Ryan urges state to reject new Danskammer application

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KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan submitted comments on Monday to the State Siting Board urging it to reject Danskammer Energy’s application to build a new electric generating facility at the site of the former plant in the Town of Newburgh.

“Danskammer is the wrong project at a pivotal time for our community,” he said. “It offers an outdated dirty energy solution to a problem that requires a modern, clean energy solution in an area known for its historic roots in the environmental movement.”

Not everyone feels the same way. Michelle Hook, Danskammer vice president for public affairs, said upgrading Danskammer’s equipment is “a no brainer.” She said the proposed upgrades “would simply improve the existing 70-year-old plant, making it significantly cleaner and reducing local air pollution by thousands of tons a year.”

Ulster County Legislator Tom Corcoran, who represents the Town of Marlborough, just north of the Orange County facility, said Ryan’s position is “short sighted.” He said taxpayers in his district “will be hurt and hundreds of good paying union jobs could now be in jeopardy.”
Richard Gerentine, a former Marlborough town supervisor and county legislator, said upgrading Danskammer “is a huge win for Marlborough families.” He said at a time when COVID-19 has dramatically hurt the local economy, “this project would bring much needed tax dollars to Marlboro schools.”

Todd Diorio, president of the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, said Ryan and the trades “share a common vision most of the time, but on this issue, we are definitely on a different page.”