Thursday, September 27, 2018

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DEC hears testimony about CPV’s air quality permit

Halahan (left) among several addressing the panel

GOSHEN – The State Department of Environmental Conservation, Wednesday, held hearings to gain public input on the renewal of the CPV power plant’s air-quality permit.

Elected officials and county stakeholders shared their statements with the state agency, many of them opposed to the renewal, considering the known bribery that was perpetuated by former Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco regarding the CPV permitting process.

Pramilla Malick, founder of Protect Orange County, has been a leader in the effort to have the plant permanently shuttered. She renewed her call at the hearing.

Orange County Clerk and Republican candidate for the 42nd Senate District Annie Rabbitt, said she is saddened with the corruption and lack of public trust it has yielded. Rabbitt is urging the DEC to take all the formerly approved permits back for reevaluation.

“It’s proven that there has been so much corruption that the people of Orange County are very uneasy with all of the decisions that were made, so we’re asking them to look into everything and reissue all of the permits here,” said Rabbitt.

Rabbitt’s Senate competitor, director of Citizens for Local Power, Jennifer Metzger, said in addition to the corruption, CPV was supposed to evaluate any feasible energy alternatives and said because they did not, their permit renewal should be squashed on those grounds alone.

“We’re at a point right now where we have to shift, and shift as quickly as possible, to a clean energy economy here in New York,” said Metzger. “We need to do it for public health; we need to do it to reduce the severity of climate change and we need to do it to create good jobs, right here, in New York.”

Despite the focus on corruption and environmental friendliness, there were some voices in favor of the air quality renewal.

Of those, Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan said she has to maintain the interests of the business community and going against CPV’s permit renewal would stifle the economic growth boom in the county.

“Because of who we are, and because we’re good at it in Orange County and we’re able to attract those businesses, we also stand up for infrastructure projects, such as new roads, new water and sewer lines,” said Halahan. “Power is just a critical component to all of that.”

As of now, no decisions have been made by the state on CPV’s permit renewal.

 


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