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‘Faces of Portsmouth’ Call for End of Coal
Portsmouth, New Hampshire — Wednesday morning, concerned residents gathered at Discover Portsmouth to speak out in favor of retiring Schiller Station, PSNH’s coal-fired power plant in Portsmouth. The gathering, hosted by the Citizens for Clean and Fair Power and Toxics Action Center, featured a massive photo display of Portsmouth residents holding signs in favor of clean air.
“As a mother, the health and well-being of my family are most important to me. As we all know, burning coal produces soot, smog and other pollutants that can lead to health problems such as asthma or even worse, cancer. ” said Christina Dubin of Portsmouth.
More than 150 residents had their photos taken Monday and Tuesday to support the Citizens for Clean and Fair Power. The photos featured residents holding signs expressing why they wanted to see Schiller Station retired. Reasons ranged from “Portsmouth deserves clean air,” to “coal is dirty and dangerous” to “95,000 lbs of toxic pollution is too much.”
Schiller Station, one of two coal-fired power plants in New Hampshire owned by PSNH, is the second biggest polluter for the state. The plant emits toxins such as lead and mercury which are known neurotoxins. Beyond the health hazards associated with coal, PSNH has externalized the cost of faulty investments in the coal plants onto ratepayers, charging 10-20% more per month to customers while it continues to produce dirty power. The public health risk and regional economic cost of Schiller Station has been the focus of Citizens for Clean and Fair Power’s efforts for the past year.
“I love living in Portsmouth but this is one dirty little secret that needs to be retired.” concluded Dubin.
Residents from across the region have complained of negative health effects from Schiller Station, and Citizens for Clean and Fair Power see responsibly retiring Schiller Station in Portsmouth as the way forward. The group’s efforts this year have been around uniting concerned residents, business owners, and organizations to bring attention to the issue of clean energy on the seacoast.
With the state legislature’s recent recommendation to the PUC to investigate divestment, New Hampshire could see a decision on the fate of clean air in New Hampshire next year.
“Now is the time for our decision makers to show real leadership and finally pull the plug on coal.” said Andy Jones, Community Organizer with Toxics Action Center.
Toxics Action Center has helped more than 750 neighborhood groups across New England fight toxic pollution in their communities. We work on a variety of issues including cleaning up hazardous waste sites, stopping proposed landfills and incinerators, curbing pesticide spraying, pressuring companies to reduce their toxic chemical use, and other issues that threaten the health and safety of residents, neighborhoods and the environment.
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