Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Air Quality Tests Topic Of Statehouse Visit

BROCKTON-Brockton lawmakers plan to meet with Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Tuesday September 13 in Boston at the Statehouse offices.
The meeting is expected to include Rep. Christine Canavan, Rep. Geraldine Creedon, Rep. Michael Brady, and City Councilor-at-large Thomas Brophy.
The group plans to request the Department of Environmental Protection install meteorological air monitoring equipment at two elementary schools, and the city's wastewater treatment facility at Brockton’s Southside where developers Advanced Power have proposed building a 350-megawatt natural gas plant.
The delegation plans to ask Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. to direct the DEP to install the type of air monitors that censor the air in the area and make the data available on the DEP’s website.
The delegation will ask Secretary Sullivan for the type of air monitoring with real time data that other Environmental Justice areas like Roxbury have in operation under the DEP’s regulatory watch.
The group intends to request the new monitors to ensure more accurate information for Brockton’s Environmental Justice populations.
The state’s Environmental Justice policy is meant to protect certain populations, including low-income and minority residents from being unfairly burdened by polluting industry.
The DEP recently made a decision stating Brockton does not meet the criteria of an Environmental Justice community.
However, residents and city officials believe this is an error in judgment.
In 2010 Veolia Water, a private contractor hired by the city to run the wastewater plant, twice submitted faulty data on the plant’s emissions of fine particulate matter--a toxin residents ad officials are worried will create more pollution in Brockton and surrounding towns.
In a letter sent to Secretary Sullivan’s predecessor Ian Bowles, Brockton’s Executive Health Officer Louis Tartaglia stated, “This office, in conjunction with the Massachusettes Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health, have one day readings of Particulate Matter 2.5 of 31.0 taken on the grounds of the Gilmore Academy.”
The reading of 31.0 is higher than average readings in nearby
communities. The Thatcher Street Landfill, the trash transfer stations and the foundry in the area are all likely factors contributing to the overburdened nature of pollution in Brockton.
Increased levels of particulate matter, or fine particles in the
air, have been linked to increased hospitalizations and health hazards such as heart disease, altered lung function, and lung cancer.
Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of particulates.
For more information go to www.stopthepower.net or call 508-326-1029.

1 comment:

  1. The DEP never made the statement that Brockton does not meet the criteria of an EJ community. They made the determination that Brockton has several EJ "neighborhoods" and the proposed power plant while directly next to one isn't "located within an EJ neighborhood".

    Splitting hairs-as if the air in one neighborhood is not affected by the air in another.

    Go to:http://www.mass.gov/mgis/ej_southeast.pdf and see the tiny red dot that shows all 4 criteria met for an EJ population in the exact location they want to put the power plant.