, Salem, MA

January 10, 2014

Letter: No need to rush plant process

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

I can relate to some of David Pelletier’s letter (”They got their wish ... and now they don’t want it,” Dec. 31). As a Salem resident, I, too, was very pleased when I heard the coal- and oil-fired plant was going to close, but when I read a natural gas plant, built and operated by Footprint, would replace it, I was disappointed. Salem chose another fossil fuel plant — one that will emit approximately 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Footprint has requested a streamlined regulatory process. Although I am not in the group Pelletier slams, I am grateful for their work on behalf of our community. We live in a democracy, and folks are allowed to organize around issues — and change direction as conditions change and the knowledge base grows. I, like many others, believe Footprint should complete all of the steps in the regulatory process before construction begins, as there are potentially dangerous consequences for streamlining the process.

After considerable study, the Conservation Law Foundation found no urgent situation that would justify forgoing review of Footprint’s plans. Regulations and reviews are designed to protect the public. Act in haste, repent at leisure? No. We appear committed to this project, so let’s build it right and ensure the health and safety of the residents and future Footprint employees.

Marlene Faust