Sunday, September 9, 2018

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Concerns raised about proposed fracked gas power plant

NEWBURGH – A forum on the proposed upgrades to the Danskammer power plant in the Town of Newburgh raised concerns about the project, which would burn fracked gas to generate electricity.

The project would create nearly 100 jobs, but would add additional health and environmental hazards for the Newburgh area, which has already been dealing with a contaminated water problem.
The new plant would also be operating nearly every hour, unlike its predecessor, which runs less than five percent of the time.

The forum was held as part of the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice global day of action, which is geared towards eliminating fossil fuels around the world through political action.

Speakers at the event were Tim Guinee, a professional actor and leader of the Climate Reality Project organization started by former Vice President and activist Al Gore; Hayley Carlock, environmental advocacy director for Scenic Hudson; Manna Jo Greene, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s environmental action director; and Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay.

Guinee detailed the impact of climate change on New York State.

“New York is experiencing some of the effects of climate change more profoundly than in the rest of the country,” he said. “The rest of the country has temperatures up one degree Fahrenheit; we are up five degrees.”

He said fracked gas “significantly puts global warming pollutants into the atmosphere. I think it’s a terrible idea.”

The Danskammer plant was built in the 1950s by Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, before it was sold to Dynegy in the 1990s. In 2009, it was among the top 10 polluters by weight, releasing 1.4 million pounds of hazardous material into Newburgh’s air, land and water, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Local environmental organizations such as Riverkeeper have sued Dynegy in the past for its environmental offenses.

The public will be allowed to comment on the plant before it is officially reviewed and approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, per New York State’s Article 10 process.

 


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