GenOn to close the Portland Generating Station

by Robert Gardner

February 29, 2012

The Greenpeace airship A.E. Bates flies over the Portland Generating Station in Portland. The airship bears a message reading If You Can Read This, You Are Breathing Coal Pollution. The Portland Generating Station is the fifth highest emitter of sulfur dioxide in the United States.

© Les Stone / Greenpeace

[caption id="attachment_970" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="The Greenpeace airship flies over the Portland Generating Station in Portland. The airship bears a message reading If You Can Read This, You Are Breathing Coal Pollution."][/caption] Today is a victory for communities across the country fighting coal plants. GenOn announced today that between June 2012 and May 2015 they will be shutting down seven dirty coal plants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio. Among those is the Portland Generating Station in Upper Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania. It is one of the oldest and dirties coal plants in the country and has been causing health and environmental problems throughout the Lehigh Valley and Northwest New Jersey for over 50 years. Despite GenOns assurances that they were good neighbors, the proof was in the pollution. People werent buying it. People fought back. For over ten years folks have been fighting to shut this plant down because they could see how toxic this plant is. They could see the plumes of smoke blanketing New Jersey when the plant was operating. They could see the unlined coal ash ponds looming above the town. We joined the fight in early 2011. Thousands of people took action sending petitions, speaking to officials, testifying at hearings, marching on the plant bearing witness to the injustice of this plants pollution. The Multi-State Alliance to Promote Lasting Energy (MAPLE) was formed to coordinate the many groups fighting this plant. Greenpeace flew our airship to highlight the airborne pollution of this plant. People fought so hard that they had the EPA sue that plant for causing more sulfur pollution than all the power plants in New Jersey combined. GenOn tried to stop them from doing so. It didnt work. The community has won a crucial victory in its struggle against the plant. No more spewing smoke stacks. No more toxic coal ash. No more corporate double speak. The people were right and the plant will close. Learn more and get involved at

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