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Current Status

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. In January, the Siting Board and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation told Danskammer 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.

Nearly a year after it was filed, Danskammer’s siting application remains incomplete. The NYS the Siting Board, which will decide whether the plant can be built, has stated Danskammer has still not provided sufficient information to demonstrate how its project would be consistent with New York’s Climate Law. Once Danskammer submits the additional information the state has demanded, the Siting Board will determine whether its application is complete and then the Article 10 permitting process can begin. Once that process begins, a decision on the plant will be made by the Siting Board within 12-18 months.

To date 25 communities have taken steps in opposition to the proposed plant and a coalition of environmentalist organizations has formed to the #stoptheplant.

Información En Español

CLICK HERE to watch the May 2020 Webinar on Danskammer and Public Health

Background

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.

Infographics

Pollutants

 

Actual Emissions from Current Plant vs Projected Emissions from New Plant

Greenhouse Gases

 

Actual Emissions from Current Plant vs Projected Emissions from New Plant

Timeline

 

Danskammer Event Timeline

09/08/2018

Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Danskammer Forum, Newburgh

05/24/2018

Danskammer files its Public Involvement Plan with the NYS Siting Board

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.

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