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Proposed power plant divides Palmdale, Lancaster

A proposed plant to be built on the Palmdale-Lancaster border has critics and supporters at odds over the effects on the community.
December 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Tuesday, the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District Board signed off on a proposed plant to be built on the Palmdale-Lancaster border. Critics say Palmdale will get all the benefits while Lancaster will get all the pollution.

Hundreds of concerned Antelope Valley residents attended a public hearing Tuesday on the future of the proposed multi-million-dollar hybrid power plant in Palmdale.

"I don't want to see any power plants built anywhere," said Jane Williams, director of Desert Citizens Against Pollution. "That's an old technology. We don't need power plants. We need clean energy, clean jobs and clean air."

"I think it should be built. We need reliable power up here. Solar and wind all the time doesn't cut it," said Lancaster resident Scott Pelka.

The plant would be built similar to the one in Burbank and would be located south of Avenue M and east of Sierra Highway on the border between Palmdale and Lancaster. The plant would be fueled by natural gas. The power plant project was approved by the California Energy Commission in 2011.

"I am concerned with harmful pollution. We're all concerned about it. But it's a green plant. It's a hydro plant. It's going green," said Palmdale resident Angel Olvera.

Tuesday the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District's governing board approved air-transfer credits primarily from the San Joaquin Valley for the proposed project. That was needed to ensure pollution levels from the plant would not exceed regulated limits.

"We are in support of a power plant. It is fully approved. We are merely doing an air transfer here today to clean our air. That's part of the process," said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris says while Palmdale officials are excited about the plant, he is not convinced it is nothing more than a source of pollution for his city.

"We have the highest asthma, the highest emphysema, the highest heart disease, the highest chronic lung problems of any place in the county, and yet they want to put a power plant on our border and blow all of that pollution over these people," said Parris.


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