It is unfortunate that Mr. Ingold of Weston Solutions resorted to personal attacks in his response to our science-based critique of the proposed North Springfield biomass energy plant. (“Wood chip developer answers criticism,” Sept. 25.)
Our organization, the Partnership for Policy Integrity, submitted a critique of the North Springfield plant’s air pollution permit to the Agency of Natural Resources — it is available online at www.pfpi.net. Mr. Ingold claims that our filings with ANR are “just plain dishonest,” but it is his company’s own lowballing of projected emissions that concerns us.
The North Springfield biomass plant will be a major polluter, continuously emitting particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide, along with hazardous air pollutants such as hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, and heavy metals like arsenic and lead. This is why both the American Lung Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society — which publishes the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine — oppose biomass combustion for energy, and why groups of local citizens, like NoSAG, oppose the North Springfield plant.
When ANR considers an emissions permit, the process is open to public comment. The objective is to produce a legal permit that, if the plant is built, credibly reduces emissions to the maximum extent possible, for the health of local residents and the environment. We hope the plant’s proponents can bear this goal and the spirit of informed civic participation in mind as the process moves forward.
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