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Group gearing up for power plant fight

With plans underway to build one of the state’s largest natural gas power plants in Jessup, a group is forming to oppose what they see as a threat to air quality and quality of life in the Lackawanna Valley.

Midvalley native Kayleigh Cornell has teamed up with Alex Lotorto, an environmental activist from Milford who has opposed natural gas pipelines and compressor stations around the region, and other core members to oppose the 1,300-megawatt plant proposed for the Valley View Drive and Sunnyside Road site in the borough.

If the plant is approved, only PPL’s Martins Creek plant in Northampton County would be larger, at 1,772 megawatts.

Last week, the group went door-to-door in Jessup speaking to residents and passing out fliers with information on the plant. They plan to attend borough council’s meeting at 7 tonight to present their views.

Related: New Mexico regulators weigh power plant proposal.

Ms. Cornell said her issue isn’t the operator, Chicago-based Invenergy LLC, a company that also builds wind power projects. She also recognized some of the technologies it has proposed to reduce emissions from the plant.

“From what I’ve gathered, it definitely seems like a state-of-the-art facility,” she said. “I’m not attacking their business practices, but it’s still going to release a lot of emissions.”

The group used information from Invenergy’s permit application to the state to compare its emissions to those of an idling diesel school bus. They found that in one year, the facility would generate 643 school buses’ worth of nitrogen oxides, 1,232 buses of carbon monoxide, 2,637 buses of volatile organic compounds and 7,261 buses of particulate matter.

The site is also visible from Eales Preserve at Moosic Mountain, a popular set of hiking and biking trails, Ms. Cornell said. She sees the plant as a disturbance to the view from the ridge line and, ultimately, incompatible with a healthy regional plan for the area.

“My personal feeling about it is, New York and New Jersey send their garbage to our landfills and dump the air pollution from their electricity generation into our skies,” Mr. Lotorto said in an email. “A hundred years ago, they expected us to go down into the mines to get their coal. Haven’t we had enough?”

The state Department of Environmental Protection judged Invenergy’s permit application complete in July and is now reviewing it for its technical merits.


This article was written by Brendan Gibbons from The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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