The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is thrilled that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has revoked the air permit for the proposed biomass energy facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposed facility was environmentally unjust and would have caused additional negative health impacts to an overburdened community.
According to AAFA’s 2019 Asthma Capitals Report, Springfield is already the most challenging city in the United States to live with asthma. The bi-annual report ranks the top 100 metropolitan areas based on asthma prevalence, emergency room visits, and mortality. AAFA will be releasing the 2021 Asthma Capitals Report in May during National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
AAFA has long opposed the burning of biomass for energy. Biomass burning produces air pollution that that is harmful to human health. In addition to a wide array of health harms, air pollution diminishes lung function and can trigger asthma episodes. It also causes increased rates of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and school absenteeism related to asthma.
AAFA applauds the advocates of Springfield for demanding a stop to the environmental injustice and preventing additional harmful air pollution from impacting their community. AAFA will continue to advocate for clean, safe air for everyone and is committed to addressing unacceptable health disparities.