Orange County Legislature committee backs Danskammer

Current Danskammer plant (Scenic Hudson photo)

GOSHEN – The Rules Committee of the Orange County Legislature passed a resolution Wednesday afternoon supporting Danskammer Energy LLC’s intention to receive a permit under Article 10 to develop a 550-megawatt power plant at the Danskammer Energy site in the Town of Newburgh.

Five members voted for the resolution, two opposed it and two abstained.

Those in favor of the new Danskammer plant claim the support of construction unions, the Orange County Partnership and the volume of energy that will be created making it an obvious choice for both economic development and energy infrastructure.

The new design of the plant and usage of natural gas means the plant will be able to provide a high volume of energy at a lower environmental impact, supporters maintain.

However, environmental organizations, officials and stakeholders in opposition pointed to the Danskammer plant as another instance of a majority Republican legislature green-lighting projects for growth’s sake, with no foresight into the future environmental and quality of life ramifications.

Considering the state Climate and Community Protection Act, which sets a date for 2050 for the state to be rid of fossil fuel infrastructure, County Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan said it doesn’t make sense to move forward with another fossil fuel project.

“We’re spending $500 million dollars on a project that could, in fact, be used for something more long term- more sustainable,” said Lujan. “Why invest $500 million on a project that is going to become obsolete.”

Legislature Chairman Stephen Brescia proposed the resolution of support saying the facility would create jobs and produce needed electricity.

The item will appear before the legislature at their next regular scheduled meeting, in October.



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