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Salem Power Plant in the News...
Boston Globe 3/27/12
It's time for vision for site's future (with comments from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to 'retire' the plant) Marblehead Reporter 12/15/10
Salem Power Plant #3 polluter in the state (3/20/09) Read more
Feds, power plant settle suit (1/23/09) Read more
Pipe rupture spills oil into the harbor 12/12/08) Read more
Workers taken to hospital after chemical spill (11/12/08) Read more
State report details lapses in power plant operation (9/6/08) Read more
MA Department of Public Safety Incident Report of the boiler explosion at the Salem Harbor Station. Click here to read the Report. Contact HealthLink for a hard copy.
Anatomy of a Disaster: State condemns lack of inspection at Salem power plant (8/1/08) Read more
Agency to seek disciplinary action for power plant explosion (8/1/08) Read more
Power plant to run 'for years to come' (7/25/08) Read more
Plant Explodes - November 2007
Dominion fined by OSHA - Read full investigation/report Read more
Salem Power Plant among top polluters (2/22/08) Read more
HealthLink rally for a
COAL FREE FUTURE!
Click here to learn more!
Reuse studies for the
power plant site
The numbers don’t lie.
100 percent: Those who agree on the need for Salem’s tax base to remain stable and grow through redevelopment of the Dominion power plant site.
Zero: The amount of energy ISO says is needed from Salem for the regional energy grid.
Zero: The number of developments Footprint, the startup company proposing to build a new gas and diesel plant on the site, has done.
$200,000: The cost of the state-sponsored study to examine redevelopment options for the Salem Harbor generating site.
Zero: The amount of gas generation the study concluded would be economically viable.
$4 million annually for 20 years: The fixed tax amount of taxes, no increase, no provision for renegotiation over a 20-year span under the agreement with Footprint.
27: The number of jobs at a comparable-sized gas plant. So far, Footprint has refused to reveal how many jobs its gas and diesel plant would create.
Zero: The number of coal plants this gas and diesel plant would displace to improve our air and public health.
100 percent: The amount of funding Footprint claims to have raised to pay for the demolition of the site.
Only some: The amount of funding Footprint says it raised to build a gas and diesel plant.
745 megawatts: The full capacity of the original coal and oil plant.
720 megawatts: What Footprint is proposing to build. This is a baseload-sized gas and diesel plant it claims it will run 25 percent of the time.
The above facts, some of which make little sense, have gotten lost in the need and urgency to replace the taxes of Salem when the existing, coal-fired Dominion plant closes. The Footprint activity is seductive because it is the only buyer publicly pursuing the property at the moment, even though Footprint has never done this before.
Our actions now are a 60-year decision. The Footprint plan burdens Salem with another lifetime of hosting a baseload, fossil fuel-burning power plant adjacent to homes and our coast.
At a time when we already have better options to generate energy and skyrocketing property insurance costs from rising oceans, is 60 years of more fossil fuel burning really the best we can do?
The economic vibrancy of 65 acres along the Massachusetts coastline in one of the country’s most historic communities has regional, as well as city, importance. Personally, I would support the state helping with Salem’s taxes over several years to bridge the time it takes to get it right. Sixty years is a very long time to live with a mistake.
Jane Bright, Marblehead _______________________________
Costs linked to the Salem Harbor Station:
20 deaths = $140,000,000
36 heart attacks = $4,000,000
310 asthma attacks = $16,000
16 hospital admissions = $380,000
12 chronic bronchitis = $5,400,000
12 asthma ER visits = $4,000
TOTAL: $150 million
HealthLink has worked to create municipal Renewable Energy Committees throughout Essex County. Selected communities have been become green communities and receive funding for renewable energy, efficiency and conservation projects through the MA Green Communities Act
Learn more about public outreach through bill boards and the unique Blue Line subway campaign for clean energy.
Video: Renewable energy posters installed on Blue Line. Click to view
HealthLink & CLF settle law suit with power plant, bring funds to local environmental projects
A federal court settlement announced yesterday between Dominion Energy Inc. and two environmental groups that accused the company of pollution violations signals the death of coal at Salem Harbor Station.
The agreement resolving a 2010 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court includes a stipulation that future plant owners cannot burn coal after 2014, when Dominion has announced it will shut down the fossil fuel facility...
What you see is what you breathe!
Click here for photos of coal pollution
The True Cost of Coal
Coal's Assault on Human Health
Report by The Physicians for Social Responsibility
CLEAN COAL is an oxymoron...Read more
Harvard Study: $50 billion - the full cost of coal
Unusual incidences you see, hear or smell at the Salem power plant 1-888-VIOLATE.
MERCURY Matters Hubbard Brook Research Foundation
What's the state of the air YOU breathe? The American Lung Association
EPA Air Quality Index
Paving the way for toxic use reduction
Swampscott and Marblehead Boards of Health seek stricter ban on endocrine disrupting BPA additive in children's products.
On average we are subjected to over 125 untested chemicals each day in our personal care products. ARE YOUR PERSONAL PRODUCTS SAFE? RANK THEM AND FIND OUT. Click here
(March 18, 2013 - BBJ)
(March 19, 2013 - Salem News)
(February 12, 2013 - Swampscott Patch)
The CEO of the company that plans to transform Salem Harbor Power Station recently touted its design at a North Shore breakfast forum. Lynn Nadeau of HealthLink says the plant's influence on Swampscott and other towns need to be scrutinized.
The natural gas plant slated to replace the coal-fired facility at Salem Harbor Power Station will be smaller, cleaner — and much better looking.
That's a summary of part of a wide-ranging presentation given by the CEO of the company that says it will transform the site into a mixed-use area that will not only power the region, but also provide berths for big cruise ships.
But Lynn Nadeau of HealthLink, a citizens action group that advocates for a cleaner environment, says the plant would bring Swampscott unseen and unwanted consequences.
Peter Furniss of Footprint Power spoke to a capacity crowd of more than 200 at Tuesday morning's North Shore Chamber of Commerce Executive Breakfast Forum.
He said the old coal-burning facility will be all but razed, then replaced on a much smaller scale by a gas-fired power plant. Much of the 65-acre plot would be available for uses other than the plant, which would take up only 22 acres. Toward the Blaney Street side, docks capable of accepting large cruise ships are envisioned. Between the plant and the adjoining sewerage facility, industrial uses are expected.
But Wait a Minute ...
Before the plan goes into effect and any large cruise shops pull into port the plan will need to be approved.
Nadeau says, "the owners of the Salem Harbor Station site present a spiffy, polished road show to North Shore communities, touting the architectural beauty of the plant they want to build and its fancy equipment to burn fossil fuel. Is there more to the project than the visual? What we don’t see, won’t see, is what we should worry about.
First of all, we taxpayers in Massachusetts are subsidizing this plant by paying the tax payments to the city of Salem for 7 years and relieving Footprint of any obligation. In addition, at a recent task force meeting, the state is discussing picking up 70 percent of the cost of cleanup of the existing site. Sweetheart deal!"
CEO Espouses High-End Architect Offers Design
Furniss provided new details Tuesday morning, including much about the proposed design of the gas works. The new plant would have one smokestack in place of the current facility's three. And that stack would be less than half the height (230 feet) of the tallest existing one (492 feet).
The CEO also touted a design by architect Bob Fox, whose firm designed the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York City.
Furniss said Fox had studied the architecture of Salem in detail and proposes a plant that will echo features of the Federal style made famous by Samuel McIntire. Detailed plans were not immediately available, but the photos accompanying this story give an idea of the proposal.
Berms would hide much of the lower parts of the facility. Vertical elements would draw the eye up and to the sky while horizontal elements would echo the clapboard construction widely seen in Salem.
"The design is with an eye to being respectful to the community," Furniss said.
Big Hurdles to Clear
The elegant architectural renderings won't ever become reality, however, if Footprint Power doesn't get state certification that Massachusetts needs the energy such a plant would produce. Furniss told the crowd he expects a decision to be announced in the next day or so on that important hurdle — termed an "auction" by regulators.
"If we clear this auction with an award, it will indicate a plant is needed and is needed quickly," Furniss said at the Chamber event, which was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Danvers.
Winning that certification doesn't guarantee the project will ever be built either, though. Footprint Power must also convince the state that the project will provide "system-wide reductions in emissions and net economic benefit to Massachusetts," Furniss said, reading from a slide show he presented to the business group.
Nadeau Also Points to Permitting Hurdles
The gas plant proposed for Salem is by no means a fait accompli, she said. "There are many permitting hurdles to be overcome," she said:
"1. Are environmental safeguards being protected locally? According to Footprint, the emissions numbers, for the 30-40 years of the plant's life are:
Nitrogen oxides – 158.6 tons per year
Carbon monoxide – 214.1 tons per year
Sulfur dioxide – 31.5 tons per year
Particulate matter – 109.9 tons per year
Ammonia – 56.0 tons per year
Carbon dioxide – 2.5 million tons per year
Since the existing coal plant will be closed and if there were no plant there, there would be no emissions, the emissions listed above are to be compared with zero emissions at the site.
2. Footprint has not fully described its proposed path to connect a new pipeline to provide the fuel for the plant nor has it assessed the environmental impact on the harbor, the air, and surrounding communities. The public has not been informed about how the hookup will be managed - horizontally under homes?
3. The letter, and the spirit, of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solution Act are not being satisfied by the building of a new fossil fuel plant. Massachusetts must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. During this time it is expected that dramatic changes will occur with respect to temperature, sea level, and storm frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. Nonetheless, Footprint has proposed to construct a new electric generating facility in a coastal location which will be particularly vulnerable to these effects of climate change.
4. How much water will be used for the plant? Does it come from the Ipswich River?
5. As the federal government begins regulating the impact of fracking for gas and shale oil - the degraded water table, the radioactivity released, and chemicals injected into the earth to fracture the shale, how will stiffer regulations affect the price of gas and the viability of this plant?
6. What guarantees is Footprint making vis-a-vis the final decommissioning and remediation at the end of this gas plant's life - in 30-40 years?
It is clear to see the benefits of the new plant for its corporate owners; they plan to make a profit. It is also clear to see that the city of Salem will benefit from any assured tax payments (although currently the state is paying $4m/year to the City of Salem in lieu of the past and present owners of the property.) Certainly if Footprint demolishes the old coal plant and remediates the site, it is to the benefit of the city of Salem, its citizens, and its financial health.
But what benefit is the plant to the people in neighboring communities? It adds more carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases to our already overheated planet. It encourages a squandering mentality rather than the move toward sustainability that we inheritors of the Puritans can exemplify."
Groups announce opposition to current natural gas plant proposal in Salem
Flag Serious Community Impacts and Unanswered Questions
SAFE, HealthLink and Clean Water Action today announced opposition to the tentative proposal outlined by Footprint Power, proponents of a 600-720 MWh natural gas and diesel-fueled power plant on the site of the current Salem Harbor Station. The groups cautioned that the details of the proposal remain sketchy at this point, adding to the level of public concern. Serious questions regarding the health and safety of the area's residents remain, following two public presentations by Footprint...