Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Marcy Bloomenthal: Health of residents a priority

To the editor:

Cheers to your health, Pioneer Valley residents! Thanks to the recent news that the Mt. Tom power plant will temporarily halt coal production as an electricity source for Holyoke, residents of the valley will be temporarily spared exposure to toxins negatively impacting our health and well being.

Compared to other regions in the Massachusetts, ours is noted for a significantly elevated rate of asthma that is partially linked to the plant (the combined proximity to I-95 & I-91 as well as the valley topography which traps interstate air pollution contribute as well). Consequently, as a concerned parent and asthmatic, I join with the American Lung Association, and the Sierra Club, in a local effort to increase public awareness about health problems connected to the Mt. Tom plant. Unfortunately, despite a permit expired since 2007, the plant has continued functioning. The beautiful Pioneer Valley is deceptively unhealthy in regards to not meeting clean air standards. It is past time for a permanent closure of the Mt. Tom plant and for simultaneously utilizing healthier and available alternatives to power local electricity. Please voice your support.

Marcy Bloomenthal

Easthampton

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