By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

Just when you thought it was safe to breathe the air again, and that water consciousness had at least put people's minds on being more caring and concerned and conservative about polluting the environment, you get an eblast that rocks you out of your illusions.  

It appears that SEPTA at least is not being environmentally friendly to Philadelphia neighborhoods, and has the audacity to think they can just plop a gas plant in the middle of a community and no one will be the wiser.

Isn't it interesting that SEPTA and SEPTIC only differ by two letters?  It's close enough to make an extreme difference in the health and the lives of children and families already affected by pollution.  While I'm a proponent of efficient and effective rapid transit systems (and goodness knows Philly can certainly use one - immediately, if not sooner) I am also concerned that in doing so they do not cause more harm than good environmentally - with there being unbreathable air as a result.

I think it reasonable that SEPTA sit with the community and ESCO and find ways of insuring that this is not the case.  Just as I am also concerned that those jobs that are going to be a concomitant part of this project have as many local African Americans employed as there will be others.  There is much to discus and mitigate in this issue - and there are many who are concerned that the needs, wishes and concepts of the community be heard, respected and included. 

With all the rotted out, rusted out defunct manufacturing plants currently dotting the Philadelphia periphery, it would be a great boon to have them upgraded and repaired.   

A recruiting and training program that would hire and train residents, and converting those extant properties into training and education centers for SEPTA would be a better concept.  Working with the community to come up with  with the recalibration and mitigation of pollutants, an changing the proximity of the gas tanks is imperative.

Certainly, it is important, of course, to be cost effective; but what we don't want is the expediting of economic efficiency over that of health benefits that will impact the entire community.   

For this reason, I'm posting a copy of an emergency email that I just received - it's a CALL FOR ACTION - and it's an effort to save our communities from any further health distresses.


On Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 9:52 AM, Lisa Hopkins <lisayhop@msn.com> wrote:
Friends this is crucial! Please circulate.

Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2016 07:47:40 -0400
Subject: Fwd: Information & Action on the SEPTA Natural Gas Plant (wissahickon ave and roberts)

 Zachary Powers <zacharypowers23@gmail.com>
Allison weiss 215 843 5555

Subject: Information & Action on the SEPTA Natural Gas Plant
Hi All,

It's been good to hear from you over the past week. So many people have written me about SEPTA's Natural Gas Plant, I apologize that I haven't been able to individually reply to everyone this week. For introductions, I'm Zak Powers. I'm the AT for Sharifa Kelly in 3rd grade and 350's contact at Wissahickon for this campaign.

So far, there's been a big request for more information on the plant. I've include the basic facts and possible actions below.

                                            *The Basic Info*

Here are a few links to fill in the details of the plan and the effects of natural gas pollution.

SEPTA is planning to build a natural gas power plant at the Midvale Bus Depot to power the depot and a number of rail lines connected to the Wayne Junction Station (see this map for a site overview )

So far, SEPTA, their contractor Noresco, and the press have been covering this plant as a victory for clean energy and savings : http://septa.org/media/releases/2015/10_22_22.html

Pollution has had no mention in the press we've seen. Nor have the long term health effects for the community. As many of you already know, our community has been subject to this kind of ignorance in the past. EPA's work on environmental justice shows our zip code to be one of the most polluted in the country, on several marks. (You can use their Environmental Justice tool here: https://ejscreen.epa.gov/mapper/)

Our families are already feeling the health effects of this: according to the Public Health Management Corporation's Community Health Database 1/3 of kids in our zip code have been diagnosed with asthma. The levels of asthma at our school are a testament to this data. We're currently looking into more detailed information on community health.

Here's is some basic information on the toxic effects of natural gas pollution: http://www.momscleanairforce.org/natural-gas-facts/

Our end goal is to urge SEPTA to cancel these plans and invest in local solar and wind energy. But there's still a lot of work to do to build a coalition and get our voices heard.

                             *How can you help?*

Right now, you can help get the word out! We're currently partnering with parents form Steel Elementary, Wissahickon, and concerned SEPTA workers to
see if folks are interested in a community forum.

You can:

 - Distribute fliers, in person or online (the flier is attached)

  - Get Petitions signed. You can share this link to an online petition or get signatures in person with the petition attached to this email.

   -  Get in contact with your local community or professional organizations, including religious organizations and Parent-School partnerships (PTA etc. ). The more organizing power, the better.

If you have any info you'd like to share, professional skills you'd like to offer, or further questions and ideas, please shoot me an email. As there's been a surprise birth in my family (which is still such a wild thing to say), I may not be able to answer you right away. In that case, I'll forward you to one of my colleagues at 350.

Also, let us know about your outreach! That will help us coordinate everyone involved.

Thanks again for all of your emails, and I look forward to working with you to fight this plant.

Take care,

visit my blog: http://www.awfromhh.wordpress.com  community calendar and more

Happy Hollow Playground Recreation Center April 29, 1911 
Phila. Register Historical Places June 14, 2013 AND April 28, 2014 Nat'l Register #14000184
Donated by M/M EW Clark architect, George T Pearson
Philadelphia's oldest recreation center Phila., Germantown, PA USA 19144

Stay Blessed

Gloria Dulan-Wilson  

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