White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators is formally voicing its opposition to a proposal that would turn a little used power plant on the banks of the Hudson into a fully-operational fossil fuel power plant operating day in, day out, year round.

By a unanimous vote on Monday, February 8, the Board passed a resolution opposing the proposal for the Danskammer Generating Station in Newburgh.

On July 10 and October 7, 2020 all 17 Westchester County Legislators signed onto letters in opposition to the plan, addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Public Service Commission, respectively. The decision to pass a resolution adds the force of legislative action to the opposition.

Legislator Catherine Parker (D - Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye), chief sponsor of the resolution and chair of the Board's Planning, Economic Development and Energy Committee said, "New York State's recently passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act establishing programs, obligations and targets to meet zero emissions by 2050. Expanding the Danskammer plant to a full time, fossil fuel facility is exactly the wrong thing to do if we're serious about a clean, sustainable future, and about meeting those goals."

Legislator Ruth Walter (D-Bronxville, Yonkers), chair of the Board's Environment and Health Committee, said, "Although this plant will not be in Westchester, pollution and climate change do not observe County lines. The plant's expansion would add 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually to our atmosphere, drastically harming air quality in the region and exacerbating climate change and with gallons of diesel fuel and aqueous ammonia are proposed to be stored on-site, there's a significant threat to the water quality for all of us downstream on the Hudson."

Majority Leader MaryJane Shimsky (D - Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington) said, "The Danskammer proposal is doubly dangerous for our environment and our future by continuing to contribute to greenhouse gases and potentially continuing to contribute to demand for natural gas extracted through fracking. With a New York State ban on fracking and our CLCP goals for clean energy, outfitting a power plant of the sort contemplated for Danskammer makes no sense."

Legislator Nancy Barr (D - Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook), former chair and current vice chair of the Vice Chair of Planning Economic Development and Energy Committee said, "Ensuring a sustainable future for Westchester and the region depends on the choices we make today. That's why it is so important that we not invest today in another fossil fuel burning power plant that will emit more greenhouse gases for a generation.  And it has been so exciting to work with so many young advocates in Westchester as well as my colleagues on the Board in taking a stand for a cleaner tomorrow."

Food & Water Watch organizer Santosh Nandabalan said, “Westchester County’s [unanimous vote last night] sends a clear message to neighbors up and down the Hudson. Danskammer’s plans to build out further fracked gas infrastructure in Newburgh would wreak havoc on the air, water, and public health of New Yorkers throughout the Hudson Valley region. Governor Cuomo must listen to the mounting chorus of counties and cities across the state and stop Danskammer.”

The site proposed for construction of the new Danskammer facility flooded badly in Superstorm Sandy and its operation would require storage of aqueous ammonia and diesel in a highly flood prone area, threatening toxic exposures of the Hudson River and its organic life, including plants, fish, and water birds and animals. The proposed new facility will operate continuously -- instead of just occasionally as the current plant on the site does -- bringing at least a 10-fold increase in emissions of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds, as well as dramatic increase in local air pollution.