On April 3 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved plans to install a $725 million pollution control system at the Homer City coal-fired power plant in Indiana County. This decision, coming after a lawsuit by the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, and a boisterous hearing on March 14, will allow owners, General Electric to lower the emission of sulfur dioxide by 100,000 tons per year, along reductions in mercury emissions. In response to the DEP’s action Randy Francisco, Sierra Club’s Organizing Representative for the region, issued the following statement:
“The Department of Environmental Protection’s decision doesn’t change the facts, and our campaign will continue at full strength. Some of the best economic analysts in the region have repeatedly shown that this plant simply isn’t economically viable. It’s a bad investment for General Electric and it’s certainly a bad investment for the people of Indiana County. Rather than let $750 million go up in smoke, it’s time for this plant to retire.
The health of local residents and families is at risk. This plant has consistently been one of the worst polluters on record and no amount of funds will make it profitable again. In fact, even Edison itself has found that this plant literally has no value. Now is not the time for another bad investment in our community.
Pennsylvania has the opportunity to become a national leader in clean energy manufacturing and production, and Indiana County is well-positioned to take advantage of this clean energy economy. Every time we give old technology a new lease on life, however, we take our economy one step backwards.”