Release: May 1, 2012
Sean Sarah, 202 548-4589, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Club Applauds Decision to Move BL England Off Coal on
World Asthma Day
New Jersey Plant Announces It Will
Retire Its Coal Boilers
Upper Township, NJ – Today,
the BL England coal fired power plant, located near Ocean City, New Jersey,
announced that it will retire both of its coal boilers. The nearly 50 year old
plant is one of the worst polluters in New Jersey, emitting millions of tons of
air pollution and exposing residents of South Jersey to dangerous toxins which
are linked to cardiovascular disease, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
While the owners of the plant have not yet laid out a timeline for
transitioning the plant off of coal, BL England was required to meet state air
pollution limits by today, May 1st, and failed to do so.
“We applaud the decision to end coal fired power at BL
England,” said Christine Guhl, Sierra Club Field Organizer. “The plant produces
millions of tons of pollution every year and is contributing to the health woes
of many in South Jersey. While we’re glad that the plant has decided to move
beyond coal, natural gas isn’t a long term answer to New Jersey’s energy needs.
We are ready for, and deserve, a clean energy future.”
Communities in the region have been organizing opposition to
the plant in recent months. Ocean City recently passed a municipal resolution
that BL England be given no further extensions of time to comply with air
pollution limits. Further, nearly 6,000 South Jersey residents signed a
petition calling on Governor Christie to retire the BL England coal plant.
Those petitions were delivered today, World Asthma Day, at the state house in
Dr. Stanley H. Weiss, Professor of Preventative Medicine and
Community Health, UMDNJ – New Jersey Medical School, has conducted research on
the effects of air pollution on New Jersey residents. “In order to reduce
asthma incidence in New Jersey it is important for the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection’s air quality protections to be implemented right
away,” Dr. Weiss said.
Until the switch away from coal is made, the Sierra Club
will still seek DEP enforcement of air quality standards and insist that fines
for air pollution violations be levied. BL England is the dirtiest power plant
in New Jersey with pollution far above what is considered safe for local
residents. It is one of New Jersey’s largest
emitters of carbon.
"This is great
news for the people of New Jersey and another important victory for the Beyond
Coal Campaign. We are clearly witnessing the end of our dependency on coal and
the move toward a cleaner energy future," said Mike Bloomberg, whose Bloomberg Philanthropies has contributed $50
million to the Beyond Coal Campaign.