The Alliance For A Clean Environment
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The Environmental Amendment
to the Pennsylvania Constitution

Article 1,Section 27, adopted May 18, 1971

The People have a Right to Clean Air, pure water, and the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.

Mission Statement of PA DEP

The Department of Environmental Protection's Mission is to Protect Pennsylvania's Air, Land, and Water from pollution and to Provide for the HEALTH and SAFETY of its CITIZENS through a cleaner environment.

Sacrificed by DEP for PROFITS and POLITICS

DEP IGNORED clear and compelling EVIDENCE of HARM.
DEP ISSUED permits for Occidental Chemical in Pottstown to have an enormous INCREASE of extremely HAZARDOUS air emissions by burning Pottstown Landfill gas as fuel in its boilers. How could DEP do this? Look at the facts! Secretary Hess and Governor Ridge refused to meet with the public about this DEP decision. Why?

ISSUE - CONCENTRATION of INCREASED HAZARDOUS AIR EMISSIONS, into already severely carcinogenic and unhealthy air, in the densely populated area around and downwind of Occidental.
  • Increases will include radiation, dioxin, vinyl chloride, benzene, mercury, and other heavy metals.
  • Occidental already emits more than any polluter in the state, of one of the most documented carcinogenic chemicals, vinyl chloride, and is a PVC plant which is associated with high levels of dioxin emissions.
  • Within 2 miles of Occidental's emissions are 31,000 residents and 25 schools and day-care centers. Tens of thousands more people live downwind. Our hospital is just 1/2 mile away. Thousands of people work in the immediate vicinity of Occidental.
  • DEP mentions overall reduction in emissions in the Pottstown area as a result of this project. Even IF there is an overall reduction, this is not an acceptable trade off to all the people who would be forced to breathe one of the most dangerous concentrations of hazardous substances known to mankind, including the synergistic and addictive threats which DEP can not even determine. There is no question those already sick and the children will be most at risk!
  • There is also the issue of constant risk of leaks, fires, and explosions from this ever-changing hazardous corrosive Pottstown Landfill gas which would be permitted to travel over 5 miles through our densely populated community.

Governor Ridge and previous Secretary Seif IGNORED or DENIED our repeated requests to meet and discuss the Pottstown Landfill gas pipeline's major threats to the health and safety of tens of thousands of people in this area..

WHY didn't Governor Ridge and the head of his PA Department of Environmental Protection talk with the public about severe threats of harm for so many people? What about the PA Constitution's right to safe air being ignored by those paid to protect the people? It appears that profits and politics are far more important. DEP's pollution permit to Occidental will unquestionably further jeopardize the lives of tens of thousands of people for decades to come.

There is NO SOUND SCIENCE to prove this is safe.

  • After an intensive 4 year investigation by ACE, we know of NO PEER REVIEWED SOUND SCIENCE, which claims there are no serious health effects as the result of burning hazardous landfill gas from a landfill such as the one in Pottstown, at a chemical plant which already poses a documented serious health threat. It is time for DEP to show us the studies and documentation that it used as a basis for its decisions. If DEP can produce any, we also want to see who did it and who paid for it.
  • Requirements and limitations described by DEP as stringent, can not and will not protect the health of those most at risk in Pottstown, When added to Occidental's current hazardous air emissions, these HAZARDOUS AIR EMISSIONS INCREASES will be devastating, especially to those already sick and our children.

PLAYING GAMES WITH THE LIVES OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, DEP says Occidental is to do modeling to show there will be no impact on air quality from these pollutants due to the burning of landfill gas. This is ridiculous!
  • It is impossible to allow increased HAZARDOUS air emissions at Occidental and not negatively impact air quality in that location.
  • The air is already among the most carcinogenic and unhealthy air in the nation. CONCENTRATING MORE HAZARDOUS air emissions at Occidental will negatively impact already severely polluted air.

Occidental is to conduct stack testing and model the results for dioxin, mercury and other heavy metals AFTER the fact.

  • DEP would allow its extremely hazardous landfill gas to be transported and burned off site BEFORE the facts are known, then let the polluter determine the results.
  • This is NOT SOUND SCIENCE, nor SOUND protective action.
  • DEP issued permits, but is unable to tell us how much dioxin, mercury, or other heavy metals people around Occidental will be exposed to.
  • Why doesn't DEP do the testing and modeling for these extremely hazardous substances BEFORE handing out permits that allow this gas to leave the landfill?
  • What will DEP do AFTER the gas is burning at Occidental, even if Occidental reported accurate and truthful results? Revoke these permits? Not likely!

    FACT: DEP also refuses to accept any responsibility for the pipeline itself which would carry these extremely hazardous and corrosive gas through our heavily populated community. The Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) will not be responsible if there is a leak, fire or explosion and the gas leaves the pipeline. Neither DEP nor OPS can or will provide protective monitoring or protection from such a serious threat to this entire area and therefore the pipeline should never be built.

    P.O. Box 3063
    Stowe, PA 19464

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