For Immediate Release
Victory Against Fossil Fuels: CPV Woodbridge Energy Center Expansion Withdrawn
Woodbridge, NJ - After years of organizing, public hearings, and strong opposition to the expansion of CPV Woodbridge power plant, the project is officially halted. This is a major win for environmental justice and communities across New Jersey, particularly the community of Keasbey, who have felt a disproportionate burden of pollution from fossil-fuel facilities, and for New Jerseyans overall.
Over the past couple of years, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) has been pushing to obtain permits for a new 630-megawatt gas-fired power plant in the Keasbey section of Woodbridge. If approved, this would have significantly increased the burning of natural gas in the community of Woodbridge Township and potentially generated a total of 2,055,800 metric tons CO2e/year. This would have increased New Jersey’s GHG annual emissions by over 2%, and exacerbated further pollution in environmental justice communities.
On top of greenhouse gas emissions, the plant would have emitted ozone causing agents and many toxic air pollutants (e.g., NOx, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, ammonia and others) all within 6 miles of more than 70 public schools. Ozone not only causes and exacerbates a large number of debilitating conditions such as asthma and heart disease, but also causes premature deaths in older populations. New Jersey does not need more burning of natural gas at the cost of human health and community safety.
“Yesterday, the people won against the polluters in New Jersey. Our state does not need more natural gas. New Jersey is part of a regional nonattainment ozone area and simply cannot emit more NOx pollution to our air when we have already reached our cap; our air quality cannot handle it. This project was never going to be built, because of market conditions, but also because of the unavailable NOx credits for a power plant of this magnitude to operate,” said New Jersey Sierra Club Chapter Director, Anjuli Ramos Busot. “This is a massive victory for our communities, environmental justice, and in the fight against climate change. After attending and participating in the public hearings for the proposed expansion, and witnessing hundreds of residents voice how their families have been negatively affected from fossil-fuel pollution, this victory is personal and a powerful example of how we can win when we come together. This is the clean energy transition happening in real time. The New Jersey Chapter is proud to stand with our community allies and local volunteers who have fought for this brighter and safer future for generations to come.”
“This is a great victory for the residents of Keasbey, as well as all adults and children in adjoining communities who would have suffered if this unnecessary power plant was built,” said Gary Frederick, Conservation Chair of NJ Sierra Club Raritan Valley Group. “Once again, this proves the power of community protests and opposition can have a positive impact for cleaner air, less burning of harmful fossil fuels and common sense environmental justice outcomes.”
"After years of fighting to have another natural gas fired power plant project shut down in Keasbey-Woodbridge, it's finally over. The community of Woodbidge and environmental justice advocates have pleaded over many years requesting that this project be stopped. It is not a necessity and it provides no benefits to the community, it would take away the livelihood of all who live there, the pleas and cries of the people who would be affected will not be ignored,” said Renée Pollard, NJ Chapter Environmental Justice Chair. “This is a big win for the community of Woodbridge and it sends a strong message that you can no longer come to these communities and continue to saturate their environment with dirty toxins that make them sick and die. That time has passed, and if you choose to come we will be ready so prepare for a fight. If you want to build it, do it the right way with clean energy, just be a good neighbor."
About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information about our work in New Jersey, visit www.sierraclub.org/new-jersey.