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Amherst Select Board targets Mount Tom power plant

The Select Board plans to send a letter to Gov. Deval Patrick within the next few weeks asking that the Mount Tom power plant either be closed down or operated under the state’s current clean air regulations.

The letter follows a recent presentation by representatives from the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which has worked to prevent 162 new coal-fired power plants from beginning operations.

Drew Grande, an organizer with the Sierra Club, said the 146 megawatt plant, opened in Holyoke in 1960, can be blamed for causing asthma problems for area residents.

“Air in the Pioneer Valley is unhealthy,” Grande said.

Select Board member Aaron Hayden agreed to work with Grande on the letter. He said, however, that calling for an end to the Mount Tom plant should be coupled with stronger promotion of solar energy and other renewables as replacement sources of energy.


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