We burn fossil fuels—coal, oil, gas, wood, diesel, gasoline—for the energy we use in all our activities. These fires create pollution that harms our health and endangers our climate. Come with me and survey some of the sources of pollution in our city, Peabody, Massachusetts. Then we can begin to discuss how we can work together to change things and reduce pollution.
Remarks prepared for the Peabody meeting of the ISO New England Community Liaison Group on June 8, 2023.
I’m Jerry Halberstadt, a founding member of Breathe Clean North Shore and Coordinator of the Clean Power Coalition and of Healthy Air Peabody.
Prepared for presentation at Brooksby Village on March 6, 2023
Everyone wants their family (children, adults, and elderly) to enjoy good health. We all want to breathe healthy air, avoid illness, and live a long, happy life.
But pollution poisons our air, makes us sick, and kills some of us.
Introduction to the Healthy Air Peabody program, a community organization effort focused on health education and mitigation of harm is a springboard for remedial action.
Within the context of emissions monitoring, I want to return to the point of cumulative impact. This facility is being built on the same site as two existing peaking power plants—two plants that have been polluting surrounding neighborhoods for decades with serious impacts. Preliminary studies have shown that census tracts around the Waters River site have significantly higher levels of pulmonary disease, cardiac issues, cancer, and other illnesses than other parts of the city and the state. This new facility cannot be considered in a vacuum: it will be piling on top of existing emissions and generations of environmental racism and harm.
The burden that neighboring communities are already facing is clear. Do not further exacerbate these impacts. The Peabody Peaker project should not be permitted to move forward especially if no community health impact assessment is conducted. Instead of adding to the burden of the community, we should be reducing it. The city of Peabody and the PMLP should look to retire not one, but both of the existing facilities that are currently polluting and harming affected neighborhoods.
At this fall’s Massachusetts Health Officer’s Conference, I had the opportunity to hear Commissioner Suuburg discuss the initiatives of MassDEP to promote environmental justice and specifically, to address the cumulative impact of environmental stressors on environmental justice populations.
There are many well-documented health concerns associated with fossil fuel-burning power plants.
Carbon dioxide—the fizzy bubbles in carbonated drinks—is safe. Or is it?
The hearing today is focused on the obligation of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to evaluate how to monitor the amount of CO2 pollution that the Peabody peaker may emit.
My remarks will focus on the validity of the assumptions underlying the monitoring method and on the moral validity of the underlying assumptions.
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.
Air pollution is a toxic cloud over Peabody and the North Shore
Prepared for presentation to the Peabody Board of Health on October 20, 2022
I am Jerry Halberstadt, Coordinator of Clean Power Coalition, the lead for the new initiative I present today. The goal is to focus on the disease and death caused by pollution in Peabody and the North Shore, protect people, and reduce the use of oil and gas, the major source of pollution.