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Groups file appeal to challenge Greenidge ADVERTISEMENT

Groups file appeal to challenge Greenidge

DRESDEN--The Sierra Club, the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes (CPFL) and the Coalition to Protect New York have filed a notice of appeal in their case challenging the lack of an adequate environmental review of the Greenidge repowering project.
The 1937 power plant in Dresden originally ran on coal, before being closed in 2011. The facility was then sold and converted to run on natural gas and biomass fuel. A reopening ceremony was held in October 2016, prior to a pipeline construction project connecting the generation facility to the Empire gas pipeline. The company announced in a March 31, 2017 letter that the plant was online.
The environmental groups' appeal is of the order and judgment issued June 13, 2017 by Judge William Kocher of the Appellate Division Fourth Department in Rochester. The case is Sierra Club vs. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The judge's order dismissed the groups' case claiming the project was not fully reviewed for environmental impacts.
"Judge Kocher's order failed to address our claims regarding the deficiencies in [the] DEC's determination that there are no significant environmental impacts from repowering the Greenidge Station. We don't think it was proper to dismiss the petition without consideration of our claims." said Peter Gamba, president of CPFL.
"We have good arguments that [the] DEC did not adequately review the impacts of the Greenidge operations and that appropriate protections need to be put in place to protect the Keuka Outlet and Seneca Lake," said Kate Bartholomew, conservation chair of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. "[The] DEC needs to conduct a full environmental assessment of the impacts of the plant's air discharges on Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes region, the plant's huge water withdrawals and water discharges on Seneca Lake's fish, wildlife and water quality, and the impacts on Seneca Lake and local groundwater supplies of leachate leaking from the Lockwood coal ash landfill adjacent to the plant," Bartholomew said.
Proponents of the Dresden power plant have cited the significant emission reductions and millions spent converting from coal to natural gas as evidence of environmental awareness. The local jobs at and supporting the facility, combined with tax revenues, are also noted as benefits to the community.
Recently, heightened awareness of harmful algal blooms (HAB) in Seneca Lake has brought attention to the amount of water the power plant uses for cooling purposes. Tens of millions of gallons of heated water can be discharged into the lake, and warmer water spurs faster growth for algae including HABs.
Copies of the court filings, Public Service Commission Files and DEC Permit Materials are available at http://treichlerlawoffice.com/water/greenidge/index.html.






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