New Paltz fire department goes green with new firehouse

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Leaders and activists in front of the future climate-smart New Paltz firehouse.

NEW PALTZ – On Thursday, elected officials gathered to rally for the state’s plan to eliminate climate-damaging emissions and did so in front of the model for future buildings; the new all-electric New Paltz firehouse.

The New Paltz firehouse being constructed at 117 Henry W. DuBois Drive is a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the Village and Town of New Paltz, will be a nearly 16,000 square foot facility with an emphasis on energy efficiency and safety for the New Paltz Fire Department’s all-volunteer membership.

The building will be thermally insulated, with an efficient HVAC system for heating and cooling and heat pumps for hot water. No fossil fuels will be used in the firehouse’s daily operations. Power will be procured from renewable sources off-site initially, but the plan is to install an on-site photovoltaic system on the roof.

I applaud the State’s effort to shift to a clean energy economy, and the New Paltz firehouse is a model of how our communities can make an impact and eliminate climate-damaging emissions,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.

Thursday’s unveiling coincided with a public hearing on the state’s “Scoping Plan” being held in Peekskill later in the day.  The plan is intended to meet the goals of the state’s ambitious 2019 climate law, and the design of the firehouse, free of fossil fuels, is an example of the kind of building the Scoping Plan envisions for New York. The climate law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It also requires that New York generate 100% of its electricity from clean and renewable resources by 2040.

The Peekskill hearing was not originally part of the State’s hearing plan but local leaders demanded it.  “We pushed for this hearing because the Hudson Valley has an enormous stake in efforts to reduce the severity of climate change and bolster our resilience to its effects,” said New Yorkers for Clean Power (NYCP) Senior Policy Advisor and former State Senator Jen Metzger.