years of fighting for the closure of Salem Harbor Coal Plant the New
England electric grid operator has proposed upgrades to the transmission
system that clears the last hurdle to finally retire this filthy plant.
The closure of this plant is a success story for all of the citizens of
Massachusetts as well as environmental organizations like Salem Alliance
for the Environment, HealthLink, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the
Conservation Law Foundation.
“The ISO analysis is consistent with the view of the plant owners and
the public that the life of this polluting dirty coal plant is over. It
is time to move forward with clean sustainable technology and
efficiency. The sooner our money is spent on the future rather than the
past, the better for our wallets as well as our health,” says Jane
New England’s Independent System Operator, which makes decisions
about the region’s electricity grid, decided yesterday that to allow the
Salem Harbor Power Station to close two coal-fired units in 2014. It
also proposed upgrades to the local transmission grid that should allow
the entire coal-burning power plant to permanently shut down by 2014 or
sooner. “The advantages are clear: by upgrading the transmission
infrastructure, ratepayers will reap the benefits of a reliable system
for years into the future at much lower cost than continuing to operate
an out-of-date plant that emits tons of toxic pollution into the air
each year,” said Shanna Cleveland, Staff Attorney at Conservation Law
“We are glad to hear that Salem’s coal fired power plant is not
necessary for our region’s future. This is a great example of how smart
regulation and active citizens can push our energy system in a clean,
low-carbon direction. The residents of Salem and the surrounding area
can breathe easier, literally and figuratively, knowing that this plant
will close and newer, cleaner technologies will replace it,” said Jeff
Barz-Snell, Co-Leader of Salem Alliance for the Environment.
State Representative Lori A. Ehrlich (D) and one of the original
founding members of HealthLink in 1997 said, "The Salem Plant was built
in the 1950's when cars had tail fins and white wall tires. Now that it
has soiled our region's drinking water, air, land and sea for 60 years,
and taken a toll on our health, it's about time it went the way of the
The impending shut down of Salem Harbor Generating Station is a
symbol of things to come; all across the country, economic conditions,
citizen activism that springs from health concerns, and common-sense
pollution regulations are changing America’s energy landscape.
“Yesterday’s ISO proposal on Salem Harbor Generating Station
represents the very real victory of people over dirty energy interests.
Residents of the North Shore will no longer have this menace in their
community threatening our public health and our environment,” said David
Lands, Greenpeace’s Massachusetts-based Organizer.
“This is a victory for the people of the North Shore that have worked
for more than a decade on this cause. More importantly this is a victory
for the 134,335 children in the Commonwealth with asthma that struggle
to breathe each day from pollution like that of Dominion Energy's coal
fired Salem Harbor Station,” said Drew Grande, the Massachusetts-based
Sierra Club “Beyond Coal” organizer.
Today, transmission upgrades, efficiency measures, and demand
response alternatives could replicate the success in Salem throughout
Massachusetts. It’s time to make sure that these improvements are
brought online quickly and efficiently to make sure this plant’s days
The Salem Harbor coal-fired power plant has been operating since
1951. It has been a major source of air pollution and toxic coal ash.
The struggle against this plant represents years of work by local
activists, organizations, and political leaders.