Dear Agent Dahl,
I am submitting these comments to you concerning the EPA’s permitting of the Pioneer Valley Energy Center.
Because the air of the Pioneer Valley is very close to being over the allowable amount of ozone, I am displeased that the EPA is deferring to MA DEP’s permitting of the Energy Center. EPA says the Center will “be a major new source of air pollution.” EPA also says that “the Westfield area meets all of the EPA’s health-based standards except for ozone.” For this reason, I think that the EPA’s deference to MA DEP is a failure of leadership and ethics; EPA is by law the leading, not the following, agency. In this case, the EPA’s ozone standards have been compromised.
I would like a discussion in the statement of issuance of the permit that assesses the contribution of the Center’s emissions, alone and along with existing and proposed power plants and manufacturing entities, to the overall air pollution load of the Pioneer Valley in terms of long-term and cumulative impacts.
At the hearing in Westfield, the EPA stated that it is not in charge of designing or implementing a regional energy plan for the Pioneer Valley; this is the task allotted to citizens and politicians. As a resident of Westhampton who runs a business in Northampton, I would like the EPA to confirm this, so that this news is brought to the attention of citizens and elected officials, with the idea of getting funding for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to do a study of the region’s existing and proposed energy sources. The facts this report presents will provide a valuable foundation for municipal and regional discussions of and planning for our energy future—in the context described above: the air of the Pioneer Valley is very close to being over the allowable amount of ozone.
- Consider: a new oil & natural gas burning electricity-generating plant in Westfield
- Using EPA & MA DEP data & reports to understand our air quality
- How the EPA regulates particulate matter (PM), & how PMed is Springfield
- How the Valley Works—a biocitizen class
- How the Valley Works @ Holyoke Gas & Electric Hydropower Dam