New Yorkers Overwhelm Public Hearing to Oppose Danskammer Fracked Gas Plant

Controversial gas plant would be the first to move forward under New York’s CLCPA and under Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s incoming administration


Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

Today, nearly one hundred advocates overwhelmed the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s first of four public hearings on Danskammer LLC’s proposal to expand their fracked gas power plant in Newburgh. As of two hours into the hearing, not a single speaker had spoken in favor of the project. The comment period for the project has also been extended until September 13th. Currently a peaker plant that only operates during periods of high energy demand, Danskammer hopes to expand their fracked gas plant on the bank of the Hudson River into a fully-operational gas power plant.

The proposal to expand Danskammer’s current peaker plant operation has been met with fierce community opposition. At public hearings on the project held in April, hundreds of advocates and residents spoke and provided comment in opposition to the project. Only 5% of speakers at the last series of public hearings spoke in favor of Danskammer’s expansion scheme.

Activists see the project as a test both of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and of incoming Lt. Gov. Hochul’s administration. If Danskammer’s expansion is approved, it would be the first power plant in the state to move forward under New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), setting up a critical climate battlefield for New York’s next Governor.

“Danskammer is a test for our incoming Governor Hochul,” said Food & Water Watch Hudson Valley Organizer Emily Skydel. “Whether she allows the project to move forward, polluting our air and water and locking our state into a fossil fuel future, or doubles down on our state’s landmark commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the choice is hers to make. The New Yorkers who showed up today have made our demands crystal clear — Gov. Hochul must say no to Danskammer and fracked gas in New York.”

“A new Danskammer fracked gas plant will lead to more unnecessary air and water pollution for Hudson Valley communities that have already voiced their strong opposition to investing in more fossil fuels rather than clean energy,” said Allison Considine, New York Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club. “New York’s climate goals are ambitious, achievable, and will benefit community health and local economies, but only if incoming Governor Hochul chooses to listen to New Yorkers by rejecting this proposal and any new fracked gas power plant in NY.”

“We can’t ignore the fact that, if approved, the proposed plant will burn high volumes of diesel fuel at times when the gas supply is disrupted, resulting in dispersion of particulate matter emissions during the combustion of diesel fuel”, said Eric Wood, Regional Coordinator for NYPIRG. “Researchers estimate that, nationwide, tens of thousands of people die prematurely each year as a result of particulate pollution. We strongly urge the DEC to reject Danskammer’s Title V air permit application, and instead meet New York’s energy needs through means that are consistent with the New York Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act (CLCPA).”

“The people of the Hudson Valley deserve a future of unionized, good paying, green jobs, and an environment that is both beautiful and that protects human health,” said Brahvan Ranga of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. “The construction of this plant will be a giant step backwards on both of these fronts: creating the conditions for continued degradation of the environment, hazards to our air, water, and quality of life, and will continue to prop up a destructive fossil fuel company.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]