Agawam Mayor: Communities should be compensated for power plant violations

Agawam would have received $325,000, according to the Mayor

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Mayor of Agawam is asking for Massachusetts Senators and Representatives to file a bill in the next legislative session that would involve federal and state lawsuits and settlements with power plants.

In a letter sent to state lawmakers, Mayor Richard Cohen said it was “unconscionable” that Agawam was not compensated in 2016 after Berkshire Power Company settled a lawsuit with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and State Attorney’s General’s Office.

22News reported back in March when Berkshire Power and Power Plant Management Services agreed to plead guilty to the charges of conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act; which came after a joint federal and state investigation into the plant’s reporting from 2009 to 2011.

Mayor Cohen stated that Berkshire Power paid the Commonwealth’s General Fund $1.1-million and the Electric Car Funs $200,000, while Agawam, the host community of the power plant, received nothing. He said Agawam would have received $325,000 if a legislation was in place protecting host communities.

Now, the Mayor wants Agawam to be compensated for the power plants violations, and he wants state lawmakers to file a legislation in the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session.