Vermont: You Won’t See Smokestack In Suburbs

Bridgeport smokestack
The Bridgeport smokestack.

From Greg Hladky, Fairfield County Weekly:

Pollution from the smokestacks of Connecticut’s last coal-fired power plant is racist.

That’s the message NAACP activists are trying to send about the Bridgeport Harbor Station plant and the impact it’s having on the lives and health of the mostly poor people of color that live nearby.

“I don’t think you’d see that plant [still operating] in a suburban town,” says Carolyn Vermont, president of the Bridgeport chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The Bridgeport generating facility owned by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) was listed in a 2012 NAACP study as the tenth worst power plant in the nation.

The report ranked 378 U.S. coal-fired plants as “environmental justice offenders” based on the amount of crap they’re putting in the air or water, and what sort of folks (race, income, population density) live in the immediate area.

The average income of people living within one mile of the Bridgeport Harbor Station is $11,400 and nearly nine out of 10 of them are people of color. According to the NAACP study, the plant pumped out an average of 2,044 tons of sulfur dioxide and another 1,404 tons of nitrogen oxide per year between 2007 and 2010.

Read more here,



  1. Has the EPA done a good job reaching their goal mentioned below?

    EPA definition of Environmental Justice:
    “The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”

  2. Yes, I am sure it is racist because none of that smoke could possibly blow to Black Rock, Fairfield, Stratford, Long Island, etc. I am sure all the smoke comes out of those stacks, beelines straight down and settles on the East Side. Now, the plant was built in ~1969. What was the demographic of that neighborhood back then? Bridgeport was a relatively wealthy area when all the factories were pumping out arms for Vietnam. But maybe the area was always ethnic or the builders of the plant knew the area would become ethnic. What about the people who moved into the area in the last 44 years? Did they NOT see the power plant on the horizon? Was it dark when they moved in? Can they not move to a different rental apartment? We should close the plant. BPT does not need the tax revenue. We can turn off our TVs and ACs and buy our electricity from China, like everything else. We can lay off all the plant workers, close the businesses that support the plant, tear the place down and make it a park. We should do everything we can to drive all businesses out of BPT and CT. I see racism everywhere I look. Now that Hispanics are the largest minority in the country, when will we see Hispanic representation in the NAACP leadership? Racism!

  3. Mickey D’s? There is the one on the Post Road smack in the middle of Westpost, the circle in Fairfield, near Walmart in Stratford, near the Bridgeport line IN Stratford, Hawley Lane in Trumbull, two at highway rest stops in Fairfield, Norwalk has five and BPT has two. If you divide the # of MCD’s by square miles or population BPT has less per person or square mile than all the towns mentioned. You just do not get out to the ‘burbs that often. That must be why you do not see many Mickey D’s because it would not be for a lack of the restaurant in those towns.


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