In Southern New Jersey there is a fifty-year-old reminder of the past. This filthy coal plant, the BL England Generating Station, is known for its distinctive smokestack shaped like a lighthouse. And much like a lighthouse, this eyesore is visible for miles around.
Unfortunately for BL England, it is also accessible for our boats. So, we decided to buzz on by as part of our Coal Free Future Tour.
This plant drops over a million tons of global warming pollution into the air every year, hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic sulfuric and hydrochloric acids in addition to an unreasonable amount of mercury pollution. It is an eyesore to the community, the tourist industry, and continues to be one of the largest point sources of pollution throughout New Jersey.
Because of this plant, the Delaware Bay is under a fish advisory for mercury. Pregnant women should not eat large fish caught there.
According to a recent Clean Air Task Force report, 531 people in New Jersey die each year from coal related deaths. Additionally, there are 445 hospitalizations and 987 heart attacks in yearly as a direct result of burning coal in the Garden State.
The plant’s owner, RC Cape May Holdings, LLC (of course it’s a limited liability company), doesn’t have to pay for any of this damage. They don’t pay for health or environmental costs.
Is one small, inefficient coal plant worth lives? We can generate electricity without burning coal. We must become the most efficient electricity-generating nation in the world. BL England is already not operating at full capacity -- with efficiency measures and ramping up of renewables, this plant can be retired forever.
BL England needs to be shut down. Pure and simple.