Westchester County Unanimously Opposes Danskammer Plant Expansion

County votes for a clean energy future, without Danskammer Fracked Gas Plant

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Climate and Energy

White Plains, NY — Last night, the Westchester County Board of Legislators unanimously voted in favor of a resolution opposing the massive expansion of the Danskammer fracked gas power plant in Newburgh.

With the passage of last night’s resolution, Westchester County has become the first county in New York to unanimously come out in opposition to the dirty Danskammer plant’s expansion aims. In doing so, the county has joined the chorus of municipalities across the state calling for Governor Cuomo to deny the plan its desired expansion permits.

Legislator Catherine Parker (D – Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye), chief sponsor of the resolution and chair of the Board’s Planning, Economic Development and Energy Committee said, “New York State’s recently passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act establishing programs, obligations and targets to meet zero emissions by 2050. Expanding the Danskammer plant to a full time, fossil fuel facility is exactly the wrong thing to do if we’re serious about a clean, sustainable future, and about meeting those goals.”

Legislator Ruth Walter (D – Bronxville, Yonkers), chair of the Board’s Environment and Health Committee, said, “Although this plant will not be in Westchester, pollution and climate change do not observe County lines. The plant’s expansion would add 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually to our atmosphere, drastically harming air quality in the region and exacerbating climate change and with gallons of diesel fuel and aqueous ammonia are proposed to be stored on-site, there’s a significant threat to the water quality for all of us downstream on the Hudson.”

Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky (D – Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington) said, “The Danskammer proposal is doubly dangerous for our environment and our future by continuing to contribute to greenhouse gases and potentially continuing to contribute to demand for natural gas extracted through fracking. With a New York State ban on fracking and our CLCP goals for clean energy, outfitting a power plant of the sort contemplated for Danskammer makes no sense.”

Environmental groups applauded the county’s leadership in the fight against Danskammer’s expansion.

Food & Water Watch organizer Santosh Nandabalan said, “What happens in Newburgh will affect the rest of the state and the Hudson Valley. Air and water pollution extend far beyond the Danskammer site, and New Yorkers know this. It’s great to see Westchester County take a firm stance against the proposed Danskammer expansion. Governor Cuomo has outlined a path away from fossil fuels for New York’s energy future – a Danskammer plant expansion is not a part of that future.”

Sunrise Westchester hub coordinator Caitlyn Carpenter said, “As young people fighting for the future of our climate and the well-being of our state, we are excited to see the Westchester County Board of Legislators pass this resolution in opposition to the proposed Danskammer buildout. It is long past time for New York State to move away from dirty fossil fuels and towards renewable green technologies. This is just one step of many we must take to address the global threat of the climate crisis and the impact of fossil fuel infrastructure on frontline communities.” 

The county’s unanimous resolution is the latest in the surging momentum opposing the Danskammer expansion. Earlier this month, thirty organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members from across New York signed on to a letter urging Governor Cuomo and the Siting Board to reject Danskammer’s permit applications.

As it stands, the company’s proposal is inconsistent with New York’s climate law, and would have profoundly negative impacts on regional air quality, posing a threat to public health.

Contact: Phoebe Galt – [email protected]