New York Nixes Another Unnecessary Fossil Fuel Plant
New York State environmental officials announced today that the state will not renew a necessary air state facility permit for a controversial fossil fuel facility in Orange Country—the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley power plant.
This decision comes on the heels of the state’s recent rejection of a proposed industrial gas storage scheme in the Finger Lakes region just last month.
Today’s denial blocks the operation of the environmentally harmful 680 megawatt natural gas-fueled combined-cycle electric generation facility. This plant is located in the Town of Wawayanda, in Orange County, New York, and has been vehemently opposed by grassroots, regional, and statewide groups for the injury it would cause to communities and to the environment, particularly as it relates to local air quality. Residents in Orange County have reported experiencing burning eyes and noses, headaches, and other ailments while CPV has been testing its operations.
According to New York State in its denial letter, in order for the air state facility permit to be renewed, CPV would have had to have first obtained a Title V Clean Air Act permit. But to date, CPV has not submitted an application for the Title V permit, let alone been granted this permit by New York State. In order for the state to issue the required Title V permit, the pubic must be provided an opportunity for notice and comment, among other requirements. Because CPV is lacking both permits, it cannot operate.
NRDC was active in fighting the Valley Lateral pipeline, a fracked gas pipeline that would have supplied fracked gas to the CPV power plant. In August 2017, New York State denied the pipeline a required Clean Water Act permit. In March 2018, however, a federal Court of Appeals found that New York State had waived its right to block the pipeline, and construction of the pipeline was permitted to go forward. With the imminent demise of the CPV Valley power plant, the fate of the pipeline is again uncertain.
We thank New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos for acting to protect the health and environment of New Yorkers today—this decision is just one of several that will help move New York State away from fossil fuel dependency and towards a clean energy future.
And we also thank the grassroots groups, especially SCRAM and Protect Orange County, who have led the charge against this dangerous power plant from the very beginning.