Update, December 2022: In 2021, a permit needed to build the Palmer biomass plant was revoked by state officials. Palmer appealed that decision in an effort to have it overturned. Last month, Palmer lost that appeal. We’re revisiting our 2021 conversation with Tanisha Arena, executive director of Arise for Social Justice, about why this fight… Continue reading How Many Times Must a Community Say No?
“Dirty, industrial biomass pollutes our neighborhoods and has no place in our clean energy future,” said Kirstie Pecci, Interim Director of CLF’s Environmental Justice program. “Massachusetts residents deserve clean air and a livable future. The Commonwealth should not subsidize power plants or incinerators that will harm communities already bearing the brunt of local pollution and climate impacts.”
“The last thing the asthma capital of the U.S. needs is a plant spewing air pollution and further imperiling public health,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Interim Director of CLF Massachusetts. “Springfield residents made their opposition to this polluting plant clear, and DEP officials have handed them a win today. The fact is that burning biomass is neither clean nor renewable and it should be left in the past with fossil fuels.”
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.