In December 2019, Danskammer filed its Article 10 application to the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (the Siting Board). This board will decide whether the plant will be permitted.
Danskammer has been told three times by the Siting Board and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation that its application was incomplete and inadequate; among other things, the agencies cited Danskammer’s failure to explain how its project is consistent with the mandates of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
In November 2020, Danskammer issued its fourth supplement to its application and the Siting Board is expected to rule on whether Danskammer’s application is finally complete or not in mid-January. If/when the Siting Board deems Danskammer’s application complete, the formal Article 10 process will begin. Once the application is complete, there is a 12-18 month timeframe within which the Siting Board must make its decision on Danskammer’s application. The Article 10 process includes trial-type hearings and opportunities for public comment.
In December, 2020, alternatives were unveiled for the Danskammer site, providing the expertise of energy economists at Ghent Associates and designers University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. To date, 27 communities have taken steps in opposition to the proposed plant and a coalition of environmentalist organizations has formed to the #stoptheplant.
Danskammer Energy owns an existing 64-year-old power plant on the Hudson River in the Town of Newburgh. The existing plant operates only a handful of days a year as a “peaker” facility. Danskammer is proposing to build a new 550-Megawatt gas-fired plant next to the existing facility. It would be a “baseload” facility, running nearly all the time.
Power from a new Danskammer plant is not needed to replace Indian Point when its generating units retire. Every two years, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) conducts a Reliability Needs Assessment (RNA), which assesses whether adequate generation and transmission resources exist to ensure the reliability of New York’s bulk power system. In its most recent (2018) RNA, the NYISO concluded that even with Indian Point’s retirement, there will be no reliability concerns for New York’s electric system over at least the next 10 years without a new Danskammer plant. Further, given the recent, very large increase in proposed renewable energy projects as a result of the adoption of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), future generation needs are expected to be met by renewable resources supported by energy storage.
The new Danskammer plant will emit far more air pollution than the existing plant. Given the dramatic increase in operating hours, harmful air pollutants that threaten public health and contribute to climate change will increase significantly, which Danskammer admits in its own regulatory filings. These pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides – both ozone precursors – as well as greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to increase by more than 4,000%!
In April, the American Lung Association published their State of the Air® 2020. This report gave the Hudson Valley’s air quality a “D” average rating, with many counties ranking among the worst in the state. Air pollution particularly aggravates chronic diseases, including asthma, while extended exposure reduces life expectancy. Given the worrying public health issues caused by the region’s existing pollution, building a new power plant that will exponentially increase annual emissions is a giant step backward.
Actual Emissions from Current Plant vs Projected Emissions from New Plant
Actual Emissions from Current Plant vs Projected Emissions from New Plant
Danskammer Event Timeline
25 municipal resolutions against Danskammer passed in: Town of Esopus, Town of Gardiner, Town of Hurley, City of Kingston, Town of Marbletown, Town of New Paltz, Village of New Paltz, Town of Rosendale, Town of Saugerties, Town of Cornwall, City of Newburgh, City of Hudson, City of Beacon, Town of Clinton, City of Poughkeepsie, Village of Cold Spring, Town of Philipstown, Village of Suffern, Town of Greenburgh, Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Village of Larchmont, Town of Mamaroneck, City of Mount Vernon, Town of New Castle, and the City of Peekskill.
Part 3: The Plant wraps up the Cycle of Harm: The Toxic Path of Fracked Gas webinar series finale. Nearly 200 participants learn about how Danskammer will impair public health, threaten the environmental, and exploit local residents. Panelists include a medical expert, an attorney, a resident living near a newly built gas plant, and a grassroots activist on the ground in Newburgh
Siting Board rejects Danskammer’s application supplement; Art. 10 application remains incomplete pending submission of additional information
Part 2: Transmission, the 2nd of the Cycle of Harm: Toxic Path of Fracked Gas series, a panel of experts share with you the many negative public health impacts that gas infrastructure– pipelines, compressor stations, and fracking wastewater–brings to communities and people along the way.
Westchester Legislature sends bi-partisan and unanimous letter to Cuomo to reject a new Danskammer
Danskammer files third application supplement
Webinar series “Cycle of Harm: The Toxic Path of Fracked Gas” is launched, exposing each detrimental stage of fracking, from drilling well to pipeline to power plant. Part 1 focuses on the gas that’s fracked in Pennsylvania well fields, which will be burned by the Danskammer if it’s approved.
Danskammer and Public Health webinar with nearly 200 interested community members and elected officials in attendance
Danskammer files second Article 10 application supplement
Danskammer files first Article 10 application supplement
NYS Siting Board issues application deficiency letter to Danskammer
Poughkeepsie Common Council adopts its first resolution of the year, opposing expansion of Danskammer
Danskammer files Article 10 Application with NYS Siting Board
12 municipalities have passed resolutions against Danskammer, including: City of Newburgh, City of Beacon, City of Kingston, City of Peekskill, Village of New Paltz, Village of Cold Spring, Town of Saugerties, Town of New Paltz, Town of Philipstown, Town of Rosendale, Town of Esopus and the Town of New Castle.
Newburgh City Council passes a unanimous resolution against expansion of Danskammer
City of Beacon Danskammer Educational Forum
New Hamburg Neighborhood Association educational forum
Danskammer files Article 10 Preliminary Scoping Statement
Community Roundtable to Oppose Danskammer, Newburgh
Rally to Oppose Danskammer, Town of Newburgh
A Legacy Reignited
The compelling STOP THE PLANT illustration was created in 2002 by renowned artist, graphic designer and Hudson Valley resident Woody Pirtle to mobilize grassroots opposition to another irresponsible industrial project along the Hudson River—the St. Lawrence Cement Plant in Hudson (Columbia County). Like the proposed Danskammer facility, this plant would have caused a massive increase in pollution and permanently prevented Hudson residents from reconnecting with their waterfront.
Featured on posters and lawn signs, Woody’s design provided indispensable support as the 7-year campaign waged by local and regional environmental groups heated up. They achieved victory in 2005, when New York State refused to grant the permit required for the project.
We thank Woody for allowing us to reuse this icon of protest art to convey the urgency of our current campaign. And we’re grateful to illustrator/animator Josh McKible, also a valley resident passionate about our communities’ environmental health, for bringing Woody’s poster design to life for this new campaign.