Biomass developers are pushing for state policy changes that would allow their plants to emit more air pollution, underreport their climate impacts, and take families’ and businesses’ money while harming the health of our communities. CLF is joining Springfield residents and other local groups in fighting back.
Springfield, alongside community and environmental organizations like CLF, has been fighting this proposed biomass plant for years. We set the fight aside in 2017 when Palmer Renewable Energy, the company behind the proposal, paused its plans for construction. But now the company is back, hoping that its efforts to weaken state policy will bring its proposal back to life.
Last week, CLF and Arise for Social Justice took our ongoing case against a proposed biomass plant in Springfield to the Massachusetts Superior Court, arguing to oppose an air quality permit that has been granted for the plant. Residents in the City of Springfield already suffer from higher-than-average rates of asthma and other serious respiratory…
“In a community already suffering from high rates of childhood asthma and other serious respiratory conditions, the last thing we should be doing is literally adding fuel to the fire,” said Veronica Eady, Director of CLF’s Massachusetts Advocacy Center. “We wouldn’t let our children ingest even one ounce of ammonia, so why would we allow a plant that, by the company’s own admission, will spew over 140 tons of ammonia, carbon monoxide, and other toxic pollutants into our air? PRE may value a quick buck over the health and safety of this community, but CLF is proud to stand with the people of Springfield and fight this proposal.”
CLF has been working in partnership with Michaelann Bewsee and the community-based organization she leads in Springfield, MA – Arise for Social Justice – for the last several years. Michaelann, Arise, and a group of activists who have organized under the name Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield are fighting a biomass power plant that Palmer…
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Arise for Social Justice, Toxics Action Center (TAC) and over a dozen individual residents today filed a new lawsuit in Hampden County Superior Court seeking to overturn a state permit that would allow the Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) biomass power plant to emit harmful air pollution. The lawsuit takes aim at the September 11, 2012 “Final Decision” from Massachusetts Department of Environmental (DEP) Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell upholding a DEP air permit for PRE’s wood-burning power plant project in Springfield. The organizations, together with a group of local residents, long have opposed the plant because it will add air pollution to a community with childhood asthma rates already double the state average. Through today’s action, they are seeking to reverse PRE’s air permit and hold DEP accountable for protecting against harmful air pollution that disproportionately affects the Springfield area.
Massachusetts’ commitment to a new clean energy economy has been welcome news both economically and environmentally. There’s an awful lot to like about reversing the export of billions of dollars sent outside Massachusetts and the country each year to buy dirty fossil fuel energy that harms our health, increases our health care expenses and has substantial impacts on our environment, economy, jobs and national security. No question, there’s tremendous potential for investing in clean homegrown energy right here in Massachusetts, in a win for the economy and the environment. But if we’re truly going to be successful in building a new clean energy economy, we need to pay attention to the “clean” element of that equation. And if our burgeoning clean energy revolution is to be successful, it absolutely cannot leave behind the Massachusetts communities that long have borne the brunt of our dependence on dirty energy.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), Arise for Social Justice and Toxics Action Center (TAC) today issued the following statements regarding the September 11, 2012 “Final Decision” from Massachusetts Department of Environmental (DEP) Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell in the groups’ appeal of a DEP air permit for the Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) biomass power plant project in Springfield. The organizations, who, together with a group of 16 local residents, have long opposed the plant for adding air pollution to a community with childhood asthma rates already double the state average, decried the decision and vowed to hold DEP accountable.
CLF Applauds Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals Decision to Rescind Building Permits for Biomass-burning Plant in EJ Community
Late on Wednesday night residents of Springfield celebrated an important victory in their longstanding fight against a biomass-burning plant that Palmer Renewable Energy (PRE) proposes to construct in their community. Acting on the petition of local residents Michaelann Bewsee and Toni and William Keefe, the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) overturned the two building permits that were issued to PRE last November. Media coverage of the ZBA decision is available here and here.
Conservation Law Foundation Statement in Response to Springfield City Council’s Decision to Appeal Building Permits for PRE Biomass Power Plant
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) today issued the following statement in response to Springfield City Council’s decision to appeal the building permits issued for Palmer Renewable Energy’s proposed biomass-fueled Power Plant.