We have a pollution problem affecting the health of every person in our North Shore communities. Pollution affects health today, making children ill and damaging their lungs and minds, thus impacting their future. It makes elderly people ill and can kill them. Finally, by amplifying global warming, pollution increases future threats to health. Community organization effort focused on health education is a springboard for action.
In our North Shore and Cape Ann communities, we face an invisible threat of air pollution that causes disease and premature death while it despoils our environment and contributes to global warming. Every breath brings the potential for disease and death.
Like sailors approaching a hidden danger, we need a lighthouse, a warning system for air pollution so that we can mitigate the harm to ourselves, our natural environment, and the climate and so that we can act together to reduce air pollution by stopping it at the source.
What will we do for our grandchildren?
On a bright November Saturday, advocates for clean energy from across Massachusetts joined Peabody residents in the "Peabody Peaker Push" at the courthouse in Peabody Square to advocate against the proposed gas- and oil-fired electric generator (“Project 2015A”).
Among them was Peabody resident Hunter, a young man of 8 years, holding a sign that said, “Non Renewable Energy is Peak Stupidity.”
We need to have a process that can bring together citizens, producers of power, experts in community development, and community organizers.
For the process to be effective, several issues must be addressed at the start.
“Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
Our survival is at risk. The world is on fire, drowning in flood, thirsty in drought, hungry in famine, devastated by tornadoes. Climate change caused by human activities, mainly from burning of fossil fuel—gas and oil, is threatening all of nature along with our civilization. In Peabody, fossil fuel generators and cars harm our health. Is cheap energy worth the disaster?
What can we do in Peabody to address our share of this world problem? We must focus on eliminating all sources of greenhouse gases— that trap heat in the atmosphere and change the climate. Our use of fossil fuel is harming us now and threatens the future of our grandchildren.
Guest Post by Tracy Valletti
I’m concerned about the health and future of our city and am against the proposed fossil fuel peaker project. We need a commissioner who will lead with a vision aligned with the residents and city departments to maintain and improve our quality of life. The negative health and climate effects of a polluting plant in our city and our world are real. I can no longer stand by as these warnings are ignored. I will advocate for investments in renewable energy sources that keep our communities clean and affordable. I will engage with residents to come together as a community to create a future that is clean, affordable, and accessible to all.
In stark violation of the Climate Law, Acts of 2021, Ch. 8 S. 15, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on August 12 approved the request of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) to borrow $85 million to finance building the project 2015A peaker plant slated to be sited at the Waters River, at the Peabody/Danvers border, with the option to refinance at a later date.
The provisions of the Climate Law should have required a comprehensive health and environmental review with consideration of reliability, equity, and impact on the climate, not just cost, before proceeding.
This is a guest post by Adrienne Allen, MD, MPH based on her statement at the MMWEC public forum at the Peabody Senior Center in April, 2021. The title quotes what patients who have health conditions caused or exacerbated by pollution report to their doctor.
I write out of deep concern and a sense of urgency about the impacts of MMWEC’s
proposed 55MW peak capacity generator in Peabody (Project 2015A) on the people and communities I represent. I am requesting that you employ your authority to ensure that
both a comprehensive health impact assessment and an environmental impact report precede the granting of any permit by the DPU, and to insist that the provisions of the Climate Law, Acts of 2021, Ch. 8 S. 15 are adhered to by the DPU as they evaluate the proposal.