Residents secure two wins for clean air

Member Update Summer 2010

Residents fighting the proposed power plant in Brockton

Residents of Brockton and West Bridgewater fighting a proposed fossil fuel power plant scored a major victory recently when the company dropped its plan to run the plant on diesel.

While this concession was made after intense pressure from our campaign, residents are still opposed to the project because running the plant on natural gas would continue to emit significant air pollution. This modification, along with a few others, have been sent to the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) in a Project Change Filing. The EFSB has granted our request to conduct a full evidentiary hearing (bring witnesses and evidence) and hold a new public hearing in Brockton about the changes.

In another win, the Brockton Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) denied developers permission to build a structure that would house the plant’s connection to the electrical grid. Although Brockton Building Superintendent James Casieri ruled in May that the structure was not allowed under the current zoning, Advanced Power North America had appealed the decision, which was upheld when the ZBA voted three to two on July 13. We expect the company to appeal to court.

In June, residents packed a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) public hearing on a proposed air permit for the power plant, and were joined by Brockton's mayor, city councilors, state senator and representatives in opposition to the project.

Last year, the EFSB conditionally approved the construction of the power plant in Brockton. However, community members are appealing the decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) because the EFSB ruled incorrectly on several points. ACE’s Legal Counsel, along with Lisa Goodheart, Esq., Dylan Sanders, Esq. and Shanel Lindsay, Esq. of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen are representing residents in the appeal. At our request, the SJC has stayed our appeal until December so the EFSB could consider the Project Change Filing first.

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