The proposed site of the Lackawanna Energy Center is an ideal place for such a plant. Opponents suggest that the plant should instead be built on one of the M2 zones neighboring town. It cannot, and should not, for several reasons:
Distance & Size
Jessup’s laws require such a plant to be over 2,000 feet away from the nearest development. The proposed site is over 2,200 feet from the nearest development. But, as these maps show, if the plant were built in either of the M2 zones, it would be at most less than 1,000 feet away from homes and 350 feet away from the nearest development.
Moreover, while the footprint of the facility clearly fits inside the boundaries of the proposed site, it doesn’t fit into either of the M2 zones, as these maps demonstrate.
The proposed site presents an economic opportunity for Jessup. Currently a vacant lot, and formerly a municipal dump (among other things) the site is near both transmission lines and a natural gas pipeline, essential prerequisites for such a plant. Construction of the Energy Center would create over 600 jobs for 2-plus years, and operations would generate 30 good-paying, permanent, and local jobs.
The M2 zones, by comparison, are already crowded with a diverse set of businesses. Construction of the plant would require those businesses to close. The ensuing loss of jobs would move Jessup backwards, not forwards.
Noise & Visibility
The proposed site is on the far side of the Casey highway, providing Jessup with a visual and acoustical barrier. Studies suggest that, in fact, Jessup residents won’t be able to hear the plant over the highway on a typical day. Were the plant instead built in one of the M2 zones, as the opponents advocate, it would be closer to Jessup, making it more visible and audible to residents – especially those at top of the hill.
For all of these reasons, the proposed site is not only the ideal location for the Lackawanna Energy Center, but the only suitable one.