Mt. Tom Coal Plant Closure Announcement Marks End of Era of Coal-Fired Generation Plants in Mass., Opportunities for Continued Growth of Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Economy

Jason Shemenski

Emily Dahl,
Conservation Law Foundation,

June 3, 2014, Boston, MA – In response to GDF Suez’s announcement today that it will close its Mt. Tom Coal Plant in Holyoke, Conservation Law Foundation offered the following statement from Senior Attorney Shanna Cleveland:

“Today’s announcement marks a tremendous milestone in the fight for clean air for the residents of Holyoke and Massachusetts. Coal-fired power is officially coming to an end in Massachusetts. This means healthier air, cleaner electricity, and greater opportunities for new clean energy jobs—and will help the Commonwealth meet the requirements of the state’s climate law. These outdated coal plants produce pollution far more efficiently than they produce power, and CLF welcomes the end of that era as our clean energy economy continues to grow.”

CLF raised claims against the owners of the Mt. Tom Coal Plant, GDF Suez, in 2011 for over 2,500 violations of the Clean Air Act. The resolution of those claims resulted in rigorous monitoring of particulate matter pollution—one of the deadliest pollutants from coal-fired power plants — as well as penalties and funding for reducing particulate matter in the Pioneer Valley. Since 2010, CLF has been working in coordination with local residents of Holyoke and a state-wide coalition of groups to make Massachusetts Coal Free by 2020. The announcement to shut down the Mt. Tom coal plant in Holyoke comes just months after the Brayton Point coal plant’s owners announced plans to retire the plant by 2017, and only one day after the Salem Harbor Station coal plant shut down.