SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Environmental activists are urging Governor Baker to withdraw a rule that would allow biomass energy plants to qualify for clean energy subsidies.

The Springfield Climate Justice Coalition held a news conference outside of the Governor’s Springfield office Wednesday.

The Coalition alleges that Palmer Renewable Energy would benefit from this rule, and they’ve been pushing for a wood-burning biomass power plant in Springfield. That’s been met with significant pushback from the community.

“Springfield is the asthma capital of the nation. One in five children here have asthma. We don’t need a wood-burning facility to spew more pollution into the air here and exacerbate the climate crisis,” said Mireille Bejjani, Western Massachusetts Community Organizer of Community Action Works.

If built, the facility would be the state’s only large-scale biomass power plant, burning roughly 12-hundred tons of wood per day for general electricity.