Thursday, May 27, 2021

Environmental Groups Appeal DEP Air Quality Permit For Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant In Clinton County

On May 27, Clean Air Council, PennFuture, and the Center for Biological Diversity announced they filed an appeal of the air quality permit the Department of Environmental Protection issued for the Renovo Energy Center, a large gas-fired power plant proposed for the town of Renovo in Clinton County

The permit allows the power plant to emit hundreds of tons of noxious pollutants annually and more greenhouse gases than the City of Pittsburgh.

Despite DEP recognizing that Renovo is an environmental justice community, DEP failed to do the outreach required to community members before issuing the permit for one of the most-polluting facilities in Pennsylvania. 

The groups object to the permit on those grounds as well as the grounds that the permit allows unlawful levels of air pollution, that DEP ignored the costs to society in issuing the permit, and based on several other deficiencies spelled out in the Notice of Appeal. 

The groups said air pollution from the power plant would likely kill dozens of people over the course of the plant's life and cost several billion dollars in impacts to health and communities. 

The power plant is being developed by Bechtel Corporation, a Virginia-based multinational engineering corporation.

“Our members are deeply concerned about the very high levels of harmful air pollution from Bechtel’s enormous proposed power plant and the negative health effects it could have on our families and friends,” said Sue Cannon with Renovo Residents for a Healthy Environment. “This power plant is unwanted, unnecessary, and will provide no benefits to residents - only burdens.” 

“When our society is finally starting to move away from dirty fossil fuels, it is unconscionable for DEP to permit a massive new gas-burning plant without even weighing the costs to the health of nearby residents and the impact on local ecology,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “Renovo deserves better, we all deserve better. DEP must pull this unlawful permit.”

“Building a new plant to ship energy derived from fracked gas to out-of-state customers is entirely contrary to the goal of moving towards the clean energy economy Pennsylvanians deserve,” said Jessica O’Neill, senior attorney at PennFuture. “DEP needs to take seriously its obligations under Pennsylvania’s Environmental Rights Amendment, as well as its obligations to consider and work to minimize the climate change implications of electrical power generation.”  

“Since renewable energy like wind and solar is cheaper and cleaner than burning fracked gas, this power plant makes no sense,” said Robert Ukeiley, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We hope this challenge serves as a wake up call to DEP to do what’s right.”

Click Here for a copy of the appeal.

For more background, visit DEP’s Renovo Energy Center webpage.

Related Articles:

-- Senate Committees Hear New, Proposed Utility Scale Solar Electric Generation Capacity In PA Is Outpacing Natural Gas Generation By Nearly 3 to 1 

-- Axios: PA Republican State Treasurer Stacy Garrity Joins Group Threatening To Withdraw State Funds From Banks Not Lending To Coal & Natural Gas Companies As Part Of Decarbonization Efforts

-- IFO: PA Quarterly Natural Gas Production Continues Steady Increase; PA Price Of Gas Increases 64.4%

[Posted: May 27, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner