Communities oppose Danskammer fracked gas plant

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MID-HUDSON – A total of 20 municipalities in the Hudson Valley have adopted resolutions opposed to the plan to build a new fracked gas power plant at the site of the existing Danskammer facility in the Town of Newburgh.

Hudson Valley organizer for Food and Water Watch, Emily Skydel, said the new plant would present dangers to public health and air quality of the area.

“With the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, it actually would be in violation of our safe climate goals to expand fracked gas infrastructure,” she said. “So, for many of these municipalities, there is a realization that our state should and can be expanding renewable energy.”

“It’s disheartening that communities are passing resolutions full of lies and misinformation without reaching out to the company for more details on the project or reviewing our Article 10 application,” said Michelle Hook, Danskammer vice president for public affairs. “As stewards for their communities, it’s incumbent upon elected officials to fully educate themselves on a subject before voting on a resolution, symbolic or not. We would still welcome all of these municipalities the opportunity to meet with Danskammer and ask any questions they may have. Cities and towns that have become fully informed typically do not end up voting against our upgrade project.”

“Cities like Newburgh and Poughkeepsie both of which have passed resolutions opposing the plant, already suffer from high rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” said Scenic Hudson Environmental Outreach organization Nikki Chung. “Danskammer’s owner admits the new plant would increase pollutants that contribute to these diseases by 25-fold, while also leading to a 40-fold rise in climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions, which runs counter to New York’s nation-leading climate goals.”

“It would be folly of the worst kind to go ahead with a project that not only do we know will add a considerable amount of pollution to our beautiful valley, but is entirely unnecessary for our electrical needs,” said Amy Kletter of Ulster Activists.

Shay O’Reilly, Sierra Club senior organizing representative, the region “can’t afford more local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Sandra Kissam, chairwoman of Orange Residents Against Pilgrim Pipelines, and a resident of the Town of Newburgh, said, “This plant, if built, will be obsolete and harmful upon construction.” She said her group opposes the plant “to protect our local citizens.”