Electric company PPL is making plants to expand an Allentown power plant, with the goal of turning trash and sewage into methane gas. Allentown City Council approved a 25-year agreement last month: the city will supply the sewage-generated gas, and purchase the power.
One problem: the city’s Environmental Advisory Board doesn’t like the plan. The Morning Call reports on a resolution the panel passed earlier this month:
The concerns, which revolved around the release of toxic chemicals into the environment and the risk that the city could lose money if it fails to produce enough waste to fuel the plant echoed those voiced by a number of opponents when the project was approved.
The group formally provided its official “Environmental Advisory Statement” on the project to City Council on May 13. Reading from the statement last Wednesday, chairwoman Julie Thomases panned the project in no uncertain terms.
“It is the opinion of the EAC that this contract puts Allentown at unnecessary risk for financial losses and environmental damage to the city’s air, water, and quality of life while discouraging the adoption of less expensive and environmentally healthier options for its waste,” Thomases said.
The most high-profile example of a money-saving power plant that did the opposite of save money is, of course, Harrisburg’s troubled incinerator. NPR’s Zoe Chance detailed the incinerator’s woes in a March report.