TRENTON – A local environmental group has met with the province’s new government in hopes of continuing its fight for cleaner energy in the county.
Peter Boyles of the Hillside-Trenton Environmental Watch Action Group said Wednesday that he met with the ministers for the Department of Health, Department of Environment and the Department of Energy recently in Halifax to bring them up to speed on their fight to have Nova Scotia Power stop using coal at its generating plant in Trenton.
He said he has worked with Andrew Younger, minister of energy, in the past as well as Leo Glavine who both knew the history of his group’s protests over the use of coal at the Trenton plant that it says causes health concerns for Pictou County residents.
“We had a good meeting,” Boyles said. “We need to follow up with them to make sure they are going to do something.”
He said both Younger and Glavine supported the action group when they were the opposition and he would like to see the same support now that they form Nova Scotia’s government.
“It's (the emissions from the plant) are not just a little thing, it’s causing a lot of heath concerns and killing a lot of people,” he said.
He said Environment Minister Randy Delorey was unaware of the group’s work in the past, but Glavine told Boyles to bring him all the information and he would look into it.
“Delorey explained that he was new to the job and didn't know anything about it, but he said he would find out what can be done,” said Boyles. “Younger was pulling back a little from when he was opposition, but Glavine said, ‘Peter, give me the stuff and if they are doing this, they are going to stop it.’”
Boyles said he will give Glavine and the health department the statistics they want and hopefully, “enough will be enough.”
The association members believe that natural gas would be a positive solution to an ongoing problem for residents of Pictou County forced to live with the effects of fly ash coming from the stacks of Nova Scotia Power’s Trenton Generating Station.
Heritage Gas is investing $15.3 million to extend its pipeline to Pictou County, but Nova Scotia Power has not signed on for the Trenton plant.
Northern Pulp will convert its plant to natural gas as part of the company's plan to reduce its energy costs and improve air quality and environmental performance.
Natural gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, emitting 45 to 80 per cent less carbon dioxide than coal, and two-thirds that of oil, with negligible sulfur dioxides.