HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » A BIG WIN FOR CLEAN AIR I...

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:22 AM


Coal pollution contains all sorts of nasty, dangerous things, but one of the worst pollutants is sulfur dioxide. Just five minutes of exposure to sulfur dioxide can lead to respiratory problems, difficulty breathing, and contribute to lung disease.

So you can imagine the sigh of relief from Pennsylvanians with this major news: The Homer City Generating Station -- the largest source of sulfur dioxide pollution in the U.S. in 2010 - will now be subject to new, strong limits for this particularly dangerous pollutant. Up until now, only one of the coal plant's boilers had any ability to limit sulfur dioxide pollution!

According to the Clean Air Task force, pollution from Homer City causes 43 premature deaths every year.

This new agreement comes after a year of litigation from the Sierra Club and Earthjustice and sets a national precedent in the fight to secure the health and safety of families in coal-dependent Pennsylvania and beyond: These new conditions of the Homer City permit makes it among the first in the nation to set hourly limits on sulfur dioxide emissions.

What's more, these limits also apply to times when the coal plant is shut down and restarted, which facilities do from time to time (for maintenance, etc..) and frequently causes excessive pollution to be released.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects these new standards will especially benefit children, the elderly, and people with asthma.

This victory sets an important standard for other clean air fights across the country. As we continue the fight to replace old dirty energy sources with clean renewable ones like wind and solar, we must make sure to limit the dangerous pollution from our remaining coal-fired power plants.

And the fight will continue against Homer City's coal plant, too. Local activists have long fought the big polluter, repeatedly noting that the facility is a filthy money-waster - one that repeatedly violates Clean Air Act standards.

Sierra Club Pennsylvania released monitoring and modeling last year showing that the plant wasn't even being monitored for its downwind pollution until 2010, which helped plant owners avoid being cited despite it repeatedly violating state air quality standards.

Meanwhile, plant-owner Edison International continues to sink money into the 43-year-old fossil. Just last year the state Department of Environmental Protection approved a $725 million pollution control unit for the coal plant. This money could be much better spent on clean energy investment for the community.

"Some of the best economic analysts in the region have repeatedly shown that this plant simply isn't economically viable...and it's certainly a bad investment for the people of Indiana County. Rather than let $725 million go up in smoke, it's time for this plant to retire," said Randy Francisco, of Sierra Club Pennsylvania.

"Pennsylvania has the opportunity to become a national leader in clean energy manufacturing and production, and Indiana County (where Homer City is located) is well-positioned to take advantage of this clean energy economy."
Press release: http://sierraclub.typepad.com/compass/2013/05/a-big-win-for-clean-air-in-pennsylvania-and-nationwide.html

6 replies, 2215 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply A BIG WIN FOR CLEAN AIR IN PENNSYLVANIA--AND NATIONWIDE! -Sierra Club Beyond Coal & Earthjustice (Original post)
Kolesar Jun 2013 OP
Kolesar Jun 2013 #1
Kolesar Jun 2013 #2
Kolesar Jun 2013 #3
Socialistlemur Jun 2013 #5
femmocrat Jun 2013 #4
RobertEarl Jun 2013 #6

Response to Kolesar (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:24 AM

1. Homer City plant must meet lower emissions limit - Pittsburgh Post Gazette, an excellent newspaper

The 44-year-old plant is installing pollution controls on its two generating units for the first time. The facility emitted 109,000 tons of sulfur dioxide in 2010, according to Earthjustice, making it the largest source of the pollutant in the country.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Kolesar (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:30 AM

2. "The nuclear bomb took all the fun out of war" and other fun quotes by Edward Abbey

My favorite author was from Home, Pennsylvania, in Indiana County

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by xchrom (a host of the Environment & Energy group). If you believe this was done in error, please contact xchrom to appeal. http://www.democraticunderground.com/11273880

Lovely winter reading. I will send you to the originator for the long list: http://llamakeeper.com/abbey_quotes.html

"If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream." -- Edward Abbey

This one is Freudian:
"Running the big rapids is like sex: half the fun lies in the anticipation. Two thirds of the thrill with the approach. The remainder is only ecstasy-or darkness." -- Edward Abbey

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders."* --Edward Abbey

"Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of
scum on top." --Edward Abbey

"The rich are not very nice. That's why they're rich." --Edward Abbey
...for the 99%.

*The Sierra Club and Earthjustice

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Kolesar (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 08:36 AM

3. Sierra Club Beyond Coal was financed by Chesapeake Gas until a few years ago

During the 20th century, it was plausible that we could protect the atmosphere by switching to gas fired electricity and use other methods like efficiency standards and refits. The Kyoto treaty called for 30% reductions in CO2. Now we know better.

To their credit, the Sierra Club has stopped huge numbers of coal fired plants in the Ohio Valley, and accomplished the renewable energy standards and efficiency standards for electricity companies in Colorado and Ohio.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Kolesar (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 04:13 PM

5. So I guess we will use natural gas for a while

Natural gas seems like a good bridge fuel to help close coal burning plants. But we do have to find a reasonable alternative. I guess in 50 years we will be using solar power. That's going to take a lot of money.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Kolesar (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 09:04 AM

4. Good news! Thanks for posting this.

That plant is an eyesore and a blight upon the landscape.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Kolesar (Original post)

Sun Jun 2, 2013, 11:51 PM

6. Finally


Last edited Mon Jun 3, 2013, 01:30 AM - Edit history (1)

As an enviro and former SClubber and all that, I have seen many a move made to limit emissions from coal plants. We have been very successful.

What pisses me off is that so many other breathers never once raised their voice to help. Usually if a voice was raised, it was to hurt us.

We could have had cleaner air. We could have been down to 350 ppm CO2. But no, everyone else had to protect their kingdoms. So here we are, scrabbling around under heavy skies, fearing the worst.

To anti-enviros, I say, get the hell out of the way and STFU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread