Pennsylvania’s two U.S. senators are speaking out on behalf of a Lehigh Valley power plant, which has been ordered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to slash its emissions.
The push by Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Bob Casey defies efforts by three successive N.J. governors to reduce the plant’s pollution.
The GenOn Generating Station in Portland, Pa., sits right on the Delaware River. Because the wind blows toward the east, its emissions end up in New Jersey.
The Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel says it’s the largest source of air pollution in northwestern New Jersey and dumps more mercury in the Garden State than all of New Jersey’s power plants combined.
“And if Bob Casey and Pat Toomey like that plant so much, they should put it in their back yard and let their children suffer from the mercury and the asthma that that plant is causing people in New Jersey,” Tittel said.
The EPA has ordered the plant to cut its emissions by 81 percent within three years. But Casey and Toomey say that goal is unrealistic. They say it could shut down the plant, putting 70 people out of work. Casey and Toomey asked the EPA to be more flexible by granting the plant more time to comply.