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Proposed Renovo gas-fired plant

From 1981-2008, I served the people of Clinton County as a preschool speech therapist. I delivered speech services to children in their homes, day care, nursery school, grandma’s house, wherever they were. Every Tuesday was my day in Renovo. The trip was always the highlight of my week. I got to know a lot of people there during that time. I know they are good people who want jobs. After I retired I became a member of the Climate Reality Project, and was trained to be a climate activist. In that capacity, and living downwind and downstream, I am very concerned about the gas-fired power plant being planned for Renovo.

Since the railroad no longer supports Renovo’s economy, the area has relied on its reputation as a green refuge, a secluded place that provides visitors with numerous opportunities to commune with unsullied nature, to attract tourists to our area. The power plant threatens to change that. Projected to operate for 30 years, the plant will, according to the Clean Air Council (CAC), “be a major source of air pollution for nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, total particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds, and would be one of the single-largest polluters of greenhouse gases ever built in Pennsylvania.” In fact, the CAC has said that, if built, the plant will become the fourth largest polluter in Pennsylvania and will emit the same amount of greenhouse gases as the entire city of Pittsburgh!

Pollutants from the plant will not only reduce air quality, they will produce conditions that can seriously impact the health of Renovo residents. Over the lifetime of the plant, its nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions are estimated to generate societal costs of between $87 and $198 million dollars and cause air pollution at levels expected to kill between 10 and 22 people. Building this power plant is not worth the lives of 10 to 22 people. The benefits of the plant, including an estimated 25 to 30 permanent jobs, certainly do not significantly outweigh the lives of 10 to 22 people.

The DEP may issue a permit soon, allowing construction on the plant to begin — even though the Department has been remiss in making sure we understand the full extent of its impact on our area.

The voices of our community deserve to be heard. I don’t want to see the people of Renovo harmed. Nor do I want to have all those pollutants blow or flow down the river valley to the people in Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, or even as far as Williamsport.

Please contact the DEP by calling them at 570-327-3636, or submitting a comment on their website (www.dep.pa.gov), and urge them to schedule a public hearing before the permit is issued so that our concerns can be addressed.

VICKI SMEDLEY

Jersey Shore

Submitted via Virtual Newsroom

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