SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A coalition of environmental advocates held a rally to show their opposition to a proposed biomass incinerator by Palmer Renewable Energy to be built in East Springfield.

The plant would burn wood to create electricity on Page Boulevard. But it’s been stalled for years by legal battles and concerns about air quality and traffic.

“More than half of our residents have asthma or other respiratory issues,” said Tanisha Arena of Springfield Climate Justice Coalition. “A biomass plant here in our community would just make that worse.”

Those against the plant are asking the city not to renew the company’s expired permits to build the 35-megawatt biomass project. They also want the state to delete language in the House’s version of the climate bill that classifies biomass as non-carbon emitting energy.

“Essentially we believe that that is false and an error and there should not be a green energy subsidy given to these types of incinerators,” said Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman.

Councilor Lederman sent a letter signed by several other Springfield city councilors to lawmakers listing Springfield’s objections to the incinerator and the Springfield City Council is reviewing the building permits for the project.