Environmental activists and kayaking enthusiasts rallied in Bordentown today on the banks of the Delaware River to bring attention to a dirty fuel plant just upriver in Mercer County. Doug O’Malley of Environment New Jersey refers to the plant as “a pirhana on the Delaware.” The plant, run by PSE&G, uses the river for cooling water and dumps toxic, highly heated water back into the river – a river which, among other things, provides drinking water to many South Jersey towns as well as the City of Philadelphia and is the habitat for numerous species of fish.
While the best solution would be to shut down the plant and replace it with renewable energy sources, the demonstrators are urging the Department of Environmental Protection to require PSE&G to install cooling towers which would take the burden of operating the plant off of the vulnerable river. If this plant were to be built today, state regulations would require such cooling towers. But since this is an older plant, that requirement was grandfathered out. The environmental groups are planning court action to force the DEP to impose current regulations on the utility.
Following the press conference (below), a group of about a dozen kayakers paddled up to the power plant to demonstrate their concerns.
You can download a ten minute audio podcast of this event at this link.