It’s the duty of our elected officials to look out for the interests of the community but it doesn’t appear they did so in this case. This power plant is a bad deal for us. Follow this link to read a description of the issue provided by the citizen group “Citizens for a Healthy Jessup”: Jessup Power Plant
Studies from major universities indicate that a plant of this nature causes a reduction of property value of nearby properties by 3% to 7%. These studies were submitted to local officials but the issue has never been resolved. So our neighbors take a financial loss to the value of their property while the financial benefits from the financing and operation of this plant go the Invenergy and their investors. This alone should have been enough to stop the approval of the power plant.
Lets talk about the health risks.
The Times-Tribune published on Aug 1, 2015 the DEP “Intent to Issue Plan Approvals” under the Air Pollution Control Act for the Invenergy generation facility. It says the facility will be a major source of air pollutants and the projected emissions of Nitrogen Oxides(NOx) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) will exceed the NNSR major source thresholds. NOx emissions react in the air to form ground level ozone which can trigger COPD and asthma according to the Centers for Disease Control. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are a mix of hazardous air pollutants which are known or suspected to cause cancer according to the EPA.
DEP approved the Air Quality Permit relying in part on a shell game called Emission Reduction Credits or ECRs. Simply buy some ECRs and you can to exceed the limits for toxic emissions. ECRs don’t reduce the emissions one ounce.
If you want to check for yourself, follow this link to the plan submitted to DEP. It is the full text of the air quality application: DEP Intent to Issue Plan Approval
Lets talk about Jobs.
Invenergy stated there will be 40 permanent jobs created, but never committed to how many of these jobs will be here locally. They’ve never given a detailed description of the jobs or the pay these jobs might earn. It’s a highly automated plant. It won’t require very many workers to operate. It’s likely that more jobs will be created at their headquarters in in Chicago in accounting and management than we’ll have here in our District.
Invenergy also touted more than 600 temporary construction jobs. During one of the many public meetings held in review of this facility, Invenergy officials stated that at least half of the temporary union construction jobs will be filled by out of the area workers. Invenergy is right now constructing temporary housing near the site for these out of area workers.
Lets talk about Taxes.
Our area will see no additional property tax revenue. None, because this plant is being built in a tax free zone. Additionally, the subsidiary called Lackawanna Energy Center which will operate the plant is a Delaware Corporation. As such, they will pay absolutely no PA State Income Tax.
Lets talk about the Host Agreement.
The proposed Host Agreement has been panned as woefully inadequate compared to other host agreements for similar facilities, including other facilities operated by Invenergy or their subsidiaries. Follow this link to read an analysis of theJessup Host Agreement done by Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services: Host Agreement Analysis
So let’s review…
- Invenergy/Lackawanna Energy Center pays no local Property Tax.
- Invenergy/Lackawanna Energy Center pays no State Income Tax on the billions of dollars of profits this plant will generate over its 50 year life.
- Invenergy/Lackawanna Energy Center offered a host agreement that is very much less than what other communities have negotiated and received for similar generation plants.
- Invenergy/Lackawanna Energy Center plant will emit toxic waste into our atmosphere threatening the health of our District Residents.
- Local property values will decrease around the plant.
- Our electric rates will not be reduced – the electricity generated here will go into the grid to feed New York and New Jersey.
- We gain no significant local permanent jobs.
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