Construction of $900M power plant in Wawayanda set to start this year

By Richard J. Bayne
re-posted fromTimes Herald-Record

January 31. 2015 3:41PM

A rendering of the 640-megawatt, gas-fired power-generating plant that would be located on land bounded by routes 6 and 17M and I-84 in the Town of Wawayanda.

A rendering of the 640-megawatt, gas-fired power-generating plant that would be located on land bounded by routes 6 and 17M and I-84 in the Town of Wawayanda.

WAWAYANDA – Construction on a gas-fired power-generating plant, to be built on a 122-acre parcel off Route 6, will begin early in the fourth quarter of this year, a principal at Competitive Power Ventures Holdings said.

Steve Remillard, CPV’s vice president, development, said the company has cleared all its regulatory hurdles to build the $900 million, 640-megawatt plant and, Remillard said, they’re “working diligently on commercialization,” which means solidifying financing and lining up customers.

The CPV office that has been overseeing planning for the proposed Wawayanda plant is in Braintree, Mass., which is caught up in football fever this Super Bowl weekend as the New England Patriots get set for the matchup in Phoenix, so Remillard used a football analogy.

“We’re in the end zone,” he said. “We’ve gotten all the approvals. We’re there.”

CPV has said the plant, which has been going through the approval process for the past six years, would be located on a parcel bounded by routes 6 and 17M and I-84. Remillard said plans call for the plant to occupy 30 acres. The remaining 92 would be buffer. He anticipates a 31-month construction timetable.

The proposed CPV plant was the focus of a Jan. 17 demonstration by a coalition of environmental groups and neighbors. One of the key organizers of that protest, Pramilla Malick of Westtown, reacting to the latest news from CPV, said their fight is not over.

“We will continue to hold that company (CPV), and any other company that assumes ownership of that plant, accountable for the health and safety of the community,” Malick said Friday.

Opponents contend the plant would spew toxic emissions that would harm many parts of the Hudson Valley. They also have raised the possibility of damage to archaeological sites, including Native American burial grounds and early European settlements.

CPV has said the proposed plant passed all air-quality reviews, even studies done by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and a consultant to the Town of Wawayanda. A consultant concluded there are “no significant archaeological resources” on the site, company documents say.

In their latest move to try to block construction, opponents have sent a letter with 1,500 signatures and bearing the names of 40 organizations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Public Service Commission, calling on New York state to stop the project.

CPV says the project will create 500 jobs for the construction phase and 25 once it comes online.

The firm has agreed to pay the Town of Wawayanda $8.2 million over 22 years under a “host” agreement CPV negotiated with a local development corporation created by the town. Wawayanda will also receive $2.8 million in property taxes over the same period under an agreement between CPV and the Orange County Industrial Development Corp.

Taxes to the town, the county and Minisink Valley schools will be phased in over 22 years. Overall, the company is expected to pay $46.4 million in property taxes during that period. That includes $32.6 million to the school district, and $5.6 million to the county. The company would pay an estimated $5.3 million in taxes to the New Hampton Fire District in that time.

dbayne@th-record.com

Proposed power plant comes under fire

By Richard J. Bayne
Times Herald-Record

January 17. 2015 9:53PM

WAWAYANDA – A coalition of environmental groups Saturday joined with neighbors who say they would be harmed by a proposed gas-fired power-generating plant and the chief of a local Native American tribe to stage a Martin Luther King weekend protest against the $900 million project.

“It’s a civil right to have clean air and clean water,” said Melanie Gold of Greenwood Lake.

Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapough-Lenape Tribe talked about “environmental genocide.” “You’ve all become Indians now,” Perry said. “That’s how they’re treating you.”

About 75 people gathered at the intersection of Dolson Avenue and Route 6 for an hour-long rally protesting the proposed, 640-megawatt Competitive Power Ventures plant. They raised the specter of toxic emissions and damage to archeological sites. CPV wants to locate the power-generating plant on a 122-acre site that would be bounded by Route 6, Route 17M and I-84.

Plans call for the plant to occupy 30 acres, said Steve Remillard, CPV’s vice president for development. The remaining 92 acres would be buffer.

In a telephone interview Saturday night, Remillard responded to the protesters’ concerns, saying his firm has had “reams” of analysis done and “very rigorous” modeling on air quality, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation has given its OK. He said the Town of Wawayanda had an air-quality expert do a review.

Remillard said the proposed plant has been going through the review process since 2008, and that a number of agencies have given the plans an OK. He said CPV is very close to obtaining final review. “We’re on the 1-yard line,” he said.

Another key issue the protesters raised Saturday is archeological significance, including proximity to homes of early European settlers and Fort Dolson, and the possibility of disturbing Native American burial grounds.

A consultant hired by Remillard’s firm concluded that “no significant archaeological resources have been identified” on the proposed CPV site.

At Saturday’s demonstration, many protesters expressed concerns that emissions would harm residents who live nearby. They said many parts of the Hudson Valley would be affected, and farming in the Black Dirt Region could be destroyed.

“This valley is like a bowl, said Pramilla Malick of Westtown, who led Saturday’s demonstration. “The air gets trapped.”

Joan Sichterman, a retired Orange-Ulster BOCES teacher who lives in Wawayanda, about two miles from the proposed site, said she would have to move if the plant were to go into operation. “The life I have built will be over,” she said.

dbayne@th-record.com

Did Somebody Say Direct Action? What’s Missing from the Victory Narrative

toxic-avenger

by Sasha / Earth First! Journal

We have heard a lot about what stopped the fracking boom in New York after Governor Cuomo banned it last week.

While some insist that faltering prices that did the gas boom in, others credit the seven-year legal battle with stopped the practice. The running narrative is that it’s a combination of grassroots political involvement—going to public hearings, submitting comments, and doing ecological studies. But there’s another element people aren’t talking about as much.

What we don’t hear about is the intense blossoming of direct action that has generated a network of several Earth First! groups who have been working diligently to shut down fracking operations and natural gas infrastructure for the last six years. This movement spans a gamut of tactics, from protests to blockades to other escapades. It has been upsetting business as usual, costing the corporations money and the politicians credit.

In short, it’s working.

EF! in the Mix

The Marcellus Shale Earth First! Network sprung into action soon after the first wells started getting tested, and rapidly assembled several groups around the Marcellus, including Hudson Valley EF! (HVEF!) and Finger Lakes EF! (FLEF!), which have been active in direct action struggles.

In May of this year, Hudson Valley Earth First! (HVEF!) disrupted the 9th annual Northeast Power and Gas Markets Conference in New York City, sending home the message that fracking would not be accepted in the state.

Other groups involved have been Susquehanna Valley EF!, Genessee Valley EF!, and Occupy WELL Street.

“This campaign has been going on for almost two years, but now it’s getting serious,” said April Rogers, a member of HVEF! “If trucks show up, we’ll be there to stop them!”

Indeed, two years before the disruption in NYC, HVEF! stopped construction on a compressor station in Minisink, NY, along the Millenium Pipeline.

EF! has been engaged in this movement since the Newswire has been in existence, protesting outside of public hearings, drawing a spotlight with outrageous actions, and growing the movement.

In Winter of last year, MSEF! went on an extensive tour of New York and Pennsylvania, spreading the good word about direct action against fracking after a crucial victory defending the Loyalsock State Forest from fracking in Pennsylvania.

As the collective put it at the time, “MSEF! is a creative and growing movement, and sharing our struggle with others around PA and NY made it clear that the campaign to defend the Loyalsock is one that will unite many people.”

Prior to halting fracking in the Loyalsock, MSEF! engaged in a prolonged campaign against the Tennessee Pipeline through a lockdown, two consecutive treesits, and a two-week road blockade matched with a nine-day treesit.

The MSEF! network also shut down fracking operations in the Tiadaghton State Forest earlier this year and blockaded fracking trucks in the Moshannon State Forest in 2012.

Despite tremendous resistance, fracking in Pennsylvania is still going on, and activists continue to work to shut it down.

The Infrastructure Fight Still Needs Support

While the EF! network has been holding action camps and engaging in a number of campaigns, perhaps the largest of the area’s anti-gas struggles has been the We Are Seneca Lake campaign.

In a three-week blockade this November, 19 people were arrested halting construction of Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on Seneca Lake.

Just this month, more than 100 people attended a demonstration outside of the court where the arrested were being arraigned. That day, nine more people were arrested locking themselves to the gates of Crestwood’s facility.

This came after a peaceful blockade in March which saw the arrest of 12 activists. Three more were arrested at their trial in April.

In total, some 92 people have been arrested in the movement to halt the Crestwood facility—a rousing campaign that is ongoing and needs your support!

If the movement against gas transport and storage is still raging in New York, its visibility has thrown the spotlight on the controversial practice of fracking as well. Chesapeake EF! is involved in the ongoing campaign against fracking exports in the Maryland Cove Point facility, and other campaigns continue to build steam.

Movement Builders

The victory in New York is a key movement builder, because it helps us recognize the components that make them happen, and focus on the campaigns that need support with greater numbers and resources.

Direct action is just one piece of the larger puzzle to stop industrial exploitation and destruction of land and livelihood. And, with community rights movements, legal battles, and protest movements, it’s winning.

It is important to note that these actions have taken place not just in New York, but in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well. This is a bioregional struggle, and claiming success in New York is not the end. The movement to stop fracking won’t stop at legal battles; it relies on the vigilance of communities impacted by the unsafe practices, and it will continue to expand throughout the Marcellus Shale until all fracking operations are shut down once and for all.

No Compromise!

Hudson Valley Earth First! Nature Walk!

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Hudson Valley Earth First! invites you to enjoy a nature hike in the Basha Kill Wildlife Refuge, This beautiful location is only mere miles from the proposed Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) “natural” gas power plant. Now more then ever individuals have been organizing against CPV and it’s aims and will not stop until the “shovel ready” project comes to a grinding halt.

We hope this hike will be a good place for neighbors, hikers, activists, and everyone in between to meet up and enjoy the beauty in the wild places our bio region has to offer.

For The Wild,

Your Friendly Neighborhood HVEF!ers

Activists gather outside the Middletown Times Harold Record offices.

  Activists gather outside the Middletown Times Herald-Record offices.

October actions against the CPV Power Plant!

Local coalition, Neighbors United recently met and decided to go forward with a few Actions:

We plan to meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9th to do a demo in front of the Times Herald-Record offices at 40 Mulberry St., Middletown, NY 10940. Our theme: THR does not inform its readers about the CPV power plant. In depth coverage needed!
Following the THR action we plan to arrive at the Orange County IDA (Industrial Development Agency) meeting at 1:00p.m.

The IDA is scheduled to meet at 2:00p.m. at the Orange County Business Accelerator, 4 Crotty Lane, Stewart International Airport (SWF), New Windsor, NY Our plan is to demo there, with signs, as they are arriving for their board meeting.
For information about the IDA see ocnyida.com (Mission, members, meeting times , map, etc) The IDA has granted a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement to CPV in which CPV would be exempt from paying taxes and instead would make substitute payments over a period pf 22 years.

We are asking for people to join us in these efforts to increase awareness about the threat the proposed CPV Power Plant is to all Orange County residents.
If anyone has press contacts, please alert them about these actions.
Please join us. If possible bring a sign – or signs. Signs should address the issue – STOP CPV, IDA Sells Out Orange County, Renewable Energy Now, etc.

We also plan to demo at the proposed CPV site off Route 6 at 10:00 a.m.
on Saturday, Oct.11th (GLOBAL FRACKDOWN DAY). We will meet at the turnoff on Route 6.
Please see the website neighborsunitedforthefacts.org for exact location
(#1 in FAQ)
Again, please join us and bring signs if you can.
Thank you.

Neighbors United at Proposed Site Today

Sunset On the Proposed Site

“Neighbors United gathered at the proposed power plant site on Route 6 today carrying signs and flyers in an effort to inform passing motorists about the threat we all face. We were encouraged by supportive honks from passing cars and by those who stopped for more information. We plan to return to the site on a regular basis and invite others to join us.
Want to get involved? Sign up to be on our mailing list so you’ll be alerted when actions are planned! neighborsunited@riseup.net”

Original Post

Two Fracking Meetings Disrupted!

Activists Disrupt Fracking Interests in Maryland and Chicago

from Savage Mountain Earth First!10361584_796167837090561_7378250741809304694_n

July 11, amidst controversy concerning the Marcellus Shale “Safe Drilling Initiative” Advisory Commission’s handling of what is supposed tobe a public hearing, activists and citizens took a stand against so called “best management practices”, the blatant disregard that the commission has shown for the voices of the people, and the destruction of the places that we call home.

The initiative, commissioned by Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, states that it’s main purpose is to “assist state policymakers and regulators in determining whether and how gas production from the Marcellus shale in Maryland can be accomplished without unacceptable risks of adverse impacts to public health, safety, the environment and natural resources.” Since their very inception, however, the initiative has displayed a blatant disregard for those who would be most directly affected by natural gas extraction in the state of Maryland, offering only a token few spots at the table to citizen representatives and residents of Western Maryland (where a majority of the drilling in this state is proposed) who espouse some sort of opposition to fracking.

These public meetings have been routinely held in spaces too small to accommodate more than ten members of the public, anyone interested in listening in on the meetings via phone has been faced with terrible reception and sound quality, meetings have been moved at the last second without any notice to the public, and public comment has been relegated to the final thirty minutes, if the commission deems there to be sufficient time, of these six hour long meetings where commission members decide whether or not they “can live with” best management practices that have included shipping waste water to Ohio so we do not have to deal with it here, well pads and pipelines within eye and earshot (not to mention blast radius?) of homes and water, and an overall lack of understanding and acknowledgement of the true dangers and consequences that the practice of natural gas extraction has already wreaked upon untold numbers of humans, animals, plants, and ecosystems.

This morning, at the commission meeting held at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, MD, an activist and community member stood up at the outset, in defiance of the commission’s guidelines, demanding that his voice, and the voices of his friends, neighbors and family, be heard above the growing roar of profits, corporations and corruption.
Unfortunately, his “public comment” had to be cut short, as it was noticed that the police were being informed of the situation, but it is being reported that after said activist made his untimely exit, numerous
citizens and community members took heart and courage to stand and make their voices heard in whatever way they saw fit to do so, forcing the commission to allow a public comment period to commence at the verybeginning of the meeting. There will be footage of the entirety of proceedings available soon courtesy of ESND News, but for now we have a clip, taken by a resident of Frostburg, of what got people so fired up as to blatantly defy protocol and decorum in the first place.

In this ongoing battle against fracking, some communities in Pennsylvania are considering it a victory to be hooked up to a public water supply given that their spring and well water is now unfit for use. Communities in Ohio consider it a good day when there are no earthquakes as a result of the practice of waste water injection. Families in Texas are praying that they won’t be the next household with flammable tap water. West Virginians fight waste water impoundments on the hillsides above their children’s schools, and everywhere individuals and communities are taking action. Here in Maryland, groups such as Chesapeake Earth First!, Citizen Shale, Savage Mountain Earth First!, Food and Water Watch, and events such as the Energy Exports Action Camp that took place earlier this summer are working together to fight environmental degradation on any front that presents itself, and focusing collective energies on the fights against the proposed Cove Point liquified natural gas export facility, the proposed Meyersville compressor station, and natural gas extraction in general.

Throughout the towns, cities, forests, fields, mountains, hollers, rivers and watering holes of these places that we call home, there is a cry bellowing forth on the wind…

a call to action…
a wake up call…
a rallying song…
a fiery protest against that which proposes to destroy all that we call
home…

say it with me now…

NO FRACKING, NO COMPROMISE!”

Citizens Interrupt Southwestern Energy Presentation over Fracking Projects on Elsipogtog First Nations Land

from Rising Tide Chicago

Chicago, IL–Two protesters interrupted a Southwest Energy (SWN) presentation Wednesday at the Global Hunter Securities 100 conference in Chicago by taking off their shirts and unfurling a banner to an audience of investors that read, “The people resist SWN, you lose your shirt!” The banner referred to how increasing public resistance SWN’s controversial hydraulic fracturing projects in Elsipogtog first nations land, the state forests of Pennsylvania and other locations is successful in slowing down and preventing projects and therefore makes them unwise investments.

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” involves forcing large amounts of water or other substances deep underground to break shale rock to release trapped oil and gas. Fracking has raised the ire of people globally due to air and water pollution, earthquakes and large amounts of greenhouse gases that are tied to the process. Attempts to frack Elsipogtog first nations land have been met with fierce opposition from the Mi’kmaq people during the past year. Canada has given permits to SWN to frack, but Elsipogtog lands were never ceded. In October of 2013, SWN brought in police to uphold an injunction and arrested 40 people that were among many more resisting attempts to frack in their community. Less than a week ago, more road blockades to halt fracking activity resulted in 12 arrests. Community resistance has resulted in delaying SWN’s activity.

“A recent scientific study found that that public resistance to these oil and gas projects is successful because it delays them and costs the company money. Sometimes they end up canceling the project.” said J. one of the participants in today’s action referring to a study titled Cost of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive Sector. In Pennsylvania, SWN is moving forward with unpopular plans to frack in Loyalsock State Forest. This mostly intact forest will become fragmented and further impacted by fracking well pads, pipeline and roads. Just this month, more than 200 people rallied at the Pennsylvania state house to call for an end to fracking in Pennsylvania state parks and forests.

When asked why she interrupted the SWN presentation Gloria Fallon of Rising Tide Chicago said, “We are here today to stand in solidarity with the Mi’kmaq people, residents in Pennsylvania and all other communities impacted by Southwestern Energy’s destructive projects. We are working to prevent hydraulic fracturing in Illinois as well. Nobody should have to live near dirty, dangerous fracking.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fWWtNy5y5g

 

 

Hudson Valley Earth First! Protest Gas Power Plant Project at the Northeast Power and Gas Markets Conference in Manhattan

Protesters stand outside the Marriot Hotel- Downtown in New York City.

Protesters stand outside the Marriot Hotel- Downtown in New York City.

VIDEO WILL BE UP SOON!

On Thursday, May 29th, Hudson Valley Earth First! (HVEF!) converged and disrupted the 9th annual Northeast Power and Gas Markets Conference New York Marriott Downtown in New York City. Hudson Valley Earth First activists were protesting the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) recent decision to grant Competitive Power Ventures LLC (CPV) a permit for the building of a fracked gas Power plant in Orange County NY. Audrey Zibelman, the chairman of the PSC gave keynote address this morning titled “Challenges Facing the Northeast Power and Gas Markets” where protesters interrupted her speech with chanting and dropping leaflets on the tables where corporate representatives were sitting that read, “markets peak, pipelines leak: stop fracking now”.

This protest will serve as a reminder to the PSC and the oil and gas industry at large that despite their permits, community resistance to fracking, its associated infrastructure and the industrialization of our region(s) will be met with unwavering opposition and direct action. This will be the REAL challenge facing northeast Power and gas markets.

Inside this Capitalist Conference on “Energy Investment” and Gas Markets, New York State’s sovereignty against fracked gas is again being violated. “Green” capitalists, with the approval of the Public Service Commission (PSC), are constructing yet another piece of infrastructure to use and/or transport fracked gas from Pennsylvania. The energy produced from this facility is completely UNNECESSARY and DESTRUCTIVE, as well as intimately tied to the Spectra, Rockaway, Millennium and other pipelines transporting dirty gas through our state and our city carrying with it a deadly cocktail of contaminants, including but not limited to: Benzene, xylene, methanol, radon and toluene, all known carcinogens. Aside from the integrity of our city’s water being destroyed, this powerplant is being built atop an indigenous burial ground, endangered species habitat, a sole source aquifer and inside of one of New York’s pristine agricultural districts. If projects like these continue throughout our state, and throughout the world, no source of human and nonhuman sustenance will go unscathed, and the ecocidal march of Capitalist expansion will consume us further

“This campaign has been going on for almost two years, but now it’s getting serious,” said April Rogers, another member of HVEF! “If trucks show up, we’ll be there to stop them!”

Hudson Valley Earth First! Is part of a regional network of Earth First!ers from across the Marcellus Shale, actively involved in direct action to stop shale gas development. Members of HVEF! have been working with community organizers and residents in Wawayanda and Minisink for more than 2 years to resist fracked gas infrastructure in Orange County.

 

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