When Pollution Crosses Borders

harbor station
The last Connecticut coal plant undergoing conversion.

Bridgeport’s Harbor Station in the South End, the last coal-burning plant in Connecticut, is undergoing a $550 million gas-fired conversion expected to power energy to the region in the summer of 2019. Health concerns, however, stretch far beyond the state’s borders that environmental activists assert impact local residents, as noted in this story by CT Post reporter Bill Cummings:

Connecticut for years has complained about–and filed lawsuits over–pollution from Midwestern coal-fired power plants that wafts into the state on prevailing winds and causes health problems, including asthma and lung disorders.

The smog also factors into preventing the state from meeting Greenhouse gas reduction mandates and goals.

The Trump proposal is “an egregious act” that will lead to premature deaths, lost school days and thousands of additional asthma attacks, said Leah Lopez-Schmalz, chief program officer for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment.

Full story here.

See webcam of Bridgeport plant conversation here.



  1. Posted on Facebook 8/23/18 by Pete Spain, City Councilman for the 130th District:

    “Tonight something happened I haven’t witnessed before in #Bridgeport. This strikes a new low for me and Kate. It’s downright frightening.

    “Bonnie Roach — who earns a 6-figure salary tending to the Black Rock Senior Center for the City of Bridgeport, CT – Government — decided to accost and threaten a private senior citizen who is our friend and my constituent who lives a few hundred yards down from us.

    “As some of you know, we had an unexpected run-in with Ms Roach in front of the Towers housing complex in March. She had a lot of hatred toward us, calling me Hitler 6 or 7 times in her first salvo of verbal treachery. We’d never spoken to her before.

    “Fast forward to tonight.

    “Our friend down the street drove home and got out of her car in front of her home on Beacon St … only to have Bonnie Roach descend upon her. Bonnie wanted to warn the wife of John Marshall Lee, a 70-something-year-old active researcher and citizen watchdog in #Bridgeport, that she should watch what her husband was asking about Dan Roach — the chair of the Police Commission, Mayor Ganim’s 2015 mayoral campaign co-manager, now a 6-figure project manager for the city, 32-years-straight leader of the Black Rock area Democratic Town Committee, co-chair of the Environmental Task Force funded by PSEG, and mayor’s liaison to the Bridgeport Regional Business Council board. I know because I serve on that board with him.

    “The minutes of the City Council meeting and Police Commission meeting testimony of John Marshall Lee is online for the record. I don’t need to comment on that.

    “But why did Bonnie Roach think it was acceptable to approach John Lee’s wife and holler at her about her husband’s “audacity to” go to the publicly available Police Dept records room to research something … and to share his findings to elected or appointed authorities? If there was no validity to John’s findings, then why go after his wife? There’s lots of gibberish spewed about at public meetings in Bridgeport, but whose spouse is accosted about it?

    “Bonnie Roach told our friend and constituent tonight, “I’ve got shit on him” — that is on John Marshall Lee — a highly respected member of our community and far beyond.

    “We heard this directly from John’s wife. She was upset, but overall unfazed, in light her many years of accomplishment and care for the community, especially children. We invited this friend over. We talked. It got dark. We walked her home, to be safe. And who was out in the street in front of John Lee’s and his wife’s home … rattling off about “audacity” and who knows what … ??? Yes, Bonnie Roach. I used my iPhone to document her absurd commentary and to try to hold it out as a deterrent of sorts.

    “The video is available. But I think we all know what’s going on here. Dan Roach is up for a vote to the City Council on September 4th to continue serving on the Board of Police Commissioners. Keep the status quo going.

    “Well, that’s interesting, since it took Bridgeport Police tonight to show up and get his wife to move away from the home of our friends whom she decided to try to intimidate.

    “Is this what #Bridgeport deserves? A public figure’s wife trying to intimidate and bully citizens out in front of their own home?

    “ I don’t think so.”

      1. Why should he ask him? this is great stuff. Shows everyone who they voted for on that rainbow flag he had planted in front of his house. Black Rock is full of the craziest of the crazies. Some elected like this asswipe, some legacy families. We thought it was awesome. Until we got sick of all this and moved to a real state where there we could both work in great careers and give our kids a chance.

  2. Fake news.
    Fake councilpeople with devious agendas.
    Me thinks that someone who SUCKS 100% OF THE TIT OF THE STATE’S WELFARE SO YOU CAN PLAY ON THE INTERNET AND PRETEND YOU ARE A ROCK STAR would REALLY be calling the kettle black in ANYTHING Bridgeport Kid says. His last home was a boat without a roof in the parking lot of Torres’s parking lot. What a citizen. What a contributor.

  3. When I pulled my kids out of Bridgeport and we relocated we never looked back. This ^ is a voice of reason that people on this page look to for intelligence. Bwahhahahaha. A never-contributor. A sucker. A sucker of anything he can do not to work an honest day in his life. Thank the lord above that CT pays for his 10 pack a day habit.

    1. Mr. Spain wrote the post, not me. Attacking me personally does not change the fact that the incident noted above took place. Personal attacks do not justify or excuse Mrs. Roach’s behavior. End of story.

  4. John and his wife are 2 of the finest people I know. They spend untold number of hours working for the good of Bridgeport. Bonnie Roach has a nerve going to their house, Come to my house I have surprise for you she weighs 140 and doe not like big mouth women(bonnie)\
    Bonnie tell us about your husband and the city worker

  5. Albeit the digression is very relevant — deserving it’s own OIB headline-posting and discussion — but, for the time-being, maybe we should get back to the equally-important headline-topic of US Energy/Environmental policy and its heavy impact on Bridgeport’s environment and economy:

    There are many reasons beyond air pollution, probable climate-change implications, and destructive geophysical and hydrologic/ground-water pollution reasons to transition to renewable energy…

    Coal is horribly polluting at all levels. The cancer rates in coal country from all types of cancer are anomalously high. In eastern Pennsylvania, there are mountains of coal slag, that have been accumulating for over 100 years, where internal fires (triggered by pressure-friction), send combustion-product, carcinogenic hydrocarbons into the air and ground water. Coal itself, in the un-combusted form, contains plenty of carcinogens that are freed as coal is mined and veins of coal are exposed to ground-water and carcinogens freed and taken into drinking water. (Undisturbed coal veins are generally encrusted in clays and diatomaceous earth that shields ground- water exposure to coal chemicals…

    And, of course, we are all-too-familiar with similar problems involving petroleum and natural-gas recovery and usage. (But, not to digress too far from the specific topic at hand, perhaps the worst aspect of world petroleum dependence are the geo-political/global-militarization, and global-terrorism implications thereof…)

    It is well-beyond time, for myriad economic, political, and environmental reasons to make a rapid transition beyond obsolete, “fossil” fuels. It is for obvious, personal, economic reasons that Trump is taking regressive positions in regard to energy and environmental policy… It’s all about $BIG OIL/RUSSIAN OIL$, sustaining his failing financial empire and placing him in the Presidency, where he could appoint EXXON President Rex Tillerson and Oil Country Republican Scott Pruitt, et al., to his cabinet, for obvious reasons…

  6. On topic:

    It is well documented that post-industrial Connecticut’s main source of air pollution is mobile, not stationary. This means automobiles and trucks account for more air pollutants than stationary sources, including power generating plants. Plans have been in place for many years to replace coal-fired plants with natural gas fired plants but the effort to retain the presence of a coal industry is a problem.

    1. Back on point…

      It is obvious the environment in Bridgeport has not been an important issue for any public official. Ganim doesn’t give a shit. He was too busy over the past two years looking for sky hooks to think about the important stuff. The Democratic Party led by Dannell Malloy is in disorder. The GOP is corrupted by the party’s loyalty to a draft dodging coward that has cheated on all three of his wives and wouldn’t know about the U.S. Constitution if it crawled up his leg and bit him on the ass.

      no one gives a shit about the environment because there’s no special interest group lobbying in Hartford. No one has figured out how to make money from it.


Leave a Reply