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> NAACP targets NIPSCO for pollution in minority/poor areas
Southsider2k12
post Jul 15 2011, 09:03 AM
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http://posttrib.suntimes.com/6510943-537/n...ir-quality.html

QUOTE
Indiana ranks third in the nation for electricity generation from its 90 operating coal-fired power plants, according to “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People in Indiana,” a recently released report from the NAACP.

The NIPSCO Bailly power plant leads the nation for nitrous oxides emissions in rankings provided by The Environmental Integrity Project.

In “Coal Blooded,” the NAACP looks at coal-fired power plants and says their harmful effects are inadequately addressed by existing environmental regulations and are disproportionately felt among people of color and lower income.

On Friday, Michigan City will be the site of one of several NAACP-sponsored events held in conjunction with the release of “Coal Blooded.”

The first event, at 2 p.m., is a teach-in for NAACP members from around the state to review the report about the dangers of what the NAACP called the 10 worst power plants in Indiana, according to Barbara Bolling, Indiana NAACP state conference president.

A town hall meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday will be held at the Hope Center, 222 McClelland Ave., and is open to the public. Testimony will be taken from people who live in the footprint of power plants, which will be submitted to the EPA. The NAACP is soliciting testimony in response to an EPA proposal to update air quality standards.

“We’d like the EPA to implement stronger regulation and monitoring and enforcement,” Bolling said.

A prayer vigil in front of the Michigan City power plant on U.S. 12 will begin at 8 p.m. Friday.

“Coal Blooded” creates an “environmental justice performance” ranking of power plants coupling emissions with demographic factors, so while the Bailly power plant may lead the nation in nitrous oxides emissions, when incorporated with demographic factors such as population density it is fairly benign.

The study found that the proportion of the U.S. population who are people of color is 29.2 percent, yet 52.5 percent of the people living within 3 miles of these 90 failing plants are people of color. The per capita income of people within 3 miles of the 90 failing plants, $17,600, is less than the U.S. per capita income of $21,587.

The study gives 90 of 431 coal power plants in the U.S. a failing grade for environmental justice performance; Indiana has eight of these 90, and two of the Top 10 — State Line Plant in Hammond, owned by Dominion, and the R. Gallagher Generating Station in New Albany, owned by Duke Energy.

The State Line Plant is slated to be closed between 2014 and 2017, according to earlier Post-Tribune reports, because Dominion does not believe it is worthwhile upgrading the plant to meet Clean Air Act standards.

And while “Coal Blooded” advocates “shutting down the 90 failing plants,” it is a decision Bolling doesn’t necessarily agree with: “I have mixed feelings. If a plant cannot be made safe we don’t want it. We absolutely don’t want to see jobs lost, but we want to make an unsafe plant safe.”
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Southsider2k12
post Jul 15 2011, 01:11 PM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/articles/2011/0...09090161802.txt

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NAACP plans ‘teach-in’ over generating station

By Tim Moran
Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011 5:08 PM CDT
MICHIGAN CITY — In response to a recent NAACP survey that identified 10 Indiana coal-fired power plants as “top environmental justice offenders,” Michigan City will host a teach-in for local members sponsored by the group’s national organization.

In the “CoalBlooded” report, the Michigan City NIPSCO Generating Station earned an “F” grade, one of eight similar Indiana stations to earn the low mark.

The study analyzed toxic emissions and demographic factors to arrive at its conclusion.

“The results surprised me,” La Porte County NAACP President Wesley Scully said. “We hope to educate the community on this information because it is something they should be concerned with.”

*
The NAACP received help with the study from the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The teach-in is from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at Clarion Inn and Suites, 5820 Franklin St., with registration set to begin at 12:30 p.m.

It will be one of a few events that day that, according to a press release, “intend to educate the community and encourage residents to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Mercury and Air Toxics standards, which will limit toxic power plants emissions.”

Following the teach-in, a Town Hall meeting is from 6 to 7 p.m. at H.O.P.E., 222 McClelland Ave. There, the official report will be released and residents will give testimonials.

A prayer vigil is at 8 p.m. in front of the NIPSCO Generating Station across from Pullman Part on U.S. 12.

Repeated attempts to reach NIPSCO for comment were unsuccessful.
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Southsider2k12
post Jul 18 2011, 08:38 AM
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http://thenewsdispatch.com/articles/2011/0...31340492111.txt

QUOTE
NAACP reveals results of coal plant story

Jacqueline Patterson, director of NAACP’s environmental and climate-justice department, speaks about coal emissions during Friday’s teach-in at Clarion Inn & Suites. Photo by Amanda Jacobson
NAACP looks at effects on urban black population
By Amanda Jacobson
Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, July 16, 2011 5:08 PM CDT
MICHIGAN CITY — NAACP officials explained their study in greater detail Friday that calls NIPSCO’s Michigan City Generating Station one of the Top 10 most toxic coal plants in Indiana, also addressing the adverse effects sulfur dioxide emissions have on America’s urban black population.

The findings were discussed during a “teach-in” at Clarion Inn & Suites.

In the “Coal Blooded” report, NIPSCO’s Michigan City plant was determined to be one of the nation’s90 failing power plants in America. Indiana houses eight failing coal plants, second only to Illinois, which maintains 10 failing plants.

The same 90 failing U.S. power plants, in total, were responsible for25.5 percent of SO2 emissions and 21.1 percent of all nitrogen oxide emissions, according to Environmental Protection Agency statistics presented in the report.

*
Jacqueline Patterson, NAACP director of environmental and climate justice, discussed the adverse effects SO2 emissions have on America’s urban black population.

Speaking mainly about disproportionate exposure, impact and vulnerability of black Americans, Patterson said there is a large percentage of blacks exposed to coal emissions from power plants.

“Seventy-one percent of black Americans live in counties in violation of air pollution standards,” Patterson said, “and asthma sends 3.1 percent more African Americans to the emergency room than it does white Americans.”

The major respiratory effects of coal-emissions inhalation are asthma, narrowing of the airways (bronchoconstriction) and increased emergency room visits and hospital admissions, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Patterson said because of certain economic and geographic factors, many blacks live in industrial areas close to coal-firing plants or buildings.

For those in the Michigan City area, fewer emissions may be seen in the future.

NIPSCO this week responded to its failing grade on the NAACP report, stating the company has reduced its SO2 and NOx by 70 percent since 1990, and that half its company’s facilities contain sulfur dioxide scrubbers to lessen emissions.

On Friday, Nick Meyer, NIPSCO director of external communications, said NIPSCO’s Michigan City plant is exploring alternative power sources such as wind power and natural gas-burning units.

Other plans in the works include a long-term environmental assessment initiative, an investment of more than $600 million that could cut emissions by another 80 percent from today’s NIPSCO emissions.

“The EPA and federal government determine emissions levels,” Meyer said. “We have a proven track record when it comes to tracking and exceeding the EPA standards around air quality.”
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Southsider2k12
post Jul 18 2011, 08:41 AM
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I intentionally reversed the order of the stories as published by the News Dispatch, but one thing stands out to me here... Why did the NIPSCO response to the NAACP's action get published before the NAACP's study? That doesn't smell right to me. Hopefully it isn't because of advertising considerations. This isn't the first time I have noticed that someone's response to a story has come before the story itself actually was discussed in the News Dispatch. The same thing happened with the John Jones situation and his potential violations of federal election law, which we haven't heard a word about since they happened.

http://thenewsdispatch.com/articles/2011/0...93565909295.txt

QUOTE
NIPSCO responds to survey

Spokesman: Utility leads way in environmental upgrades
By Tim Moran
Staff Writer
Published: Friday, July 15, 2011 5:09 PM CDT
MICHIGAN CITY — Responding to an NAACP survey analyzing toxic emissions and demographic factors that gave the Michigan City NIPSCO Generating Station a grade of F, a spokesman for the utility stressed Thursday the company has been “a leading force” in environmental technologies during the last 20 years.

“NIPSCO has been a leader in making upgrades to environmental controls,” NIPSCO Director of External Communications Nick Meyer said, pointing out the company has “reduced Knox and SO2 emissions by 70 percent” since 1990.

Half of NIPSCO’s coal-fired units, Meyer continued, are equipped with “SO2 scrubbers,” which exceeds the national average.

While Meyer admits NIPSCO uses coal because it is “an abundant, reliable and inexpensive way to generate electricity,” he realizes it cannot be the only source.

*
“We’ve diversified our sources by adding wind power and natural gas as ways to generate electricity,” he said.

The NAACP received help with its study from the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Indigenous Environmental Network. Its “teach-in” about the study is from 2 to 5 p.m. today at Clarion Inn and Suites, 5820 Franklin St., with registration set to begin at 12:30 p.m.
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