Beech Hollow Power Plant Air Pollution Permit Appealed for Allowing Unlawful Levels of Air Pollution

ROBINSON TOWNSHIP, PA — Today, Clean Air Council, represented by itself and the Environmental Integrity Project, appealed the air pollution permit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued for Robinson Power Company, LLC’s Beech Hollow facility, a large gas-fired power plant proposed for Robinson Township, Washington County. The permit allows the 1,000-megawatt proposed power plant to emit hundreds of tons of noxious pollutants and millions of tons of climate pollutants annually. Southwestern Pennsylvania residents suffer from some of the worst air quality in the United States.

The groups object to the permit because it allows unlawfully high levels of air pollution in an area already suffering from excessive pollution, as spelled out in the Notice of Appeal. Residents have been fighting various proposals to build a fossil-fuel burning power plant near a waste coal pile in Robinson Township since 2005. The developer, Robinson Power, has proposed several power plant designs over the last sixteen years only to have them fizzle out.

“Exactly when can communities like mine expect the PA DEP to properly consider the cumulative impacts of all the dangerous air pollution that rains down on us from the massive industrial buildout of the oil and gas industry?” said Cathy Lodge, nearby resident and Clean Air Council member. “Making our health a priority in evaluating permits like this is long overdue.” 

“Clean Air Council stands with Robinson Township neighbors who have been fighting against this on-and-off power plant proposal for years, and we’re not stopping now,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “The last thing we need is another unlawful, heavily polluting industrial facility designed to make a buck at the expense of Southwestern Pennsylvania and our future generations.”

“This massive gas plant will be a new major source of air pollution in a community already overloaded with pollution from the escalating petrochemical buildout here in recent years,” said Lisa Hallowell, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project. “The lax pollution limits proposed for this facility are unsupported and inexcusable, and must be remedied.”

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Clean Air Council is a member-supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to a healthy environment. The Council has offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Wilmington, and works through public education, community advocacy, and government oversight to ensure enforcement of environmental laws. For more information, please visit www.cleanair.org.

The Environmental Integrity Project is a 19-year-old, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to enforcing environmental laws and strengthening policy to protect public health and the environment. Learn more at www.environmentalintegrity.org.

Media Contacts:
Ari Phillips, Communications, Environmental Integrity Project, aphillips@environmentalintegrity.org
Alex Bomstein, Senior Litigation Attorney, Clean Air Council, abomstein@cleanair.org