Parents worry about coal's
impact on childrens' health.
News Release: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
For more information, Contact: Eva Hernandez, Sierra Club’s
Beyond Coal Campaign 512.299.1550;
Ryan Rittenhouse, Public Citizen Texas, 440.796.9695
Citizens Concerned about Proposed Tenaska Coal Project Hold Town Hall Meeting
Landowners, Professors, and Environmentalists
Expose Impacts of proposed Coal Plant on Economy,
Water and Air of Taylor, Nolan and other West Texas Counties
(Abilene) -- The Texas League of Women
Voters moderated a Town Hall meeting in Abilene, Texas
last night in response to area landowners, professors, and
other citizens concerned with the potential impacts of
a proposed Tenaska coal plant project. Over 100 people
traveled from across the region to the meeting at
the Main Library in advance of an upcoming
contested case hearing on the air permit in Austin beginning
June 2, 2010. Abilene City Council is expected
to vote this year on Tenaska's proposed water contract.
“My neighbors and I are deeply concerned about the Tenaska coal project for many reasons primarily how water and air pollutants will effect our health. We’re
also concerned about the amount of water this plant would
use,” said Whitney Root with the Multi-County Coalition which has organized citizens in Nolan, Taylor, and Jones counties opposing the proposed Tenaska coal project. “Area citizens have never been given the opportunity to ask the Tenaska officials questions and get answers. We asked them to come here and give us some answers, but they declined. This gives the impression that they have no response about the problems with this project that we are exposing.”
The town hall meeting organizers invited Tenaska representatives: Howard Hawks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Barton Ford, Vice President for the Business Development Group, and Helen Manroe, Business Development Manager but they or any other company representative failed to appear and speak at the Town Hall Meeting in Abilene.
“Tenaska is calling this project ‘clean coal’ but
that is simply not accurate,” said Dr. Neil Carman, Chemist and Clean Air Program Director with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “The
Tenaska plant will actually emit huge amounts of dangerous
air pollutants that will significantly impact air and water
quality in this region.”
Dr. Carman spoke at the event along with Abilene Professor, Dr. Jim Cooke, and Ryan Rittenhouse, Director of Coal Block, Public Citizen.
According to its permit application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state regulatory agency charged with regulating air pollutants from large industrial facilities, the Tenaska coal project would emit the following chemicals:
Abilene City Council is set to vote on Tenaska’s proposed water contract sometime this year.
“Tenaska has repeatedly said they want to use 10
million gallons of water a day to cool this coal plant,” said Ryan Rittenhouse with Public Citizen. “Even
with the proposed dry-cooling that they say they will use,
this project would tie up almost 2 million gallons of water
a day for the next 50 years! Either way, that is way too
much water use in this drought-prone region where every
drop is needed for other purposes.”
Also participating in the Town Hall meeting moderated by
the League of Women Voters were four Abilene City Counci
members, Abilenians Against Tenaska and over 100 area citizens.