YORK HAVEN, Pa. (WHTM) – York County’s Brunner Island is a coal and gas-fired power plant. It’s under fire from environmental groups.
“It is the region’s largest polluter of Pennsylvania’s air and water,” says a deep-voiced narrator in a radio commercial running in Harrisburg and York.
Brunner Island’s permit was set to expire in 2011, but it’s been extended by the Department of Environmental Protection ever since. The Sierra Club blames Gov. Tom Wolf. Though the concern is about water, the club’s frustration is now spilling out over the air.
“The plant has the ability to stop dumping harmful pollution into our rivers right now,” the radio ad continues. “But Governor Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection has proposed to let Brunner Island off the hook for another four to six years.” (You can hear the full one-minute ad here)
The Sierra Club also thinks Wolf is too cozy with frackers and coal miners and a rubber stamp on gas pipelines that are crisscrossing the commonwealth.
“What the millions of Pennsylvanians who supported his candidacy understood was that he was gonna stand up to the polluters across Pennsylvania that have been so comfortable with previous administrations. We have been sorely disappointed by his record in holding these polluters accountable,” said the Sierra Club’s Patrick Grenter.
The DEP tried twice to permit Brunner Island in recent years, according to spokesman John Repetz, but the federal Environmental Protection Agency changed its permitting guidelines, halting the process. Those guidelines are now being battled in court and DEP awaits a result before moving forward.
“You have to ask the Sierra Club: if you’re not happy with the most liberal governor in America, what can you be happy with?,” GOP political strategist Chris Nicholas said.
Nicholas was shocked that the liberal Sierra Club would spend money to publicly attack a liberal governor a year before he faces off against a likely conservative opponent.
“Who would’ve thought the first broadside in the 2018 gubernatorial election would’ve been the Sierra Club attacking Democrat Tom Wolf? I would’ve lost that bet,” Nicholas said.
In a statement, Wolf spokesman JJ Abbott said any claims that Wolf or the DEP are intentionally dragging their feet on Brunner Island’s permit is “baseless and unreasonable.”