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Several organizations have requested an immediate suspension of operations at the Mendocino Wood Pellet Production Plant in California, in light of threats to public health and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wood pellet production releases heavy amounts of harmful pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gasses that threaten community and public health. These pollutants can trigger a variety of health problems, in particular to those who have underlying respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and can cause irreversible damage to lung health. Public record shows that the facility’s potential negative health impacts were never evaluated through a proper environmental review process.

According to a new nationwide study from Harvard’s School of Public Health, “People with Covid-19 who live in U.S. regions with high levels of air pollution are more likely to die from the disease than people who live in less polluted areas.”

In this time of the pandemic, these operations increase the threat of respiratory ailments and are a clear danger to the community.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Theresa Church from Global Justice Ecology Project