Say No to Springfield Contruction and Demolition Incinerator!
Say NO to toxic incineration

Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield is a grassroots organization dedicated to stopping a proposed biomass incinerator in Springfield MA.

The following groups have joined Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield to oppose this incinerator: Chicopee City Council, Ludlow Board of Selectmen, Massachusetts Medical Society, Hampden District Medical Society, American Lung Association, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, Toxics Action Center, Arise for Social Justice, Greater Springfield chapter of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, Western Massachusetts American Friends Service Committee, Connecticut River Watershed Council, Conservation Law Foundation, Massachusetts Environmental Energy Alliance, Massachusetts Sierra Club, The McKnight Neighborhood Youth Council, East Forest Park Civic Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility/Pioneer Valley, Masschusetts Forest Watch, Bay Area Neighborhood Council, Indian Orchard Citizens Council, Maple High/Six Corners NC, East Forest Park Civic Association, East Springfield Neighborhood Council, McKnight Neighborhood Council, West Springfield Town Council.

 


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The Project: Palmer Renewable Energy proposes to build a 35-megawatt power-generating incinerator at 1000 Page Boulevard, Springfield. Each day, over 1000 tons of the wood will be burned, generating only 1/3 of 1% of Massachusetts' total power production.

Health Issues: The incinerator will emit 44.6 tons of fine particulate matter, including something refered to as PM 2.5. These particles are so small that they are invisible and only seen as a haze. Ther are small enough to go into the deepest part of your lungs and are known to cause respiratory illness such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, and now strong evidence linking PM 2.5 to type 2 diabetes. See our Health Impacts page for more information.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, an organization representing 20,000 Massachusetts physicians, has voiced their opposition to biomass incineration in general. In the first paragraph of their press release they state:
"On the grounds that biomass power plants pose an unacceptable risk to the public's health by increasing air pollution, the Massachusetts Medical Society has adopted a policy opposing three currently proposed large-scale biomass power plants in Massachusetts and urging state government to adopt policies to minimize the approval and construction of new biomass plants."
Click here to read the letter (opens in Microsoft Word).

The Hampden District Medical Society voted unanimously to formally oppose this plant because it presents "an unacceptable public health risk."
Click here to read the letter (opens in Microsoft Word).  

The Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition is formally opposed to this incinerator because "Springfield is a designated environmental justice community and its poor air quality has already been linked to these high asthma rates. This plant will place community members at even higher risk."
Click here to read the letter (opens in Microsoft Word).  

The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is also formally opposed to this plant as stated in their letter:
"The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is the largest breast cancer organization in the state representing over 10,000 members. MBCC is dedicated to challenging all obstacles to the eradication of breast cancer. In particular, MBCC is concerned about the link between environmental toxins and the extremely high rate of breast cancer in the state and as a result, is in opposition to the burning of construction and demolition debris at the proposed Palmer Renewable Energy biomass plant."
You can read the whole letter by clicking this link (opens in Microsoft Word).

The Physicians for Social Responsibility/Pioneer Valley oppose construction of incinerators in the valley.
"It is the finding of the Physicians for Social Responsibility that the biomass power plants being proposed for
several Pioneer Valley locations would contribute to particulate air pollution emissions in a region that already
has pollution problems, and therefore we oppose the construction and operation of such plants."
To read the entire press release, click here.

Springfield air quality already receives a failing grade from the American Lung Association on many days of the year. American Lung Association of Massachusetts opposes this incinerator and explains why in a recent press release:
"For years, the ALAMA has viewed biomass burning as a significant source of air pollution. We believe that the plants proposed in Massachusetts will create an unnecessary risk to both our state's health and air quality and are particularly concerned by inefficient and dirty sources of power located in communities that already suffer from poor air quality and high asthma rates."
You can read the whole press release by clicking this link (opens in Microsoft Word).


Hampden County is already overburdened with lead pollution. According to the latest EPA figures, Hampden County sources emit 10,461 pounds of lead per year, which is 25% of the state's total.  

EPA lead chart

Click here for the source

Effects on Our Children: Researchers for the first time have linked air-pollution exposure before birth with lower IQ scores in childhood, bolstering evidence that smog may harm the developing brain. Click here to read the study.

The state asthma rate for children continues to climb and is now at 10%, but the Springfield rate is more than 16%! In addition to the emissions from the incinerator, there would be the added exhaust fumes from upwards of 140 truck trips a day. There are 55 schools within a five mile radius of the proposed toxic incinerator. A new study shows that children who breathe traffic-related air pollution at school are more likely to develop asthma, even after taking into account levels of air pollution at their homes. Click here to read the study.

 

Schools within a five mile radius of the proposed PRE incinerator
Reduced image size. Click Image to view original version in PDF file.

Fallout region with area schools

Reduced image size. Image links to original version in PDF file.

 

 

Environmental Issues: Burning wood releases 50% more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than a coal fired plant.

Carbon dioxide emissions from this incinerator are exempt from regulations.

"The science is clear: global warming is happening faster than ever and humans are responsible. Global warming is caused by releasing what are called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Many of the activities we do every day like turn the lights on, cook food, or heat or cool our homes rely on energy sources like coal and oil and that emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. This is a major problem because global warming destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible. Just a few degrees in temperature can completely change the world as we know it, and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world."

Click here to view the source on 350.org and to learn more about how adding more corbon dioxide to the atmosphere could be disastrous!

 

 

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