance of a building permit to PRE is directly at odds with the City Council’s revocation of PRE’s Special Permit. In addition, PRE’s rush to secure an unlawful building permit is baffling: state law prohibits PRE from beginning any construction because it does not have a final air permit.”
On Monday, November 21, at 6:30 pm in City Hall, the Springfield City Council will meet and vote on two resolutions concerning the PRE biomass incinerator. Michaelann Bewsee notes, "The first resolution would reaffirm City Council’s finding that the PRE Biomass plant is an incinerator that requires a special permit on land zoned Industrial A. The second resolution calls on the state to enforce its rule of no construction of a polluting facility prior to issuance of a final, non-appealable state air permit. The people of Springfield spoke loudly and clearly that they do not want – and should not have to tolerate – any more pollution in our already overburdened city. We commend the city councilors for acting on behalf of the people and support them in passing these resolutions."
Thank you from the volunteers at STIS, www.springfieldincinerator.