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Springfield Health Board Urged To Review Biomass Project

An artist's rendering showing the biomass plant proposed for a site in east Springfield, Ma.
Palmer Renewable Energy
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An artist's rendering showing the biomass plant proposed for a site in east Springfield, Ma.
An artist's rendering showing the biomass plant proposed for a site in east Springfield, Ma.
Credit Palmer Renewable Energy
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A drawing depicts a proposed wood-burning power plant in east Springfield, Ma.

Opponents of a proposed wood-burning power plant in Springfield, Massachusetts have won support for a last-ditch bid to block the project.

The Springfield City Council approved a resolution calling on the city’s Public Health Council to hold a site assignment hearing on the project.

     Councilor Orlando Ramos, the resolution’s sponsor, said he is not concerned by threats from the plant’s developer to sue if the local health board gets involved.

"I am more concerned about the public health and safety of our residents. I am concerned about the asthma rate in the city of Springfield. I am concerned about the air quality in the city of Springfield," said Ramos.

The Conservation Law Foundation is challenging the state’s decision to give the plant an air permit. Local activists lost a lengthy court battle over the project.

Copyright 2016 WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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