Barnstable County has worst air quality in Massachusetts
Thursday, May 01, 2003
American Lung Association gives County failing grade, Massachusetts and Maine Constituent Offices have noted the potential for improvement from renewable energy projects like Cape Wind
May 1, 2003
Yarmouth Port, MA —The American Lung Association gives Barnstable County a failing grade for having the worst air quality in the State of Massachusetts in a report released today entitled, State Of The Air 2003. The report calls for strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act to reduce pollution from America’s aging fleet of fossil fuel power plants.
The Massachusetts and Maine Constituent Offices of the American Lung Association both submitted letters last year to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) to point out another way to improve air quality – to replace fossil fuel generation with clean energy sources like wind.
In his letter about Cape Wind to the EOEA last year, Carlos Alvarez, Executive Director of the American Lung Association of Massachusetts wrote: “Projects such as the one proposed by Cape Wind Associates would help to transform this energy production profile by putting 420 megawatts of clean energy on the grid. The quality of the air that we breathe directly impacts our health, it would benefit us all if clean energy sources are able to replace fossil fuel energy production that pollutes our environment.”
A physician who has studied local power plant air pollution and the Cape Wind project, Dr. Anna A. Manatis-Lornell, Co-Chair of Cape Clean Air, refers to the potential of Cape Wind to reduce air pollution by saying “Each day the wind blows, the wind turbines will generate electricity that would otherwise come from the oil and coal based plants.”
Kathryn Kleekamp, Co-Chair of Cape Clean Air, notes that “While cars and Midwest power plants contribute to the Cape's air pollution, local fossil fuel power plants also play a crucial role. The Harvard School of Public Health study of power plants found that the greatest concentrations of polluting emissions fall locally, peaking within 5 to 20 miles of the plants, and cause significant numbers of premature deaths, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.”
During the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Cape and Islands Offshore Wind Public Outreach Initiative meetings in Hyannis over the past six months, third party experts verified that Cape Wind’s renewable energy generation would reduce the region’s use of fossil fuel power plants, particularly from more local power plants in southeastern Massachusetts.
The American Lung Association’s State Of The Air 2003 report can be downloaded at their website, at: http://lungaction.org/reports/sota03_release1.html