Stop Burning Coal on Capitol Hill
Dirty fuel used by area power plant.
For decades the Plant’s operator -- the Architect of the Capitol -- has burned coal to make steam and hot water during the heating season. Approximately 10 years ago the plant was reengineered to enable it to burn natural gas and diesel fuel. It does not need to burn coal.
Recently, the Defense Logistics Agency solicited bids for 20,000 tons of coal for delivery to the Plant in 2013. This comes to more than 220,000 pounds of coal burned per day during heating season.
Coal pollution causes 13,000 premature deaths per year, and 200,000 asthma attacks, nationwide.
This has a lot to with the sulfur dioxide, soot, and carbon monoxide that is produced when coal is burned. Natural gas produces five to 2,500 times less of these "conventional" air pollutants.
When burning coal, the Capitol Power Plant also emits a suite of highly toxic non-conventional pollutants, including mercury, lead, arsenic, dioxins, formaldehyde and radioactive elements (including radium and uranium). These pollutants are not emitted from the Plant when it burns only natural gas.
Most coal-fired power plants have tall stacks (400-1,000 feet or higher) which send the pollution long distances. The Plant’s short stacks cause the pollution to drift directly into our neighborhoods.
We’re Campaigning to "Get the Coal Out"
The Architect of the Capitol could easily -- and instantly -- convert the Plant back to “natural gas only” power production. It could turn to diesel fuel as a backup during emergencies. The choice of coal as a boiler fuel is driven by Members of Congress who represent coal-producing states.
What You Can Do:
Attend the public hearing -- Monday, Dec. 17; 5:30 pm; 1200 First St. NE. The District Dept. of the Environment is holding a hearing on the Architect’s request for a new, less rigorous, air pollution permit. See the proposed air quality permit.
Attend our press conference -- Monday, Dec. 17 at 10 am - Half and I Sts. SE.
Join Our Campaign. Only citizens, working together, can "get the coal out" and thereby win cleaner air for Capitol Hill and Washington. We, along with Mayor Gray and Councilmember Wells, can win this campaign with sufficient community support. We need people to appear at hearings, reach out to neighbors, and serve as leaders. Please contact Jim Dougherty (SW DC), email@example.com, 488-1140, or Irv Sheffey (SE DC), firstname.lastname@example.org, 575-1469.
last modified 1/16/2013 11:08:53 AM by Gwyn Jones; article ID: 325
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