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Coal plant protests head to Newark

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Protesters pushing for the shutdown of Bridgeport’s coal plant took their fight to Newark Monday.

Rallying outside the Newark headquarters of Public Service Electric & Gas Co., the company that owns and operates the Bridgeport coal plant, environmentalists from the Healthy Connecticut Alliance continued their demands to close the Bridgeport Harbor Station. The group has collected 1,000 signatures supporting the retirement of the station in favor of cleaner energy sources.

The station was operating at a 3 percent capacity level in 2012, according to a previous data analysis by the Business Journal. But PSE&G representatives contend the plant is necessary as a backup power source.

Based on emissions levels and demographics of the area where the plant is located, the station has ranked as the eighth worst for environmental injustices by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. However PSE&G officials contend the station in much safer today than in the past. In 2002 and 2008,  PSE&G spent $150 million on emission controls for the station.

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