Phila’s Vaunted Mass Transit Systems Bills Itself as “Green” … But Is It Really?
Neighbors Against the Gas Plants Director Lynn Robinson checked in with Charles Ellison, host of WURD’s Reality Check, about the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s rush to build a new natural gas plant in North Philly for bus fuel and its own natural gas fueled electrical power plant. Robinson argues these plans pose a major air quality hazard for neighborhoods, schools and other communities within miles of these plants, and describes attempts to stop the permit approval process.
Neighbors Against the Gas Plants was formed a year ago as an ad hoc citizen group.
“The bus depot does pollute the neighborhood quite a bit with diesel exhaust,” says Robinson. “In fact, Nicetown is up in the 96th percentile compared to the rest of the country as far as diesel exhaust pollution. We’ve got the diesel buses, plus regular traffic, plus the general pollution in Philadelphia.”
“The new project at Wayne Junction is an electrical generator which would create electricity for Wayne Junction. And there’s six trains running from Wayne Junction. Currently, they get their electricity delivered from PECO, so they don’t have any kind of power outage issue. SEPTA told me that once every other year they have a power outage issue. So this is not a project needed because of some kind of faulty system. What they want to do is burn natural gas and, as you know, Pennsylvania is a fracking state.”
“We’re upset because it’s going to put 81.6 more metric tons of toxic emissions in the air, on top of the diesel and everything else.”