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Decision not to close coal plant is bad for air quality

Decision not to close coal plant is bad for air quality
View across Cox Creek of, on left, homes in the Stoney Beach community, center, Brandon Shores Generating Station and, right, Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

I was disappointed to learn from David Smedick’s op-ed that Maryland coal plants plan to operate indefinitely (“Md. lagging behind on climate action,” July 15).

As a mother of small children, I worry especially during hot Baltimore summers that my sons are being exposed to foul air as they ride bikes, chalk sidewalks and toss baseballs. My family is among the vast majority of state residents living in areas that have unsafe air according to the Environmental Protection Agency, in part because of coal plants. There are two plants located just south of Baltimore City, the Herbert A. Wagner and Brandon Shores Generating Stations. They both emit sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury and particulate matter — and belch plumes of smoke onto our city and surrounding areas. It doesn’t have to be this way. Green energy sources such as solar and wind are already less expensive than coal energy. I hope Maryland’s Department of the Environment, governor and legislature close these plants to lessen the hazy days of summer 2020 and beyond.

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Rose Weeks, Baltimore

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