Friday, July 28, 2017

Cluster of power plants divides a Maryland community

  • Parija Kavilanz reports for The Philadelphia Tribune: 
"Five are enough, says Earl Mitchell, the president of a local civic association in Brandywine, Md. "We shouldn't have any more here." 

PSEG power plant under construction
Within the next three years, five large power plants will be operating within a 15-mile radius of this Washington, D.C.-area bedroom community. There are already three plants up and running — one burns coal and two use natural gas — and two more are under way.
Mitchell, 76, is retired and has lived in Brandywine’s North Keys neighborhood for 22 years. His house is just one-eighth of a mile from where the fourth — the PSEG Keys Energy Center power plant — is being built.
He and other area residents worry about the lasting consequences this growing cluster of power plants could have on the environment, their quality of life and their health.
And they are concerned about Brandywine’s youngest inhabitants, too.
Three years from now, when the fifth plant — Panda Mattawoman — opens, Brandywine Elementary school will be within just a handful of miles of two new natural gas-fueled facilities, which will emit a mix of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter that can trigger respiratory and other health problems.
“The power plants here are a Catch-22 for us,” said Mitchell, who retired from a 30-year career with the federal government in 1996. “Everyone wants the jobs and tax revenue they bring to a rural area, but we also have concerns.”
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