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The Peaker Problem: An Overview of Peaker Power Plant Facts and Impacts in Boston, Philadelphia, and Detroit


More than 4.4 million people in urban areas in the U.S. live within one mile of a peaker power plant and are directly exposed to air pollutants that cause significant health problems and higher incidences of premature death. A new report by Clean Energy Group and Strategen examines the environmental justice and public health impacts of peaker plants in three U.S. cities – Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit.

According to the report, two-thirds of peaker plants are located near communities of color with a higher percentage of low-income households, spewing harmful pollution from fossil fuels into the neighborhoods that surround them. The report also provides case studies on lessons learned from community-led efforts in the three cities, as well as in New York City and New Orleans.

These cities were selected because they have a high number of peakers that disproportionately impact low-income, BIPOC communities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Power Plants and Neighboring Communities mapping tool.

Click here to download the report. 

This report was funded by Kresge’s Environment Program.