Description: History and Background
The plant is located on the Salem Harbor waterfront and was first opened in 1951, making it one of the oldest plants in Massachusetts. The facility was originally designed to produce electricity by burning coal. This changed in 1969 when the plant transformed the plant to facilitate the burning of oil as its' new primary source of fuel for electricity. This however, only lasted until the mid-1980's when the plant conceded to pressure from the U.S. government to reduce the country's dependence on imported oil. As a result, 3 out of 4 units at the plant were then converted back to coal burning.
The Salem Harbor Power Plant in Salem, MA has been the target of great deal of environmental activism in recent years. It is one of the "filthy five" power plants in Massachusetts creating a significant amount of air and water pollution on the North Shore. According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Sullivan Environmental Consulting Group, the Salem Harbor Power Plant is responsible for 53 premature deaths, 570 emergency room visits, 14,400 asthma attacks and 99,000 daily incidents of upper respiratory symptoms each year (Hlinka, Levy, Yamaguchi, Spengler & Sullivan, 2000). Additional studies have also been conducted that link air pollution to lung cancer among those living in areas of high air pollution or "smog" that is emitted from cars and coal burning plants such as the one in Salem. The facility is operated by National Energy Group (NEG), a subsidiary of the infamous PG&E Corporation of California whose harmful practices were brought to the nation's attention in the movie "Erin Brokovich".
The power plant can be seen in Windows Local Live uncensored.