Pollution from HECA a Serious Issue

Letter to the Editor

Bakersfield California, November 19, 2013

HECA may reverse air progress

So there is hope that the Central Valley might be released from its $29 million fine for one-hour ozone violations. That is great news to this former Buttonwillow resident, especially if it means we will also have fewer unhealthy air days.

But wait. If we get off the hook for paying that fine, how soon will they impose a new fine on us from the hundreds of tons of new emissions from the Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) project? Certainly HECA’s thousands of diesel trucks delivering coal daily into our valley air will put us right back into noncompliance.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we truly had clean enough air to burn a nice Christmas fire in our homes? Seems like if we could go in the right, clean-air direction for awhile, we should try to stay the course. It seems like we should not celebrate the $29 million fine’s possible cancellation by permitting a major new air polluter. I bet HECA will put us right back into a fine.

Buttonwillow will be having a HECA meeting in the local recreation center Nov. 20. The California Energy Commission’s voting commissioners will be hearing public comments beginning at 5 p.m. The CEC needs to be truthful and transparent to the public about risks involved. There is insufficient information to prove the risks are less than significant.

Susanna Matchniff, Hacienda Heights

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