We continue to participate in the permitting proceedings to ensure the Danskammer plant is never built.
To complete its proposed plant, Danskammer must be granted an Article 10 certificate from the New York State Siting Board, and an air permit (officially, a “Title V air permit”) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Hearings on those permits will begin in 2023.
On October 27th, 2021, the DEC denied Danskammer fracked gas power plant required air permits. The decision was based on the project’s inconsistency with the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Danskammer filed suit in state court challenging DEC’s decision, but the court affirmed that the DEC had authority to deny the permit and dismissed the case. Danskammer has requested an adjudicatory hearing to challenge this decision.
To date, 28 communities have passed municipal resolutions opposing the proposed plant. And a coalition of community organizations, businesses, and faith-based congregations has formed the Stop Danskammer Coalition to the #stoptheplant.
Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to get involved and make sure we stop the plant!
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.
Danskammer Event Timeline
The ALJ in the DEC Air Permit proceeding granted Danskammer’s request to stay proceedings for one year, at which time Danskammer will withdraw or modify its application.
The ALJ in the DEC Air Permit proceeding issued a ruling that denied several of Danskammer’s legal challenges, granted party status to Scenic Hudson and other groups, and narrowed the fact issues for adjudication.
Scenic Hudson, Sierra Club and Orange-RAPP file legal briefs in DEC permitting proceeding arguing that DEC has full authority to deny Danskammer’s air permit on the basis of inconsistency with the CLCPA.
NRG Files Petition with the New York State Public Service Commission to Sell Land Under Astoria, Queens Peaker Plant to Beacon Wind
Judge dismisses a lawsuit filed by Danskammer’s Energy LLC, seeking to overturn the DEC’s denial of Title V air permit.
DEC Administrative Law Judge holds Issues Conference to consider issues for adjudication in the permit denial hearings
Scenic Hudson, Sierra Club, and Orange-RAPP file petitions for full-party status seeking to participate in hearings on DEC’s air permit denial
Overwhelming opposition to plant at public hearing for appeal of DEC’s decision to deny Title V air permit
Danskammer files appeal of DEC decision to deny its Title V air permit
Danskammer’s Title V air permit (required) is denied by NY’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
Additional public hearings held for Siting Board/Article 10, as a result staggeringly high participaton by Stop Danskammer allies
Strong majority of public voices turn out against Danskammer at DEC Title V air permit public hearings
Flotilla to stop Danskammer- hundreds take to the Hudson in the name of protecting health, air, & environment
First round of Siting Board/Article 10 public hearings are held, with staggering number of allies registered to speak out. Many did not receive the opportunity to speak, due to the virtual hearings being overloaded/at capacity.
Westchester County Legislature unanimously passes resolution against Danskammer
Nearly 200 allies attend Film Premiere & Panel Discussion of Flicker Filmworks Short Documentary “Stop Danskammer”
“We must replace fossil fuel plants with clean power”- Andrew Cuomo in his annual State of the State address
Danskammer- Isn’t It Worth Getting Right? Unveiling of alternatives study done by Ghent Associates & University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design
Danskammer Files Fourth Application Supplement
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.
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.