Voice: Maruca should know pipeline would help local health

December 04, 2001

County Supervisor Joe Maruca continues to argue that the power plants under construction in Mexicali will produce additional air pollution that will drift into Imperial County, creating potential health problems for county residents.

He erroneously believes that he can stop those power plants by opposing the natural gas pipeline that will fuel them with clean-burning natural gas.

But Supervisor Maruca's solution will actually create an even bigger problem for residents of Imperial County. Those two power plants are already under construction and they will be completed. Without the pipeline they will have to burn fuel oil, not natural gas, and the air quality in the region really will get worse.

To show just how polluting fuel oil can be, consider the following. Building a small, fuel oil-fired power plant that would serve just the needs of the citizens of Mexicali would add more than 14,000 tons per year of emissions to the air.


That is almost three times the emissions that will come from the two larger plants that are under construction when they burn natural gas.

It is this kind of data that has been missing during all the discussion of the power plants and air quality in Imperial County. The data has been developed and it clearly shows that the natural gas pipeline is key to the health of Imperial County residents.

Supervisor Maruca, your concern for the health of Imperial County residents is commendable, but you are going at it in the wrong way. If you really want to protect the people you and supervisors Tirado, Kuiper, Wyatt and Leimgruber represent, then you will make sure that the natural gas pipeline is built so that current and future development in Mexicali can be fueled by clean burning natural gas, not fuel oil.

In addition, with the pipeline, existing industrial facilities in Mexicali that currently burn fuel oil could switch to natural gas, which would make the air even cleaner.

I hope that all of the Imperial County supervisors will stand up for the health and welfare of the people they represent; ensure that the pipeline is built so that everyone will be able to breath easier.


Project manager

North Baja Pipeline

Portland, Ore.

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