The Health and Environmental Justice Impacts from Peaker Power Plants in Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit
More than 4.4 million people in urban areas in the United States live within one mile of a peaker power plant and are unnecessarily and directly exposed to air pollutants that cause significant health problems and higher incidence of premature death, according to The Peaker Problem: An Overview of Peaker Power Plant Facts and Impacts in Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit. This report, released by Clean Energy Group with the consulting firm Strategen, examines the environmental justice and public health impacts of peaker power plants in these three U.S. cities.
According to the new analysis, 32 million Americans live within three miles of a peaker power plant. Peakers are some of the dirtiest, least efficient, and most expensive energy sources, and most of them are located in low-income communities, environmental justice communities, and communities of color. Long-term exposure to peaker emissions, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), can cause asthma, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diminished fertility, miscarriages, and other adverse health conditions.