Does Pollution Discriminate? The Coal Plant Edition

by jim on November 26, 2012

A new NAACP report examining the locations and impacts of all 378 coal-fired power plants in America found that those living near the plants were disproportionately poor and members of minority groups. More often than not, the worst-performing coal plants were also in predominately poor and minority communities.

"Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People" failed 75 plants on their environmental justice impacts and found those same plants were responsible for a heavier pollution burden. 14% of sulfur dioxide emissions and 13% of all smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions from all U.S. power plants came from just those 75 power plants.

The four million people living near those 75 plants are among the poorest and more isolated communities of color. The average per capita income within three miles of the 75 failing plants is $17,500, and nearly 53 percent of the people are minorities.

One of those 75 failing plants is in Texas according to the report's graphics, but the plants aren't listed by state in the Appendix. All coal fired plants in the immediate DFW region have been closed for a while based on their advancing age and voluminous pollution, but that may not be the case in places like San Antonio or Austin. Stay tuned for a clarification.

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