Doctors Join forces with Sierra Club against Coal Burning Plants

Wayne County is home to DTE Energy’s River Rouge and Trenton Channel coal fired power Plants. The plants have been providing electricity for metro Detroiters since 1929.

According to the Sierra Club… these coal burning plants release close one point six million pounds of hazardous chemicals into the air and water every year.

Ken Rosenman is a professor of medicine at Michigan State University and one of the doctors who joined forced with the Sierra Club to speak out against emissions from coal-burning plants. Rosenman says coal burning power plants are one of the reasons Wayne County has the highest number of pediatric asthma cases in the state.

“DTE has some of the oldest coal plants in Michigan…as well as in the country some of their plants were built in the late 40’s…early 50’s and even though they meet the regulation they are grandfathered in so they are two to six times dirtier than a new plant Pollutants that come out of their stacks include particulates, nitrous oxide sulfur dioxide, mercury and greenhouse gasses.”

Rosenman says pollutants from the plants disproportionately impact children.

“Detroit has the highest rates of Asthma in the state… it has the highest mortality from asthma, it increases morbidity, it increases their asthma attack, it will increase the incident of death. Even in children who don’t have asthma, chronic exposure to these same pollutants stunts lung growth."

DTE Energy says the Sierra Club’s information is inaccurate and misleading. The utility company says its senior leadership has engaged in high-level discussions with the Sierra Club but could not agree to requests to shut down the power plant. DTE Energy says its the state's largest investor in wind power and technology…spending two billion dollars on new wind parks since 2009.

I’m Martina Guzman WDET News