Your View: GenOn coal plant burns bridges with the community

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To the editor:

    
I read with great interest about yet another mishap at the GenOn coal plant last week (Coal Plant Violations Fuel Critics, May 12). One specific statement by the GenOn representative caught my eye when she claimed that there is no safety risk in reference to the human error, equipment malfunction and failure to follow standard operating procedures that resulted in a $275,000 penalty for multiple air quality violations.
    
I am living, breathing proof that there is a safety risk to repeated air quality violations, and what appears to be continued negligence from GenOn in polluting our community. My balcony faces the plant, and despite the use of five air filters inside my home, I am overrun with black coal dust particles. 
    
Over the past years, I have developed chronic bronchitis among other ailments, and all too often experience burning in my lungs, chest and throat, simply from stepping outside my home. Similar life-threatening health problems have been closely linked to coal-related activities nationwide, inflicting children with asthma, stifling childhood development and cutting short thousands of lives. 
    
I recently read that pollution from the GenOn plant annually causes 610 asthma attacks, 60 heart attacks and 37 deaths in the metro D.C. area alone. I think this clearly constitutes a safety risk, and am extremely concerned about the impact human error, equipment malfunction and failure to follow standard operating procedures continues to have on the thousands of people living near the GenOn coal plant.

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