Westfield Power Plant
Posted in the Chicopee Forum
#1 Aug 7, 2008
So, a 400MW gas-fired power plant is now under consideration for Westfield,MA. What is going on? Isnt Massachusetts supposed to be the leader in green and alternative energy? Arent we supposed to be the leaders of the clean economy in our nation?
Why then is yet another massive fossil fuel power plant under consideration in our Commonwealth? Huge fossil fuel plants are already in the siting process for Billerica, Brockton, and Walpole. Yet, Massachusetts Governor and his Cabinet have established a goal for the Commonwealth to develop and harness new, non-fossil fuel methods to address our future power needs.
On Tuesday evening, residents in Westfield heard from the Energies Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) about the Boards process for siting the plant being considered for their community. They also heard from town officials who, in alarmingly similar statements to officials in other communities, think it is no big deal. They heard from residents who are aware of the health impacts of particulate matter and reduced air quality. They heard from environmentalists who are concerned over danger to the second largest aquifer in the state, and the depletion of yet more surface water in the name of power and profits. And they heard from the developer who painted a picture of peaceful co-existence and paving the streets with gold.
Carrots are held out to local politicians in the form of PILOT agreements, the lure of jobs, and the ruse that there will be no impact beyond the property line. But what is omitted is the fact that agreements are reneged upon, and payments reduce as the plant depreciates. Owners change from one limited liability corporation to the next. Construction jobs cant be guaranteed to any one group and in fact can go to out of state open shops where laborers skilled in building plants can be found. And there will be increased truck traffic and other impacts to the quality of life, and respiratory health of residents in the host community and beyond will be affected. Oh, and electricity rates will not go down, nor will the power stay in Westfield. The power is sold in a market that matches supply to demand to find the market price and then is distributed via the grid to where the power is needed- throughout New England.
An opportunity to express your concerns about the proposed Westfield plant is available. Public comments will be accepted until August 12 and should be sent to Ms. Selma Urman, EFSB, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110. Ms. Urman is the hearing officer who gathers public comments and ensures they are considered in the EFSBs siting process.
#2 May 24, 2011
are you for real, ma needs the power plants, leader in what, to the bottom, without fossil power plants, were dead in the water, do u want to be like california, look at the problems they have, if you feel that way buy your power and pay the extra to get green power,
#3 Aug 16, 2011
More NIMBY Chicken littling here but not for any good reason. This plant actually should be a nuke. Japan's issue aside (dated design defeated by a one in a million event) new nuclear designs are quite robust and safe (the French and Chinese (working with the French) are way ahead of us in this and use nukes almost exclusively). There is now a safe and effective way to recycle the waste. But it'll never get built because people refuse to educate themselves, as in this issue.
Pollute the aquifer? How? Truck traffic? Yeah while its being built, but relatively none after. Air quality impacted? Show me how with nat gas, which has almost no particulate emissions compared to coal and almost no sulfur dioxide compared to coal and lower CO2 per ton/btu produced compared to coal.
If this new plant, built to the current and quite stringent EPA standards, burns natural gas and takes a dirty coal fired plant out of service how is this a bad thing? We have one 5 miles from where I live in Charlton and you never know its there. Important to point out most of our air pollution comes from coal plants in the mid west and ohio valley). Do something about those, you people who hate power plants. They're the problem, not a small gas plant in Westfield.
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