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Petition for Fair Ambient Air Quality in New Haven
Petition Background (Preamble):
Bad air quality has a serious effect on human health and on the quality of life of our residents. The prevalence of air pollutants has been linked to high incidences of asthma, respiratory illness, cancer, allergies, cardiovascular and other diseases. Nine percent of children ages 0-17 and 8% of adults currently have asthma in New Haven. Asthma is in fact the number one reason for missed school days in the city.
Now PSEG, the utility company who owns and operates Harbor Station, is seeking to build three new units as peaking power plants to be used when energy demand exceeds base-load supply. These plants will add pollution to our air in days when air quality is already at its worst: long hot sunny days when demand is high due to air conditioning and other uses.
While the federal government and the state of Connecticut dawdle in coming up with sound energy generation and conservation policies, urban centers like New Haven are left to deal with the current health and societal effects of undesirable air quality from polluting power plants. Connecticut's urban poor are three times more likely to be hospitalized due to asthma than people in the rest of the state. They are twice as likely to die from it. To top this off, 5 out 6 new peaking power plants commissioned by the state Department of Public Utility Control are located in overburdened environmental justice communities that already carry more than their fair share of polluting facilities.
The following is a petition to demand that Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) commit to reduce polluting emissions from their Harbor Station plant following installation of three new peaking units and thus help improve the quality of the air in New Haven, CT.
[54 paper signatures and counting! Total 128 signatures]
• New Haven is currently out of compliance with federal air quality standards of fine particulate matter and is in serious non-attainment for ground-level ozone;
• Particulate matter emissions from power plants have severe effects on the health and quality of life of residents of the neighborhoods close to them;
• New Haven has the highest child and adult asthma hospitalization rates in the state of Connecticut;
• PSEG’s Harbor Station complex is designated a major source of air pollution by the Environmental Protection Agency;
• PSEG seeks to expand operations at Harbor Station by building three new peaking power units to operate on days when air quality is already at its worst;
• These three new modern units are technologically and environmentally more efficient than the existing Harbor Station unit;
• PSEG and the City of New Haven are currently negotiating environmental benefits for the community to offset the hazardous impact on residents;
TO HELP IMPROVE AIR QUALITY IN NEW HAVEN AND SAFEGUARD THE HEALTH OF NEIGHBORS, WE THE UNDERSIGNED DEMAND THAT:
• PSEG commit to a real, significant, and enforceable NET REDUCTION of air polluting emissions from their Harbor Station operations;
• PSEG take ALL measures to curtail emissions from their existing, less efficient, more polluting plant (Unit 1);
• PSEG commit to further specific reductions of polluting emissions in the longer term, and engage in meaningful and ongoing dialogue about future mitigation measures that reflect the true impact of their activities on our community;
• PSEG enter into a strong, enforceable environmental benefits agreement with the host community of New Haven;
• The New Haven community and the East Shore/Morris Cove residents in particular have ample and appropriate opportunity to actively participate in said negotiations and in future enforcement of the benefits agreement;
• All offsets PSEG offers to mitigate the impact of Harbor Station’s operations directly benefit the communities most affected by particulate matter emissions from the power plant.
We will not allow the health of the people of New Haven to take secondary priority. We believe that if PSEG is going to profit from an expansion of their operations, New Haven has to take a step forward with them. The status quo is not acceptable.
The Petition for Fair Ambient Air Quality in New Haven petition to Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), CT Department of Environmental Protection, City of New Haven was written by New Haven Environmental Justice Network and is in the category Health at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: pseg, new haven, air quality, asthma, power plant