Township opposes NY power plant

Council unanimously against CPV Valley Energy plant in Wawayanda


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  • This is a depiction of what CPV Valley Energy Center's proposed natural gas combined-cycle electric power generator would look like. It is to be located on a 122-acre parcel of land off I-84 in the Town of Wawayanda, N.Y. This image comes from CPV Valley Energy Center's web site.



"I find it ironic that Gov. Cuomo stopped fracking in New York State for health concerns but would allow so much infrastructure to be built using fracked gas. We in West Milford understand the destruction and concerns of gas pipelines here."
West Milford resident Renee Allessio, on the CPV Power Plant proposed in Wawayanda, New York

BY LINDA SMITH HANCHARICK

The township council has unanimously opposed the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy proposed power plant in Wawayanda, New York.

Wednesday night, the council voted to oppose the project and called for a moratorium on any construction or further planning for the project, which would bring a 650-megawatt hydraulic fracturing gas plant to the Town of Wawayanda.

Last month, many local residents and those who live closer to the site addressed the council with their concerns.

West Milford resident Renee Allessio said the project has already received many permits without the necessary health, safety and environmental studies needed, as well as the consent of the people. She is concerned with the impacts it will have here in West Milford, about 30 miles from the site, but 15 miles as the crow flies.

"The emissions from this power plant will be so powerful that they will reach our township and impact the air we breathe," said Allessio. "Not only this, it will have an adverse effect on the rich Orange County farmland that produces the local harvest of vegetables and fruits that we depend on. Although the project will be using some gray water, they are also asking to utilize precious water from the sole source aquifer below. This has the potential to degrade our aquifer here in West Milford in the Highlands of New Jersey."

According to report in the Warwick Advertiser, a sister paper of the West Milford Messenger, the plant would be built on a 122-acre site and will include two 275-foot smokestacks, electrical interconnects, a near-million gallon diesel tank, a 15,000-gallon ammonia tank and a seven-mile lateral pipeline that will connect to the Millennium Pipeline in Minisink, New York. Sustainable Warwick held a meeting in January regarding the proposed power plant and 250 residents attended.

Tom Denney, a resident of New Hampton, New York, lives less than three miles from the Minisink Compression Station, a 12,600 horsepower compressor built by Millennium Pipeline in 2013. He developed headaches and found out that a family had moved because they too had developed headaches and nosebleeds. So he started investigating, going to Pennsylvania where he found others who were affected by these power plants.

"The gas industry has a lot of money at stake here," said Denney.

This proposed power plant is about five miles from his house.

"It is half the size of MetLife Stadium with 275 foot stacks," he told the council, noting it will effect everyone within 30 miles.

"I'm not a scientist but many have told me if you listen to the research and don't have a cousin gonna make a lot of money, it's simple to see we need to go renewable," said Denney.

He protests at the site on Route 6 each Saturday.

Pramilla Malick, an organizer of Protect Orange County, said the company only did a five-mile study, noting that a plant of this magnitude should do a 30-mile study. She said with the mountains around the area, it creates a soup bowl effect, and the pollution doesn't dissipate.

"The project sits on top of a critical Wallkill aquifer," she said. "I believe your town will be affected through air pollution and water pollution."

The compressor station was built three years ago to serve the power plant, she said. Already residents like Denney and the family that left their home have developed nose bleeds and headaches, including her own daughter.

"This power plant will have 43 times the emissions of the compressor station," Malick said.

Allessio saw irony that a plant like this would even be considered.

"I find it ironic that Gov. Cuomo stopped fracking in New York State for health concerns but would allow so much infrastructure to be built using fracked gas," Allessio said. "We in West Milford understand the destruction and concerns of gas pipelines here."

The council's resolution will be sent to several entities including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Orange County and New York State legislatures, the Town of Wawayanda, the Highlands Council and each of the 16 municipalities in Passaic County.

What do you think of the proposed project and its impacts on West Milford? Go to westmilfordmessenger.com and tell us your thoughts.



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