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Climate vigil on Metro East air quality slated tonight


From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON – The Illinois Sierra Club will hold a vigil tonight (Monday) as part of a 100-city National Day of Action to demand action on climate change from local elected leaders.

The effort among other things points to Metro East air quality, which the Sierra Club says is among the worst in the nation. The group also notes that Dynegy’s aging Wood River coal-fired power plant sits on the banks of the Mississippi River at East Alton and contends there is a threat from the presence of a high-hazard coal ash pond.

“Now is the time to take climate action and make a plan forward for our community,” said Laura Asher, chair of the Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club. “We are calling on our public officials to stand with us and take action now. Our community is home to an aging coal plant, but coal is being phased out in favor of clean energy every day across the country. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we come together to to build a strong clean energy economy in Alton.”

Asher will speak, along with Shannon Fuller, president of Illinois Solar Energy Association; Eden Vitoff, president of Green LYFE; and Wayne Politsch, executive committee member Piasa Palisades Group of Sierra Club.

The event is at 8:45 p.m. at First Unitarian Church, 110 E Third St., Alton.

The group plans to gather with solar lights and candles around a large inflatable coal plant.

The People’s Climate Movement’s National Day of Action is Oct. 14 and is being held to demand bold action on climate change as part of global action being negotiated in Paris in December 2015.

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