Protect Orange County anticipates many phases in our legal strategy and efforts as we attempt to stop and litigate each permit at each level of government; and attempt to engage in various actions to educate the public on the dangers presented by this project. Our fund was established to support that overall legal strategy which includes litigation fees, court fees, and the hiring of experts, commissioning reports and analysis along with miscellaneous expenses. Below is our letter from our attorney explaining the rationale for our current lawsuit.
LETTER FROM ATTORNEY MICHAEL SUSSMAN
The building of a new power plant, fueled by hydro-fracked natural gas, stands contrary to the declaration of our governor last December banning hydro-fracking in our state because of substantial and documented health risks and environmental dangers.
As New Yorkers, we cannot rationally proclaim that this technology is too dangerous for our state while we rely on the same product mined in a neighboring state. Rather, if fracking is too dangerous for New Yorkers, we should not be relying on this product, certainly not expanding the infrastructure which uses and supports its production.
If you agree with this logic and believe that our Town Planning Boards exist to implement policies to protect public health and safety and to insure the promotion, not destruction, of our environment, including endangered species, we need your help right now.
A group of citizens has challenged the legality of CPV Valley’s plan to build a large power plant at the intersection of Routes 6 and I-84 in Slate Hill, Town of Wawayanda. The group has also energetically continued critical protests at the site. Many have written strong letters to the editors of local newspapers explaining the profound detriments associated with the project. And, even after a State Supreme Court Justice ruled that petitioners failed to show that, since 2011, there have been substantial changes to our environment or state/federal regulations so as to require CPV to conduct a Supplemental Environment review, this group vows to carry on.
Members of the group [and their attorney] strongly believe that this Judge got it wrong. Indeed, since 2011, our State has banned fracking, the Fish & Wildlife Service has declared endangered a species which inhabits the site, we have learned that bog turtles also likely habitate on the site and numerous new peer reviewed and published studies have shown the negative effect of the use of fracked natural gas upon human health.
CPV studied none of these issues in 2010-13 or since. They need to study each of them and others because, since the company received its site plan approval, there have been SIGNIFICANT changes in our knowledge of the environmental and health dangers posed by its project.
STOP CPV needs your financial support to mount a successful appeal to the Second Department, an intermediate appellate court in New York State. While we have significantly cut our legal fees, we do need some compensation for the hours of work spent and to be spent in this fight. We know CPV has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers fighting us. We cannot let money be an obstacle as we fight not merely for ourselves, but for generations who will want to inhabit these lands and live safely.
LETTER FROM 80 HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO FERC – STOP UNETHICAL EXPERIMENT
Mayor Joseph DeStefano
Thomas Amodio, Acting ZBA Chairman
City of Middletown
16 James Street
Middletown, New York 10940
Re: Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Valley Energy Project – Application for Zoning Variances
Dear Mayor DeStefano and Chairman Amodio:
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. (Clearwater) submits the following comments on the proposed CPV Valley Energy Center project and CPV’s request for consideration under a “Relaxed Zoning Standards” application, as well as a use variance regarding the construction and operation of an interconnection substation and ancillary facilities referenced collectively in their ZBA application as the “GIS Building”, and an area zoning variance concerning an eight-foot high fence with barbed wire.
As you may be aware, a major component of Clearwater’s mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related bodies of water. Clearwater has spent the past year actively participating in the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan, focusing on the Energy Working Group. Through this process and our Green Cities Initiative, we have been actively promoting the transition to a Green Energy Economy, which combines energy efficiency and a balanced portfolio of renewable energy generation, to reduce our carbon footprint and create sustainable jobs. In view of this, there is much that concerns us about CPV’s proposed project(s), not the least of which is the discharge of grey water from the City of Middletown’s sewer plant that will be used for cooling purposes at the CPV plant, into the Wallkill River – an already compromised water body.
We concur with Riverkeeper, Inc. that the CPV Valley Energy Center project and the ancillary facilities associated with it are not necessary to implement a clean energy portfolio for New York State. Nor is natural gas-powered energy necessary to replace energy currently provided by Indian Point to the Lower Hudson Valley, as is amply documented by the Synapse Energy Economics Report.
These assertions are strengthened further by research reported in the journal Science Today. The “Solutions Project” co-authored by Dr. Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University, Dr. Anthony R. Ingraffea, professor of engineering and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University and Dr. Jannette M. Barth, economist and research consultant with the Pepacton Institute along with other distinguished scholars conclude that it is technically and economically feasible to convert New York’s energy infrastructure to one powered by wind, water and sunlight at significant savings in human lives and infrastructure as well as decreased greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and damages caused by the resultant climate change and extreme weather. Given this, CPV’s claim to “clean energy” production is unsubstantiated.
CPV’s reliance on hydrofracked natural gas delivered to the proposed power plant by means of the Millennium Pipeline and the Minisink Compressor Station, which both pose additional health and safety risks as well as property devaluation and harm the environment, will increase and prolong our dependence on fossil fuels, which will ultimately result in great human, environmental and economic costs. Likewise, the diesel fuel used for intermittent plant operations will also add to pollution, augmenting adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts, as well as health hazards that jeopardize the security and welfare of the community.
In view of the foregoing, Clearwater views CPV’s Valley Energy Center project and its related components as significant and strongly recommends against their request for Reduced Zoning Standards application to their “Project” and urges denial of their requests for a use and area variance.
Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director
cc: Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper, Inc. Watershed Program Director
Thomas Amodio, Middletown ZBA Acting Chair
Pramilla Malick, STOPMCS
Randolph Hurst, Protect Orange County
September 9, 2012
Sent via email to email@example.com
Christopher M Hogan
Albany, NY 12233
Re: Air Permits for
Applicant: Competitive Power Ventures Inc
50 Braintree Hill Office Park
Braintree, MA 02184
Facility: CPV Valley Energy Center
Us Rte 6 @ St Rte 17M, Middletown, NY
Dear Mr. Hogan,
We are writing to express concerns related to the air permit for this facility, particularly the failure to address hazardous air pollutants or HAPs. Ordinarily a permit for a natural gas fired generation facility is viewed as having lower air quality impacts than other fuels. However, the State of New York is now embarking on plans for high volume hydraulic fracturing in the Southern Tier of the state and the gas recovered will be conveyed via the Millennium Pipeline Project to Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. generation facility.
At this point in time there are no final documents for hydraulic fracturing including a Final EIS and final regulations. There has been no information forthcoming regarding the requirements related to the quality and purity of the natural gas that will actually be delivered to pipelines from drilling and fracking activities.
There are only 2 pieces of information that we are currently sure of:
1) Large quantities of toxic chemicals will be injected underground as part of the drilling and fracturing process
2) Shale formations contain a number of toxic metals and radioactive elements.
So-called natural gas has the potential to be contaminated by the shale itself as well as by the deliberate addition of toxic chemicals.
We think it is reasonable for DEC to expect that major facilities operating with natural gas from these operations will not be equivalent to the natural gas we are familiar with. We think DEC when it is permitting major facilities must make sure that the total composition of gas arriving at the facility is both well-known and consistent over time. This can only happen if frequent testing of the gas occurs.
We note that the Agency has made provision for an oxidizer for VOCs, however, we will need a better understanding of the total quantity of VOCs that are emitted from the stacks, as well as thorough emissions testing for the presence of hazardous air pollutants.
HAP emissions testing should include at a minimum: arsenic, mercury, chromium, lead, nickel, and radiation– alpha, beta and gamma– as well as a full suite of organic chemical hazardous air pollutants.
We expect that DEC will address HAPs in this state facility permit. If not addressed, this issue will be addressed once a Title V permit is applied for — if not by DEC, then by EPA. Major facilities with the potential to emit HAPs over major source thresholds will have to demonstrate that their emissions do not make them a major source.
Thank you for your attention.
Barbara J. Warren
cc. Commissioner Joseph Martens
Please read this very important fault consideration letter from Hydroquest, Paul A. Rubin, Geologist.
Ramapough Lenape Nation
189 Stag Hill Road
Mahwah, NJ 07430
Chair, Town of Waywayanda Planning Board
Dear Chair Woman,
On Behalf of the Ramapough Lenape Nation, we are requesting that extensive archeology be done in the area of Fort Dolson. Its is imperative that these steps be done to protect our Sacred Burial Grounds, and that of the Historic Fort Dolson.
It is well known that our people have dwelled in this area, as well as planted apple trees prior to the arrival of Europeans, and our Tribes history and our Ancestors remains be protected at every cost. We are currently providing monitoring of the Tennessee pipe line in New Jersey being paid by the gas company to absorb the cost. I would also ask that you make this another condition of this permit if it is to move forward. We would also like our voices heard as to why this should be considered for not approving this project as our Tribe is very aware of the destruction that takes place during construction. There are many things that while may look good on the face, actually are quite different in real life. Not only will this project threaten to devastate this Historic/Pre-Historic area, it will most definitely diminish the quality of life for the residents of the area, as well as desicrate our burial ground. Once this project is done there will be no lasting benefit to it for the community, just like there will be no benefit at all to our traditional lands with the pipe line.
It is the hope of myself and our Nation that you will truly do your job with honor and respect for those who were here before, those here now, and for our future generations. Less not forget that 60 percent of the economy here is farming, and that there will be adverse effects on our communities in whole.
Sub Chief Mann
Ramapough Lenape Nation
Not needed says Riverkeeper to Town Planning Board
April 7, 2013
Town of Wawayanda Planning Board
Members of the Wawayanda Planning Board,
I would like all of you to realize exactly what it is that you will be unleashing upon not only the residents of Wawayanda, but also our neighboring towns and city. Attached is a “List of the Harmed” (found online here ) which keeps track of people, animals, livestock, wildlife, property, among others, on a national level, who have had their health seriously harmed and/or died by fracking and the use of this type of unnatural gas. I’m going to name just a very few of the health issues with a focus on people. The exposures are coming not only from the contaminated drinking water and wells, but also the air and explosions of pipelines and gas wells. Respiratory problems, neurological problems, headaches, fatigue, enlarged spleens, enlarged ovaries, fluid in abdomens, intestinal cancer and other types of cancer, tremors, nosebleeds, vomiting, hives, various types of skin rashes, tumors, leukemia and the list of symptoms goes on and on.
Following are just a few of the many, many deaths of people due to this unnatural process:
- Stephanie Boggs, died age 47. Exposure: Water, land and air exposure. Facility type: Landmark 4 LLC gas well. Medina County, OH. Cite: Here and here
- Robert Blackcloud died of pancreatic cancer after drinking from a creek that he did not know was polluted with high levels of benzene. There was an eight year cover up in this matter. Silt, CO. Cite here and here
- Charles and Dorothy Harper and their grandson Baelee all died. Exposure: Air-methane. Jefferson County, PA. Cite here
- Jose Lara, died aged 42 from pancreatic and liver cancer. Exposure: Air, contact. Facility: Waste water tank. Grand Junction, CO. Cite here
- Charles E. Bevins III died May, 2011 due to inadequate safety at drilling site. Smyrna, NY. Cite here
- Roy and Amy Heady and their children. Glenda, Kirsten and Don Sumler. Terry and Dustin Smith. In total, 10 people died as a result of a 30-inch gas pipeline explosion. Near Carlsbad, NM. Cite here
- Two brothers, seven and eight years old died as a result of tanker unable to brake. Clarksburg, WV. Cite here and here
Although this project isn’t actually hydraulic fracturing, it certainly is encouraging it by offering a demand for it. Since it appears that money is far more important to the Town of Wawayanda elected and appointed officials, as well as the City of Middletown, will you be prepared for the lawsuits that will surely follow this project when people start getting sick?
Considering how bad our environment has been harmed and we are actually living through the beginning of severe climate change due to human activities: greed and arrogance (See “Earth is warmer today than during 70 – 80 percent of the past 11,300 years”), there is no guarantee that the fracked water in the near million gallon storage tank will not contaminant our drinking water and ground soil. Now, combine that with what the 102’ and 113’ smoke stacks emitting toxic waste such as methane into our air. There is no such thing as cleaned, fracked gas. “Natural gas ceases to have any advantage over other fossil fuels.” The 93% level of methane in this gas has disastrous greenhouse effects. Please read the latest study here. This project does not exist in a vacuum, nor does the Town of Wawayanda and the City of Middletown.
Does this plant exist to hook up to the Minisink Compressor Station so the electricity generated can be used for New York City? I would like to point out just a few of the people and animals who have been harmed by compressor stations who are also included in the ever-growing list of the harmed:
- Earl Wanger and Cindy Tout. Dolores County, CO. Symptoms: Headaches, nose bleeds and sore throats, damage to home from vibration. Cite here.
- Albert Nutgrass and Michael Brock. Kanawha County, WV. Exposure: Gas fire. Symptom: Severe burns. Cite here.
- Pam Judy and family. Carmichaels, PA. Exposure: Air. Symptoms: Headaches, fatigue, dizzinesss, nausea, nosebleeds, blood test show exposure to benzene and other chemicals. Cite here.
- Wayne and Angel Smith. Bedford County, PA. Exposure: Air, water, arsenic. Symptoms: Various health ailments. Symptoms of animals: 12 chickens, 5 cows, 3 dogs and 4 cats all dead. Cite here and here.
- Doug Jenkins and Larry Lee Joseph. Carbon County, UT. Exposure: Explosion. Symptoms: Injured, sustained critical burn injuries; explosion created a crater 15-ft deep, 30-ft wide. Cite here.
I would also like to point out to the members of the Town of Wawayanda Board and elected officials that there are 2.5 million miles of pipeline running through this country. See “Pipelines Explained: How Safe are America’s 2.5 Million Miles of Pipelines?”
These pipelines cause 100s of leaks and ruptures every year and they result in the loss of lives and are extremely costly. The leak detection systems put in place to discover same has been found flawed according to a December 21, 2012 New York Times article “Study Finds Flaws in Pipeline Leak Detection Systems.”
“The report found that pipeline control rooms, which help monitor whether a line is functioning properly, identified leaks in hazardous liquid and gas transmission lines only 17 percent and 16 percent of the time. Control rooms identified leaks in gas distriburion pipelines, like those that go into homes or businesses, less than 1 percent of the time, according to the report.”
That report/study can be found here.
Our rural towns, lives, and way of living throughout this country are being destroyed by not only the gas and oil industry, but the greed-driven corporations and billionaires who know people can be bought and sold. Please see “Air Too Dangerous to Breathe: How Gas Drilling Can Turn Rural Communities Into Industrial Wastelands [With Photos]”
Wawayanda and the City of Middletown are in a situation that can actually steer the course in the right direction for solar and wind, protecting future generations. According to a new study by Environmental Entrepreneurs, clean jobs are rising as over 110,000 jobs were announced in 2012. Among them was wind and solar being a “strong and steady job creator throughout the year, and especially in the fourth quarter, providing over 19,000 jobs between the manufacturing and power generation sectors.” New York State is in the top 10.
If CPV Valley can put up one project which uses this and the others using natural gas, they can’t really call themselves environmentally friendly, renewable and sustainable, can they? The Town of Wawayanda must refuse the CPV Valley project in favor of not only the residents of Wawayanda, but also the residents of the City of Middletown, Goshen, Florida, Town of Wallkill and Orange County as a whole.
Now that the knowledge of what is written here to the members of this board and the elected officials, you can all say that you all know what this type of power plant directly and indirectly causes. Unlike the tens of thousands of people still out there that have no knowledge that this CPV Valley project is taking place in their own community, the Town of Wawayanda cannot say that they had no prior knowledge to some of the atrocities this is causing and what will happen to all the people in all the communities this will adversely impact. My statement also gives a better resolve. Thank you.