CPV plant in the final stages of construction
ALBANY – The State Department of Environmental Conservation has conditionally denied water quality permits for Millennium’s proposed 7.8-mile Valley Lateral pipeline project.
That 16-inch pipeline is meant to power the CPV electric generating plant under construction in the Town of Wawayanda.
The DEC said the conditional denial “is based in part on the inadequacy of the environmental review conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which failed to account for downstream greenhouse gas emissions.”
DEC officials said the agency subjects all applications for environmental permits “to an extensive and transparent review process that encourages public input at every step, and DEC’s determination included consideration of nearly 6,000 public comments.”
Officials said DEC “will continue to thoroughly evaluate all applications to ensure they do not adversely impact the environment.”
Attorney Michael Sussman, who is representing opponents of the CPV plant, said on Thursday, “We may actually stop the plant from every opening and polluting our valley if we can make this stick in court.”
He said all of the efforts “will have succeeded and we will have taken a major step forward.”
Pramilla Malick, chairwoman of Protect Orange County, said the DEC’s decision “is a validation of people power and the law.” She noted the 6,000 substantive comments submitted in opposition to its approval. “Many focused on the failure of any analysis of the greenhouse gas impacts an approval would effect.” She noted 10,000 people also signed a petition asking Governor Cuomo to reject the permit.
“People should never surrender to the notion that something is a ‘done deal’. Enormous credit goes to the thousands of people who have been calling and tweeting the governor and the DEC.”
Malick said Hurricane Harvey “is a wake-up call to all decision makers. The climate impacts of fossil fuel projects have visible life and death consequences that can no longer be ignored.”
She said CPV opponents “call on Governor Cuomo to demonstrate continued bold leadership now and to rescind the permits for the CPV Power Plant, at the center of a federal corruption case. We also urge the DEC to be consistent and reject the Eastern System Upgrade permits on the same grounds. A decision on that project was also expected yesterday and we are eagerly awaiting its rejection.”
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus last year directed the county attorney to oppose Millennium Pipeline’s taking of county land through eminent domain because Millennium did not have their state permits in order.
“Earlier this year, Judge [Elaine] Slobod decided my administration’s position on this matter was correct and denied the taking of county land by Millennium,” Neuhaus said. “Today’s denial of state permits further affirms that decision. Regardless of what one feels about CPV or Millennium, the arrests of people associated with the CPV project call each and every aspect of its approval into question. At that time, I urged the state to review all permits issued to date. State legislators and the relevant state departments should mandate a complete review of all permits on these projects and release any and all reports on the same publicly as soon as possible.”
Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury), applauded the DEC’s decision. “CPV has previously threatened to burn oil at the plant in order to begin production if they did not receive their Millennium Pipeline connection. This would be an in-your-face circumvention of [Thursday’s] DEC decision.”
Skoufis said he will introduce legislation in an attempt to block CPV’s “flagrant efforts to skirt the permitting process.” He said the CPC electric generating plant “should not become operational while the project remains under a cloud of corruption.”