locally owned since 1854

Show your support to help keep TMI open: Letter to the Editor

Posted 8/2/17

This spring, the owners of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station announced that it will close in 2019 unless Pennsylvania lawmakers pass needed policy reform.

As fire chief for the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Show your support to help keep TMI open: Letter to the Editor

Posted

This spring, the owners of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station announced that it will close in 2019 unless Pennsylvania lawmakers pass needed policy reform.

As fire chief for the Londonderry Fire Company, I have seen first-hand the support Three Mile Nuclear Generating Station Island provides the central Pennsylvania area. Over the last 10 years, the plant’s owners have contributed more than $600,000 to the Londonderry Volunteer Fire Company.

These contributions have been paramount. This money helped us provide first-rate emergency response services to our community, including funding of a much-needed fire station expansion project and needed upgrades to emergency equipment. Separately, our neighbors who work at the plant raised more than $300,000 for local community causes and charitable organizations last year alone.

Beyond the Londonderry Fire Company, Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station also provides ongoing training to emergency responders for local municipalities and school districts in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties. In coordinating with county officials, Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station is responsible for developing and maintaining all-hazard emergency plans, which are developed by state and local governments to prepare for unpredictable circumstances like powerful storms. Thanks in part to their efforts, ours is among the best in the country.

Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station is a large employer with a staff of more than 675 people and a payroll of $50 million. The annual property tax revenue they generate is in excess of $1 million. These dollars support our small businesses, schools and shared services.

The economic impact of TMI’s payroll is not limited to full-time employees. Several times a year more than 1,500 union workers are contracted to help during refueling and maintenance periods at the plant. These workers have a wide-ranging impact on communities and businesses across central Pennsylvania.

It’s not just within our immediate communities that Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station makes a difference. Nuclear energy in general is clean and reliable. It provides almost 40 percent of the state’s energy and 93 percent of Pennsylvania’s emissions-free electricity. If we lose our nuclear plants, there will be 37 million tons of carbon emissions released into our atmosphere each year.

The issues at play here go beyond party politics. This matters to all of us who are invested in our community and want to see it thrive. Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station and the people who work there are good neighbors. It’s time for us to return the favor. That’s why I, along with other local leaders, have joined the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania coalition. Our mission is to raise awareness of the impact TMI’s closure would have on surrounding communities.

I encourage you to learn more and show your support at www.cleanjobsforpennsylvania.com. I’m confident our efforts will make a difference in ensuring lawmakers do the right thing by enacting policies which properly recognize the value TMI provides our community.

Bart Shellenhamer

Londonderry Township supervisor and chief of the Londonderry Volunteer Fire Company

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment