Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Please write letters to the editor NOW (talking points below)

We need media coverage about permitting problems with Healy Coal Plant No. 2 through letters to the editor and op-eds from citizens who want to assure that Healy’s operations will not harm air quality or pose a danger to public health.

Messages should not focus on wholescale abandonment of the project, but rather that, if Healy 2 ever does start up, it must have proper technology and its operations must be consistent with Clean Air Act requirements in order to protect human health and safety and environmental quality.

Please write letters to the editor NOW (talking points below).

Asking DEC and EPA to make sure the Healy permits are stringent enough to comply with the Clean Air Act and protect public health and the environment.

Demanding that the plant not be allowed to renew and apply its outdated existing permit, which was granted 10 years ago, to a different plant, with different combustion technologies.

Demanding that GVEA and AIDEA apply for new permits that comply with Clean Air Act requirements in the interests of public health and the environment.

Peninsula Clarion
Dori Lynn Anderson, Editor

Cinthia Ritchie, Seward Phoenix Log

Jenny Neyman, Redoubt Reporter
phone: 394-6397

Homer News
Lori Evans, Editor

Homer Tribune

Talking Points

Alaskans have a right to breathe clean air. Healy was designed to burn waste coal under a permit that was granted more than 10 years ago. The only way to ensure that air quality and public health are protected is to subject the plant to a new permitting process that fully analyzes the proposal and ensures current, more-protective standards are met. Coal is dirty. Burning coal releases mercury and carbon dioxide emissions into our air, into our lungs, and into our food supply. GVEA is taking the position that no new permit is required to begin operating Healy Coal Plant No. 2. Without proper permitting, air quality and public health will be compromised.

The Healy Plant has been closed for ten years. The technology is questionable. It’s just common sense to ask to ensure that public health, clean air and clean water are protected from outdated technology.
The Healy plant has been closed for 10 years and its decade-old technology was not designed to mitigate the more recent health concerns of mercury and carbon dioxide emissions. Healy’s technology was not clean 10 years ago – that’s part of the reason the plant never started up full operations –and is not clean today. Under these circumstances, it is logical that new permits are issued before this plant can operate safely.

DEC has an obligation to make sure its permits protect public health and ensure clean air and water .
DEC is obligated to protect public health and the environment through its permitting process for the Healy Coal Plant No. 2. Before the plant is allowed to operate, DEC must carefully review its permits to make sure air quality protections under the Clean Air Act are guaranteed. The Healy plant can pull the switch only when it can be shown that its permits meet Clean Air Act standards and requirement.

Communities and park lands are at risk from air pollution unless we make sure Healy runs clean.
GVEA and AIDEA have a moral obligation to ensure that Healy is properly permitted in a manner that protects public health – particularly pregnant women, the young and the elderly – clean air and clean water from mercury emissions and other toxic pollutants.

GVEA will pass additional costs of start up and environmental compliance onto ratepayers. Ratepayers should know how much their rates will go up and what they will have to pay for permitting the plant to comply with new environmental standards, and other start up costs. Ratepayers have the right to know how their rates will be affected before HEA commits to a power sharing agreement.

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