North Bergen’s New High School endangered by the NBLG plant

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Dear Editor:

With approval having now been given to North Bergen High School to expand to the former High Tech High campus at 85th Street and Tonnelle Avenue, students, teachers and parents of those attending this school should be terrified if the North Bergen Liberty Generating (NBLG) power plant is ever built.

The location of NBLG would be only three-quarters of a mile (barely 1,200 yards) from the new North Bergen school. Emissions from the facility, by NJDEP’s and NBLG’s own estimates, will be enormous: 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide; 423 tons of carbon monoxide; 305 tons of nitrogen compounds; 376 tons of particulate matter (which can cause respiratory damage); 73 tons of methane; large amounts of benzene (a known carcinogen); and many other dangerous pollutants EVERY YEAR!

Is North Bergen really willing to risk the health of its 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students, not to mention the health of teachers and staff, for the sake of a huge, pollution-spewing, fracked-gas power plant which is absolutely not needed? NBLG would not even be producing energy for New Jersey; it would generate electricity which would then be sold to New York City! Therefore, North Bergen and the surrounding communities would get none of the benefits and ALL of the pollution.

It should also be pointed out that even closer to the NBLG site is the North Bergen Community Pool—only 880 yards away! Can anyone imagine how awful it would be to swim in the shadow of this gigantic power plant, one that would be the 2nd largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the entire state of New Jersey?

If North Bergen cares at all about protecting the health of its citizens, particularly the children, it will never allow NBLG to be built. It is a disastrous project which has no business even being considered. Our planet is now experiencing a climate crisis caused in large part by the burning of fossil fuels and the time has come to say “enough.” We need to abandon projects like NBLG forever and turn instead to solar, wind and other alternative, non-polluting energy sources.

William McClelland