|Tell MDE and Governor O'Malley: Don't Stall on Public Health!
The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and O'Malley administration have an important opportunity to protect our health, but they're stalling.
The Crane and Wagner coal-fired power plants, right outside of Baltimore, operate with permits allowing them to spew sulfur dioxide pollution at levels exceeding healthy limits established by the EPA.1 The pollution range of the plants covers more than 100 parks, recreation areas, and schools, potentially harming 35,000 children in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.1
Now the plants are being sold, giving the MDE a unique opportunity to revise their permits and reduce their pollution levels. Unfortunately, despite possessing studies that demonstrate the plants' health risks, Secretary of the Environment Robert Summers has yet to announce intentions to address Crane and Wagner's dangerous pollution levels.2
The Crane and Wagner coal plants are the last two coal plants in the entire Mid-Atlantic region without modern pollution controls that have not announced plans to retire or clean up. Across the country, other states are protecting public health by requiring coal plants to pollution control technology, but Maryland is falling behind. In the American Lung Association's 2012 State of the Air Report, 15 counties in Maryland were monitored for air quality and 11 of them received failing grades!3
Secretary Summers' Department of the Environment is aware that the plants' emissions make Marylanders sick. It's time for them to do something about it.
Thanks for all you do to protect the environment,
Maryland Chapter Conversation Representative, Beyond Coal
P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this alert to your friends and colleagues!
1) Families at Risk: Toxic Pollution Threatens Baltimore's Kids
at Their Schools, Parks, and Homes, Sierra Club Maryland, 10/2012
2) State Won't Open Permits for Pasadena Power Plants, Maryland Gazette, 10/10/2012
3) State of the Air: Maryland, American Lung Association, 2012