FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2010 CONTACT
Shondra Wygal, Sierra Club, 713.542.2861
Ryan Rittenhouse, Public Citizen, 512.477.1155
Allison Sliva, No Coal Coalition, 713.922.5639
IF BUILT, WHITE STALLION COAL PLANT COULD HASTEN 600 MATAGORDA COUNTY DEATHS
Houston, TX. – Today, the No Coal Coalition, Sierra Club, and Public Citizen released a report detailing the detrimental health impacts of the proposed White Stallion Coal-fired Power Plant in Bay City, TX. The impact of additional pollution caused by coal-fired utilities has been well-documented.
Using the Health Impact Estimator created by Abt Associates, MSB Energy Associates released a memorandum finding that White Stallion would potentially cause over $5.4 billion of damage to our public health over the course of its operating lifetime if it is permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). According to the TCEQ’s own standards, White Stallion would be permitted to emit the following pollutants:
SO2 (sulphur dioxide) 4,956 tons per year
NOx (nitrogen oxide) 4,048 tons per year
PM (particulate matter) 1,176 tons per year
VOC (volatile organic compounds) 288 tons per year
NH3 (Ammonia) 148 tons per year.
Based on this data, White Stallion, if it is allowed, could be responsible for the deaths of over 600 Matagorda County residents as pollutants like SO2, NOX and VOC have all been linked to greater
risk of heart disease, lung disease and asthma and its related effects. Furthermore, another 1,070 people could suffer from heart attacks linked to the pollution that would be potentially emitted from White Stallion’s smokestacks.
“The pollution from White Stallion could lead to
cases of chronic bronchitis, costing victims $229 million,” said Ryan Rittenhouse with Public Citizen Texas, “Additional
hidden costs results from an estimated 93,720 days of lost
work, and 552,730 days of reduced activity and productivity,
accounting for a total of $42.9 million. These estimates
are based on EPA's own valuation methodologies.” These costs are only for Matagorda County, but White Stallion’s harmful airborne pollutants would also impact people living in Harris County as well.
“Combustion of coal, and also pet coke, has short
and long term health effects on the population and the environment.
Children born and unborn - and elderly are most at risk,” said Dr. Robert Malina. “Simply
stated, the risks of coal combustion far outweigh the benefits.”
"This report just provides more scientific and statistical
evidence backing up what the local medical community has
recommended -- that we do not want the White Stallion coal
plant. It is a great health and ecological danger to our
county,” said Dr. Barton Griffith, a Matagorda County resident and physician.
“We are at an energy crossroads in Texas. We don’t need another coal plant in Texas that would be such a huge threat to the health and well–being
of Texans,“ said Shondra Wygal with Sierra Club.
“Those behind White Stallion have touted that this plant would bring with it ‘up to’ 200
permanent jobs,” said Allison Sliva, president of No Coal Coalition. “Why
should we trade the early deaths of 600 people for 200 jobs?
That amount of jobs in no way compares to the massive local
health and economic devastation that White Stallion could
bring. White Stallion and their glossy public relations machine
cannot hide the truth any longer. Their coal plant is not
clean. It would pollute our air and water, make people sick,
and in the long-run it would negatively impact our pocket
books as we pay for increased health care costs."
Matagorda County's shrimpers, farmers, fishermen and hunters have fought White Stallion since the project was first announced. These local industries are reliant on access to clean water. The No Coal Coalition, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, Air Alliance Houston, and T.E.J.A.S., recommend that the TCEQ fulfill its commitment to the citizens of Matagorda County and refuse to permit this project.