Environmental justice leaders celebrate end of South Bay Power Plant's polluting history, while fighting new fossil fuel plants in the county
SAN DIEGO, February 2, 2013 – Environmental Health Coalition, an organization that fights for toxic-free communities, celebrated today's end of the South Bay Power Plant's community and environmental degradation with a watchful eye on the region's energy strategy. The fall of the polluting power plant means an end to decades of damage to downwind environmental justice communities in Chula Vista and San Diego and destruction of marine life in San Diego Bay. It also means the beginning of new economic and community opportunities on the Chula Vista bayfront.
"Our elation for this historic moment is bittersweet because we know that new communities are now defending their right to clean air and open space. Why would our energy companies promote two new polluting plants in San Diego?" said Environmental Health Coalition's Laura Hunter. Hunter fought the 20-year battle to stop the damage from the South Bay Power Plant. "It's a giant step backwards."
Estimates show that while in operation, the South Bay Power Plant emitted as much as:
This all came to an end today as the dust settled from the implosion of the massive structure on the Chula Vista bayfront. Where the once dystopian structure sat, the community will see parks, open space and commercial development. The Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, supported by EHC, will give the bay front a new life.
Earlier this week, representatives from Environmental Health Coalition attended climate change rallies and testified at a public forum regarding the two proposed plants—Quail Brush and Pio Pico. These plants will threaten communities with more air pollution and degradation of open space while continuing the region's dependence on climate change inducing fossil fuel energy production.
Hunter said, "We will continue to fight for the right energy plan that doesn't compromise nature and our community's health. We have to move away from the old-school, centralized dirty power model to a modern electricity system that uses renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation."
For historical information on the environmental justice fight to shut down the South Bay Power Plant, read more on EHC's website: http://www.environmentalhealth.org/index.php/en/what-we-do/green-energy-green-jobs/dirty-energy
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION: Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and unsustainable energy policies. Visit us online at http://www.environmentalhealth.org/.