Tell State Rep Martina White:
"Include community voices in LNG Task Force Hearings"
PSR PA is closely following the process around a proposed Liquified Natural Gas Terminal in Chester, a neighborhood already burdened by multiple major toxic industries including the Covanta trash incinerator, which burns garbage from across the northeast. Where the national childhood asthma rate is 8%, due to pollution from these industries, Chester has a childhood asthma rate of 38%.
A “task force” has been created by the state government to explore the “safety and security” of the LNG Terminal proposal. They’ve held two public meetings and BLOCKED Chester residents and members of Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living (CRQCL) from presenting each time. PSR PA Health Educator Linnea Bond noted that, while Chester residents were barred from the room with the excuse that there were not enough chairs, five people not from Chester were allowed to stand inside the room throughout the hearing.
As our partners at CRQCL stated: "This is unacceptable. No decision ABOUT US can be made WITHOUT US."
The task force is chaired by
State Representative Martina White.
From western and northern PA, where natural gas is fracked and turned into plastic pellets at the Shell Cracker Plant, to the homes in which it is burned, it is linked to respiratory illness and other deleterious health impacts. Fossil fuel pollutes communities wherever it exists, as you can see in our Community Voices series. Natural gas is mostly methane, which leaks throughout the system from source to use and is 80 times as potent a heat trapping chemical as carbon dioxide. Natural gas and coal are both major drivers of global warming, and we need to stop using both fossil fuels to have a chance of staying below the 1.5 degree global warming limit scientists say will prevent irreparable harm to our planet.
Steps to Make Your Voice Heard
1. Call 215-330-3711 or email Representative Martina White
2. State your name, that you are a PA resident following the proposed LNG terminal. Add any other qualifications you'd like to include (for example, that you live in White's district, or that the natural gas industry has harmed people's health in your area, or that you live in Chester or have friends and family in Chester, or that you are a physician, nurse, or other health worker.)
3. Say that you have a comment for Rep. White as the chair of the LNG Task Force. CRQCL recommends the following:
Since Rep White is the chair of the LNG Task Force that has hosted two hearings so far this year, I want to let her know it is unacceptable for the Task Force to purposely shut out the voices of the community that would be directly impacted by the project.
It’s shameful to see the hearings packed with industry executives. Instead, your Task Force should include local voices and experts on environmental concerns.
Not allowing residents to present at the hearing and serve testimony is one thing. But it is absolutely appalling that these residents were then kicked out/not allowed to listen to the public hearing about a proposed project in their own town. It’s shameful!
We urge you to host a public hearing in the city of Chester, which is one of the proposed sites for an LNG Terminal.
4. Say "Thank you" and hang up. Let us know that you took action!