Senator Markey, city officials discuss MassDEP’s decision to revoke Biomass plant

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Senator Markey was in Springfield Wednesday to discuss the recent announcement from the MassDEP revoking an air permit for a proposed biomass waste facility in Springfield.

Markey was joined by Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman, State Senator Adam Gomez, and state activists. MassDEP made the announcement on April 2 to revoke an air permit for a Springfield biomass facility proposed by Palmer Renewable Energy. They said they declined it due to a “lack of construction progress and renewed concerns related to local public health and environmental impact.”

The plant would have been used to burn wood to create electricity on Page Boulevard. The project has been stalled for years over legal battles with the Springfield City Council even retaining legal counsel to challenge the project’s building permit, originally issued in 2011.

“Thank you to the Department of Environmental Protection for listening to the people, for recognizing the severe impacts that Palmer Renewable Energy would have on nearby environmental justice communities, especially those that are already struggling with some of the highest asthma rates in the country,” State Senator Adam Gomez stated to 22News. “To Palmer Renewable Energy – stay out and don’t come back. If you appeal, we’ll keep fighting you.” 

Markey wrote to MassDEP in December last year, asking the agency to suspend Palmer Renewable Energy LLC’s decade-old Conditional Approval and conduct a new review of the proposed plant’s air quality impacts.

After a decade of fighting to protect their community, the people of Springfield have had justice delivered and no longer denied… climate justice… environmental justice for the people of Springfield.

Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts

City Councilor Lederman has also been focused on this topic for more than a decade.

“The decision by MassDEP makes it clear what I have long said: the days of polluters being rubber stamped in communities like ours are over,” said Lederman.

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