Saturday, August 4, 2018

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DEC denies renewal of CPV air quality permit

The CPV plant, designed to operate with natural gas, underwent testing with diesel fuel in February.

WAWAYANDA – The State Department of Environmental Conservation has denied the renewal of the air quality permit for the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) fracked gas power plant in the Town of Wawayanda.

In a letter to CPV, DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro wrote that the company was required to submit a complete application and obtain a federal Clean Air Act permit prior to operation of the facility. She wrote that CPV has not submitted an application for a permit nor has a permit been issues as required.

As a result, Turturro wrote that the air state facility permit renewal application by CPV has been denied. The current permit expired on July 31. “As a result of this denial and the lack of a Title V permit, CPV may not lawfully operate the facility,” she wrote.

Reaction to the decision was swift.

In separate news releases, Riverkeeper Legal Director Richard Webster and Catskill Mountainkeeper Ramsay Adams  issued the same statement: “I applaud Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for standing up for the health of all New Yorkers, for the integrity of the permit process, and for protecting the environment of New York State and beyond.”

Pramilla Malick, the founder of the Protect Orange County grassroots group, which has been in the forefront of the fight to prevent the CPV plant from being built and going online, said the DEC’s denial of a new air quality permit is good news, but her group will not rest until the plant is permanently enjoined from going online and is dismantled.

“Now we need to see if DEC is going to safeguard public health and safety, which is required by law to do, consider climate impacts of all projects, which it is required by law to do, look at greenhouse gas emissions, which it is required by law to do; we are going to see if DEC takes all of those things seriously or not,” Malick said.

“Since Joe Percoco’s indictment in 2016, I’ve called for the power plant’s permits to be withdrawn, a call I reiterated and amplified following this spring’s conviction,” said Assemblyman James Skoufis. “The project was moving forward under an unacceptable cloud of corruption that fundamentally called CPV’s approvals into question.”

Skoufis, who is running for the State Senate in November, said, “Justice has, for the time being, been served to the people of Orange County. I will be watching the DEC like a hawk as they proceed.”

Malick, who is a Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 42nd District questioned the timing of the permit denial, noting that Governor Cuomo faces a Democratic primary challenger next month, and then the general election in November.

 


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