Comment Period Extended for Greenidge Power Plant

 Events  Comments Off on Comment Period Extended for Greenidge Power Plant
Nov 142015
Good news! The comment period for the Greenidge power plant on Seneca Lake has been extended.
Sending in a comment is like voting: it shows our elected officials and our public agencies which direction public opinion is trending. Those who seek to refuel a decommissioned 1937 power plant with fracked gas and call it “environmentally beneficial” need to hear back from us.
Here is a quick report on this week’s Procedural Conference in Albany: Six Seneca Lake Defenders were present in Albany on November 10th: Sandra Steingraber, John Dennis, Bill Kitchen, Irene Weiser, Mary Beth Gamba, and Debb Guard. They were joined by Lindsay Speer and Rachel Treichler, an attorney with the Committee To Preserve The Finger Lakes.

Some of their conference highlights: Judge Michelle L. Phillips made no rulings and is taking everything under advisement. Comments from the public are encouraged and can be submitted for at least another week.

Rachel Treichler, along with John Dennis and Irene Weiser, raised important concerns and contested assertions by the applicant pertaining to public necessity, threats to drinking water, and whether or not the Greenidge plant is “mothballed” or “retired.”

A key point on which this project should be challenged is whether this is an existing power plant that is restarting, or a new source. Given that the former owners told NYSEG and the Public Service Commission that they were retiring the plant and planning on selling it for scrap, and the new owners are repowering with natural gas rather than coal, Rachel Treichler made a compelling argument that it should be treated as a new source. All evidence of the intentions and realities of the closing of the plant are valuable comments at this time.

1) Please submit individual written comments to the Public Service Commission. The deadline for submitting comments has been extended. We need to take this opportunity to express ourselves as a community and as a region. Feel free to use WASL’s comments as a leaping off point for your own.

Here’s how:

  • Address your comments to: The Honorable Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary Public Service Commission Three Empire State Plaza Albany, New York 12223-1350
  • In the first paragraph, refer to these petition numbers: Case 15-E-0516 – Greenidge Generation, LLC; Case 15-G-0571 – Greenidge Pipeline, LLC and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation; Case 15-T-0586 – Greenidge Pipeline, LLC, and Greenidge Pipeline Properties Corporation. All together, these ask for for lightened regulation, pipeline construction, and an expedited certificate of public convenience and necessity.
  • If you believe, as we do, that further hearings are necessary—as evidenced by the significant opposition to the public hearing in Dresden, which ran so late that many people had to leave before their names were called to speak—please say so.
  • State your view about whether the Public Service Commission should approve or deny the three petitions related to the repowering of the Greenidge plant and the related building of the 4.5-mile pipeline.
  • If you have any special expertise or background knowledge to offer, share it. If you rely on Seneca Lake as your drinking water source or breathe the air that blows over it, feel free to describe your relationship to the lake. If you are working to keep fossil fuels in the ground and promote renewable energy, talk about your efforts.
  • As always, be respectful, plain-spoken, and to the point.