Lack of Transparency around Cayuga Plant Raises Concerns from Local Lawmakers

OVER-EDITED DOCUMENTS ABOUT THE CAYUGA OPERATING PLANT’S FUTURE HAVE LEFT THE PUBLIC IN THE DARK, ACCORDING TO SEVERAL LOCAL LEADERS WHO GATHERED FOR A NEWS CONFERENCE MONDAY AT ITHACA TOWN HALL.

THE NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION IS ACCEPTING PUBLIC COMMENTS UNTIL FRIDAY ABOUT WHETHER LANSING’S COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT SHOULD BE CLOSED OR RETROFITTED.

SPEAKERS AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE DENOUNCED THE PUBLIC COMMENT PROCESS. THEY SAID THE OVER-EDITED DOCUMENTS DEPRIVED THE PUBLIC OF CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC INFORMATION, BLOCKING EFFECTIVE PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE ISSUE.

THE GROUP CALLED FOR PUBLICATION OF UNEDITED DOCUMENTS AND AN EXTENSION OF THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD.

COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE COUNCIL MANAGING ATTORNEY HELEN SLOTTJE SPOKE AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE. THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HAS A LEGAL OBLIGATION TO MAKE FINANCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC, SHE SAID.

THE DOCUMENTS THEY WANT PUBLISHED WITHOUT REDACTIONS ARE CAYUGA OPERATING PLANT’S MARCH 26 REPORT, WHICH SUGGESTS THE PLANT BE RETROFITTED, AND NEW YORK STATE ELECTRIC & GAS CORP.’S MAY 17 REPORT, SUGGESTING THE PLANT BE CLOSED IN FAVOR OF TRANSMISSION LINE UPGRADES.

SLOTTJE SAID WEIGHING TRANSMISSION LINE UPGRADES VERSUS RETROFITTING IS A FALSE CHOICE. SHE SAID GOV. ANDREW CUOMO IS ATTEMPTING TO DEFLECT PUBLIC ATTENTION FROM THE POWER PLANT’S RETROFITTING COST AND WHY ANOTHER FOSSIL-FUEL PLANT IS BEING CONSIDERED.

ABOUT 30 PEOPLE ATTENDED THE NEWS CONFERENCE, AND MANY PEOPLE CARRIED PICKET SIGNS.

LANSING RESIDENT MARGARET MCCASLAND SAID THERE WASN’T ENOUGH PUBLIC INFORMATION ON THE CHOICE BETWEEN THE PLANT’S POSSIBLE CLOSURE OR RETROFITTING. MCCASLAND ADDED THAT SHE WANTS TO KNOW HOW MUCH RETROFITTING THE PLANT WILL COST NYSEG RATEPAYERS.

IF THOSE CUSTOMERS ARE ASKED TO PAY FOR RETROFITTING THE PLANT, TOWN OF ITHACA SUPERVISOR HERB ENGMAN SAID AT THE NEWS CONFERENCE, THEN THE PROJECT SHOULD FOCUS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY, AND NOT FURTHER DEVELOPING INFRASTRUCTURE THAT DEPENDS ON UNSUSTAINABLE FOSSIL FUELS.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s