By Chris Martin
August 3, 2018
New York regulators declined to renew an air permit for a controversial 680-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in New York state, effectively shutting it down just before it was poised to go into service.
The Department of Environmental Conservation denied the renewal application on Wednesday in a letter released Friday. The agency said the owner Competitive Power Ventures Inc. did not have a Title V Clean Air Act permit, which is issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and required by the state before new power plants can start generating electricity.
“As a result of this denial and the lack of a Title V permit, CPV may not lawfully operate the facility,” Kelly Turturro, regional director of the department, said in the letter.
CPV completed construction this year on the plant in Wawayanda, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northeast of New York City. A pipeline began delivering gas in July, according to the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company’s website. It was expected to finish testing within weeks, and would be ready to supply the New York grid during hot-weather shortages. Its original state permit expired Tuesday.
“We remain committed to operating within all applicable operating permit requirements and look forward to working with the DEC to address any concerns they have,” Tom Rumsey, senior vice president of external affairs at CPV, said in an emailed response to questions.
Environmental groups opposed the plant because it uses gas produced by fracking, and would emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo and the DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos for standing up for the health of all New Yorkers,” said Ramsay Adams, executive director of Catskill Mountainkeeper.