Town hires consultants to review Danskammer scoping statement

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Danskammer Energy LLC, a power plant located in the town of Newburgh, released their more than 300 page-long Preliminary Scoping Statement on February 8, 2019. Since then there have been nearly 300 comments made on the document, many opposing the energy plant’s repowering renovation project.

The majority of comments filed were an identical form statement, stating in part that the project is “completely out of step with the state’s climate goals. With New York’s energy mix sitting at only 4% wind and solar, we ought to be doing everything possible to speed the transition away from fossil fuels and toward 100% renewables. This proposal is a giant step in the wrong direction.”

Many opposing comments, such as town of Newburgh resident John Gebhards, cited Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, which proposes a goal of 70% electricity from renewable sources by 2030, as a reason to oppose the project.

“Orange County and Poughkeepsie are in NY non-attainment areas for failing to meet the national ambient air quality standard for ozone. One would expect that with the increase in [Danskammer’s] operating time from 5% to 70% that there will be an increased number of days that the Town of Newburgh will have clean air alerts due to increased ozone and, thereby a greater number of health issues,” wrote Gebhards.

However, other comments, especially from local and non-local businesses, support the upgrade and modernization of the power plant. Andrew Fetherston of Maser Consulting PA wrote, “With the pending closure of Indian Point, sources of power to meet peak demands are necessary to compliment other intermittent power generating renewables such as solar.”

The town of Newburgh has decided to hire consultants to take a closer look at the Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS) document. The town board voted on February 25 to approve an engineering and services contract with McGoey, Hauser and Edsall Consulting Engineers as consultants for the Danskammer project. This contract would also include E&A Science and Creighton Manning Engineering as subconsultants

“We performed interviews a week ago,” stated town supervisor Gil Piaquadio. According to the board, the purpose of hiring these consultants is “to provide engineering services to the town and review the preliminary scope statement prepared by Dynegy Energy LLC for their repowering project in the town of Newburgh,” stated Piaquadio.

Not only would the consulting parties evaluate the project’s PSS, but the consultants could also review the full submission made by Danskammer, per the town board’s approval. The services provided would not only be engineering services, but also environmental consulting services.

For links to the PSS document and comments on it, visit danskammerenergy.com.

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