Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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Attorney wants to take CPV fight directly to two top state officials

GOSHEN – Work is moving right along on the sprawling Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) power plant on Route 6, in Wawayanda, but that isn’t stopping opponents from trying new angles to stop or at least force a new review of the permitting process.

Attorney Michael Sussman addressed a room full of CPV opponents in his Goshen office Wednesday afternoon, telling them the next strategy is face-to-face meetings with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. In order to point out what he terms a “fundamental incongruity” in a state banning fracking, but allowing construction of a plan that will largely be dependent on fracked gas.

“The people of the county cannot just be left in the dark when these serious environmental issues are going on; health issues,” Sussman said, quoting from a letter he sent to both the governor and attorney general. “And that’s what we’re asking these two gentleman for; meetings so we can outline our concerns and they can have an agenda to investigate who best to ask to help us get to the bottom of these things. And, hopefully, a coherent state policy. And obviously, we know this just doesn’t affect our county.”

Sussman noted the recently formed “Tristates Unite for Safe Energy,” a coalition that includes neighbors in Pike County, Pennsylvania and Sussex County, New Jersey.
Sussman had particularly harsh criticism for the Wawayanda Planning Board, which he accused of “subsidizing” the CPV project, after ignoring public input.

“The town Planning Board scoffed at the public, and at a public hearing held in early April 2015, shut down public discussion in a rude manner, which is certainly captured on video, and then requested that CPV’s own lawyers respond to the public comments made at the hearing and in writing thereafter. CPV told the Planning Board that the citizen comments were largely irrelevant and the planning board then approved the amended site plan.”

Sussman argued that net result of this is that the “actual impact of projects are not disclosed to the people.” He said CPV is not an isolated instance of that happening.

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