Learn about Leaf Blowers: Concerns and Reason for Regulation
Tues. March 27
Abbott Public Library
235 Pleasant Street
April 9 - 13, 2012
It's that time again!
Judges are needed for the Student Environmental Research Poster contest.
For more information or to get involved, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Capt. Charles Moore, who discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean, will be the keynote and award recipient on Wed. April 11 Meier Hall, Rm. 444, Lafayette Street. The public is welcome.
6 -7:30 pm - social hour and environmental awards, 7:30 -8:15 talk by Capt. Moore.
HealthLink, SAFE and Clean Water Action sent out a press release yesterday stating our opposition to the current proposal for a gas plant at the Salem site. It caused quite a stir in the Salem News with a front page article and an editorial inveighing against HealthLink and our concerns. We expect more pushback from the proponents of this project and their investors.
Please read the press release and the coverage carefully - note how the editorial focuses on HealthLink alone. The public must participate in the dialogue as to what will happen on this site as this will effect the neighborhood for decades to come. Speak up or write a letter to the editor noting your concerns about the delivery of the gas - in LNG tankers or through pipes, the noise of the plant, the storage and use of diesel and other troubling issues listed in our press release.
For Immediate Release Monday, March 26, 2012
Groups Announce Opposition to Current
Natural Gas Plant Proposal in Salem
Flag Serious Community Impacts and Unanswered Questions
SAFE, HealthLink and Clean Water Action today announced opposition to the tentative proposal outlined by Footprint Power, proponents of a 600-720 MWh natural gas and diesel-fueled power plant on the site of the current Salem Harbor Station. The groups cautioned that the details of the proposal remain sketchy at this point, adding to the level of public concern. Serious questions regarding the health and safety of the area's residents remain, following two public presentations by Footprint.
"We have deep concerns about the potential local impacts of the proposed plant," said Jeff Barz-Snell, Co-Chair of SAFE. "There is no natural gas capacity currently at that site. Will a pipeline need to be drilled under residential neighborhoods? Will LNG tankers need to deliver fuel through the harbor? Is Salem being targeted to become an LNG port?"
Key questions concerning the proposed power plant include:
* Is this plant needed since the current power plant has received authorization to close by the region's electric grid managers?
* Are taxpayer or ratepayer dollars being used to make this a profitable venture for a private developer?
* How noisy would plant operation be for nearby neighbors?
* What are the risks of explosion given the proximity of schools and homes in the area?
* Will natural gas and or diesel fuel be stored on site?
* How will a natural gas and diesel plant of this size affect neighborhood property values?
"There are elements of this proposal that are very positive, including the commitment to remove the current power plant and remediate the site for next phase use," said Pat Gozemba, Co-Chair of SAFE. "We applaud this concept and feel that it's key to moving forward to a new era for this valuable waterfront property. However, I fear that a power plant of this size will have a negative impact on the exciting marine developments proposed by the Salem Reuse Study Committee, on which I served."
"After so many decades of working to protect the health of area residents, we cannot sign-off on more fossil fuel burning at such a large plant for another 60 years," said Jane Bright, HealthLink spokesperson. "Had this been proposed in 1990, it could have made sense then. Today, we know too much about the devastation pollution causes to our bodies and our climate to support this for our densely populated north shore."
"We appreciate the public briefings and the understanding on the part of the plant developers that there needs to be a serious community dialogue," remarked Cindy Luppi of Clean Water Action. "Based on the information they have shared so far, too many concerns remain about a plant that would be a fixture in the neighborhood for decades to come."
Dolores Jordan, an 83-year-old member of SAFE who has lived next to the power plant site for her entire life noted that, as proposed, this plant could be fired up several times a day. "These gas burning units can be as loud as jet engines," Jordan said. "How will that impact our neighborhood? Additionally, I'm concerned about the burning and storage of diesel fuel just a block from my house."
While our organizations recognize that Salem needs the tax revenue that new harbor development would bring, we believe that the economic, health and safety risks associated with Footprint Power's current proposal are still unanswered and may far outweigh the potential benefits.
SAFE (Salem Alliance for the Environment) is a group dedicated to addressing environmental issues through education, advocacy, and community organizing.
HealthLink is a non-profit organization on the North Shore working to protect public health by reducing environmental toxins and pollutants through research, education and community action.
Clean Water Action is an organization of diverse people and groups joined together to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life with 30,000 members in Massachusetts.
P.O. Box 301
Swampscott, MA 01907
HealthLink mission: To protect and improve public health by reducing and eliminating toxins and pollutants from our environment through research, education and community action.