Danskammer Stopped: Stop Danskammer Coalition Applauds Permit Denial for Danskammer Fracked Gas Plant
This precedent-setting decision heeds the call of activists and community members to reject new fracked gas infrastructure and commit to clean, renewable energy.
Phoebe Galt, Food & Water Watch
Adil Trehan, Sierra Club
Erin Macchiaroli, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
Nydia Gutiérrez, Earthjustice
Today, Governor Hochul’s Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) denied the Danskammer fracked gas power plant required permits, shutting down the proposed project. The decision will protect clean air and water in the Hudson Valley and town of Newburgh, and help New York achieve its emissions reductions targets under the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Coupled with the agency’s simultaneous denial of the Astoria NRG fracked gas permits, the decision is a major victory for the Stop Danskammer Coalition and climate advocates across the state, who have organized for years against fracked gas in New York.
The rejected proposal to construct a full-time Danskammer fracked gas plant would have brought over 25 times more health-damaging particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOC) to the region, worsening air quality and exacerbating public health concerns like asthma in environmental justice communities in and around Newburgh.
This precedent-setting decision heeds the call of activists and community members to reject new fracked gas infrastructure and commit to clean, renewable energy. New Yorkers submitted over 5,500 comments to the DEC this summer, and 175 speakers testified against the proposal at hearings this summer, overwhelming sparse support for the plant, and building on the thousands of comments opposing the plant submitted through the Article 10 process.
“The Sierra Club applauds Governor Hochul and the Department of Environmental Conservation for denying the permits for the proposed Danskammer and Astoria NRG fracked gas power plants, citing their inconsistency with New York’s nation-leading climate law,” said Allison Considine, NY Campaign Representative with Sierra Club. “Today, Governor Hochul made clear that fracked gas power plants have no place in New York’s energy future, heeding the call of environmental justice and climate advocates and community members who organized tirelessly for this climate victory. We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against the fossil fuel industry, and New York is showing true leadership in rejecting dirty energy and committing to the clean, renewable energy system all people deserve.”
“Governor Hochul’s decision strikes a critical blow to the fossil fuel industry, providing a huge victory for New York’s climate movement,” said Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp. “She is showing the nation what real climate leadership looks like. The next step is for Governor Hochul to commit to halting all fossil fuel infrastructure, including the North Brooklyn pipeline and the Gowanus power plant.”
“Today Governor Hochul and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation affirmed that New York is serious about preventing projects that will exacerbate the global climate crisis and worsen pollution in surrounding communities by denying permits to Danskammer and Astoria,” said Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. “Instead, we must focus on Climate Solutions, including the rapid implementation of renewable energy infrastructure, with storage and efficiency. That can and should include an excellent alternative proposal for Danskammer to become a battery storage facility to ensure the reliability of solar and other renewables generated in the surrounding region.”
“We applaud today’s bold decision by Governor Hochul and the DEC. The denial of Danskammer’s air permit makes clear that New York is serious about delivering on the promise of the Climate Act to phase out fossil fuels and transition rapidly to a clean energy future,” said Scenic Hudson Director of Advocacy and Legal Affairs Hayley Carlock. “The Danskammer project would have emitted millions of tons of climate-warming greenhouse gases and worsened air quality in environmental justice communities like the City of Newburgh, which already suffer disproportionately from the health impacts of pollution. With the days of new fossil fuel plants behind us, the Hudson Valley can now focus on climate solutions that bring benefits to all.”
“Riverkeeper applauds today’s decision by Governor Hochul and the Department of Environmental Conservation for upholding the requirements of New York State’s Climate Act,” said Riverkeeper Staff Attorney Chris Bellovary. “We all know the risks of climate change, on a local, national, and global level. In the Climate Act, New York made a clear decision to decarbonize its economy, and the Department’s determination earlier today upholds that decision.”
“Orange RAPP applauds the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for demonstrating their commitment to our communities’ environmental and public health. We thank the DEC for their reasonable and necessary decision to deny the permit for further fossil fuel burning in Newburgh, NY,” said Sandra Kissam, Chair of Orange RAPP.
“The next generation of Hudson Valley residents will accept nothing less than the cleanest air and the cleanest water for our communities. The Young Democrats of Orange County applaud Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision to deny Danskammer’s Title V permit, and their commitment to upholding the provisions of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. We must now immediately commit ourselves to building a green energy economy, because there is absolutely no future for the fossil fuel industry here in New York,” said Zak Constantine, President of The Young Democrats of Orange County.
“NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)’s decision today is an important step that comes as a huge relief to our communities who organized and spoke against this plant and the Astoria NRG plant. Today’s decision signals hope for our state’s fight against climate change but we cannot stop now, there is more work to be done. We urge Gov. Hochul to also permanently ban other new fossil fuel infrastructure and commit to championing public renewables,” said Sarahana Shrestha, Mid Hudson Valley DSA.
“Today the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation concluded that proposals for two fracked gas plants are inconsistent with our state’s climate law and are not needed for grid reliability. The denial of permits for these plants by Governor Hochul’s administration will decrease New York’s reliance on unhealthy, unjust, ecologically destructive, and economically uncompetitive forms of energy as we pursue a just transition to renewable energy options and create dignified, productive, and ecologically sustainable jobs for the future in our communities,” said Andra Leimanis, Communications and Outreach Director, Alliance for a Green Economy.
“There’s no need to continue poisoning us — our community, our constituents, neighbors — with fossil fuel emissions. If we have the options and opportunity to utilize a cleaner and more efficient form of energy, we ought to. If we care about the future of our city and the next seven generations, the answer to Danskammer is NO. We’re grateful the DEC is acting accordingly,” said Ali T. Muhammad CEO of Melanin Unchained.
“It’s clear that fossil fuel-burning power plants fuel the climate crisis as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. That has no place in our state, and with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York leads in action on climate. Today’s decision by Gov. Hochul’s Department of Environmental Conservation marks a climate milestone by not only rejecting further fossil-fuel burning permits but demonstrates this administration’s commitment to New Yorkers’ health, said Lisa Perfetto, Senior Attorney at Earthjustice. “While companies like Danskammer attempt to justify their dirty industry, we must continue to shift into renewable energy in the name of a healthy environment for generations of New Yorkers to come.”
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