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Bridgeport Harbor Station

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

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Bridgeport Harbor Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Public Service Enterprise Group near Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Public Service Electricity & Gas Connecticut LLC
  • Parent Company: Public Service Enterprise Group (owned by Exelon)
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 400 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 400 MW (1968)
  • Location: 10 Atlantic St., Bridgeport, CT 06604
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.168333, -73.185
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,272,693 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 2,885 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 2,177 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 54 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Bridgeport Harbor Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[1] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities.[2]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Bridgeport Harbor Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 1 $6,700,000
Heart attacks 2 $190,000
Asthma attacks 15 <$1,000
Hospital admissions 1 $18,000
Chronic bronchitis 1 $250,000
Asthma ER visits 1 <$1,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011


Coal Sources

The 997,370 tons of coal burned at the Bridgeport Harbor plant were purchased from the human rights violating mining company Adaro, which mines in Indonesia's South Kalimantan region Indonesia's South Kalimantan region.[3]

The Indonesian group JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network) reports that Adaro is responsible for:

• River pollution for surrounding the villages of Padang Panjang, Dahai and Maburai. Residents are no longer able to use the river water for daily needs.
• One of PT Adaro’s pits is one kilometre in diameter with a depth of 30-40 metres (PT Adaro has two pits). A pit in Maburai village, Murung Pudak, is now a lake.
• Land disputes with local residents affect 300 hectares. The process to set compensation, and the amount of it, have been unfair and people have lost out as a result. Not to mention conflicts which arise within the communities due to conflicting claims over land caused by the chaotic land acquisition process.
• Two villages, Lamida Atas Village and Juai Village, were displaced by the expansion of the mine in 2003. Violence against residents and environmental activists has increased as the company continues to operate. Meanwhile it seems the security forces don’t want to take any responsibility for this.

Despite these abuses, Adaro markets its coal as 'EnviroCoal,' because its content of sulphur-dioxide and nitrogen-oxides is lower than that of other coal sources. JATAM instead refers to Adaro's coal as "Deadly Coal".[4]

Citizen activism

NAACP Clearing the Air Road Tour - April 2010

Bridgeport, CT resident Adrienne Farrar on air pollution in Bridgeport, CT.

In April 2010, Jacqui Patterson of the NAACP Climate Justice interviewed community members in Bridgeport. Jacqui wrote the following account of the impacts of the Bridgeport Harbor Station:[5]

Bridgeport is the second-poorest city in Connecticut after Hartford, with a per capita income just over half of the state average. The plant is wedged between Bridgeport’s Downtown and South End neighborhoods, which are among the city’s poorest. The average income of people who live within one mile of the plant is just $11,400, and over 87% of the plant’s neighbors are people of color. Six schools are within a mile of the plant, as is the University of Bridgeport (the tenth-most racially diverse university in the country, with over 60% students of color).
Bridgeport, CT resident Audrey Gaines on air pollution in Bridgeport, CT.
The stories in Bridgeport solidified a pattern that has been consistent throughout the trip including high rates of respiratory illnesses, nuisance coal ash, and disproportionate exposure by low income communities of color.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Adrienne, who is administering a training program for green jobs, Audrey whose job in the public health department has and her lifelong residency in Bridgeport have shown the impact of the coal plant on the community, and Craig who has spent the majority of his 59 years in Bridgeport and was able to provide a tour of the neighborhood surrounding the plant.
Craig Kelly of the NAACP on air pollution in Bridgeport, CT.
As we started our tour at the plant, we weren’t able to begin our filming in front of the plant because we were run off by security who stated that filming in front of the plant was a felony offense by order of the department of Homeland Security! During the tour you’ll see on the footage several times where I filmed the plant from afar, including a bit where I filmed the largest mountain of coal I’ve seen yet in all my visits to coal plants. And it is completely uncovered, which is why even now I have coal dust on my car. Craig, who narrated our tour, omitted any indication of filming of the plant when I was doing it, seemingly out of fear that he might be implicated by my lawlessness so watch for the coal mountain because it won’t be mentioned!
Adrienne shared some history of the South End community, where the plant is located, and talked about concerns that have been expressed by residents bout coal soot covering their cars, not being able to open their windows, and not being able to hang out laundry because of the coal ash.

Greenpeace protest

Coal Activist Reports in from Banner Hang

On Feb. 17, 2011, Greenpeace activists scaled the Bridgeport Harbor coal plant and unfurled a 20 X 40 ft banner with the message "Shut it Down: Quit Coal." The event marked the first major action of Greenpeace's 'Quit Coal' campaign, which seeks to highlight the devastating consequences of continuing to rely on the fossil fuel in the United States. According to Greenpeace, the Bridgeport Harbor plant is an old, polluting coal plant that is no longer necessary to provide power to the Connecticut grid, and should be shut down to mitigate the worst effects of global climate change.[6]

Police cut the banner down, and at least five activists were reportedly arrested for their connection with the event.[6]

2011 Report: Bridgeport top environmental justice offender

The 2011 report, "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People in Illinois" by Adrian Wilson, NAACP, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), and the Indigenous Environmental Network used an algorithm combining levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions together with demographic factors in order to calculate an environmental justice score for the 431 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Twelve plants were ranked the top environmental justice offenders, producing a total of 48,582 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in 2005 — only 1.2% of total U.S. electricity production, yet affecting a total of 1.78 million Americans who live within 3 miles of one of the 12 plants, with an average per capita income of $14,626 (compared with the U.S. average of $21,587), and 76.3% people of color.

The plants were:

  1. Crawford Generating Station, Chicago, IL (Edison International)
  2. Hudson Generating Station, Jersey City, NJ (PSEG)
  3. Fisk Generating Station, Chicago, IL (Edison International)
  4. Valley Power Plant, Milwaukee, WI (Wisconsin Energy)
  5. State Line Plant, Hammond, IN (Dominion)
  6. Lake Shore Plant, Cleveland, OH (FirstEnergy)
  7. Gallagher Generating Station, New Albany, IN (Duke Energy)
  8. Bridgeport Harbor Station, Bridgeport, CT (PSEG)
  9. River Rouge Power Plant, River Rouge, MI (DTE Energy)
  10. Cherokee Station, Commerce City, CO (Xcel Energy)
  11. Four Corners Steam Plant, Niinahnízaad, NM (Arizona Public Service Company)
  12. Waukegan Generating Station, Waukegan, IL (Edison International)

Valley Power Plant is now retired.[7] The Crawford and Fisk facilities are slated to be retired in 2012.[6] Therefore, by the end of 2012, Bridgeport Harbor Station will be ranked the fifth most EJ-offending coal plant, and PSEG will operate two of the top five.

2012 NAACP report

The NAACP's 2012 report "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People" ranked the Bridgeport plant as the tenth worst coal plant in the nation in terms of environmental justice. The report states that the plant emitted an average of 2,044 tons of sulfur dioxide and 1,404 tons of nitrogen oxide between 2007 and 2010. The average income of people who live within one mile of the plant is $11,400, and over 87 percent of them are people of color.

Citizen Groups

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  2. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  3. "PSEG backs down coal as it burns more cheap gas", accessed June 16, 2012.
  4. [english.jatam.org/dmdocuments/DC%20ingg02.pdf "Deadly Coal: Coal Extraction & Borneo Dark Generation",] JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network) website, Accessed June 8, 2012.
  5. "Day IX Clearing th eAir Road Tour - Bridgeport, CT - Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station," NAACP Climate Justice Initiative, April 24, 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Brian Merchant, "Live Blogging: Detained by Police at Greenpeace Anti-Coal Protest" Tree Hugger, Feb. 17, 2011.
  7. "Senate vote could kill EPA plan to reduce mercury from coal-fired power plants" The Times of Northwest Indiana, June 06, 2012

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