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
Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Danskammer Forum, Newburgh
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.