Today, the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) announced it will withdraw its air permit application to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to operate a new fracked gas power plant in Newark, and will submit a new application that reflects the commission’s new goal of reducing the pollution impact associated with its proposed Standby Generator Power Project.
The PVSC also announced it will initiate a new public process to solicit renewable energy alternatives, and will retain an energy consultant to identify opportunities to reduce their overall reliance on polluting fossil fuels.
The Newark power plant, which would be paid for in large part by taxpayer-funded FEMA dollars, is part of a post-Sandy resiliency project. The 2012 storm caused the sewerage plant to lose power, spilling billions of gallons of raw or partially-treated sewage into the Passaic River.
A growing coalition is forming between Ironbound organizations and other groups across Newark and the entire state. Last month, over 40 organizations called on Governor Murphy and the PVSC to stop the fossil fuel power plant and replace it with a clean renewable energy solution.
In response to today’s announcement from PVSC, Food & Water Watch New Jersey State Director Matt Smith released the following statement:
“This is just a first step by PVSC, but it is encouraging to see that the commission understands that the communities that would be impacted by this polluting facility are fighting to stop it. Governor Murphy ultimately has the power to stop this power plant, and if he intends to live up to his own commitments on climate, clean energy and environmental justice, he must replace this dirty energy proposal with a clean, renewable energy alternative to protect and promote public health for Newark residents and communities down-wind from the proposed facility.”