Yesterday I received an advance copy of the following letter from City Council President Jose Tosado, who has been noncommittal about the plant until this point . Mark down one more for being on the side of the residents of Springfield.
Photo of Jose Tosado and E. Henry Twiggs, City Council Vice President, from Jose's website.On Monday December 13 at 8 o'clock in the evenning the Springfield City Council will conduct a special meeting with representatives of Palmer Renewable Energy. The meeting will follow a hearings format where proponents and opponents will be allowed a set amount of time to speak.When I voted for this project over a year ago it was based on the information available at that time which seemed like an environmentally friendly recycleing plant; however as time has passed there is much more information available and we have been provided with a mountain of information from citizens and public health officials about the negative impact that a bio mass plant located in a densely populated neighborhood would have on the health and quality of life for our residents. Springfield residents and our children in particular already live with their fair share of airborn pollutants. A new biomass plant with ffity five schools within a five mile radius will exacerbate already unacceptable health disparities.Beyond the public health impacts, research shows that prenatal and early childhood exposure to airborne pollutants has an impact on brain development, student achievement, attendance and other factors that predict the overall success off the next generation of Springfield residents. Given our current education challenges, can we really afford to further stack the deck against our future generation of students?I am grateful that our residents, community groups, regional health and environmental organizations as well as our Public Health Commission have mobilized to make sure that we have all the facts.Over the course of the past several months I have had an opportunity to hear directly from opponents of this plant as well as from officials of Palmer Renewable Energy and based on all the information which I have recieved and reviewed, in good conscious I could not and cannot support this project.Jose F. Tosado, PresidentSpringfield City Council