Banners Dropped, Residents Organize Picket Against Power Plant in Orange County NY.

Early this morning, Hudson Valley Earth First! And local residents enraged by CPV’s fracked gas power plant dropped 2 banners over the I-84 highway overpass adjacent to the construction site on route 6 in Wawayanda, NY. The banners hung for almost 3 hours, during which a morning picket organized separately by Protect Orange County  made its presence known from 7 -10am out front the site as workers continued “Site Preparation” to build the toxic CPV Valley Energy Center.

“No Fracked Power Plant Here” over I-84

Today’s picket was organized the same day attorney Michael Sussman must submit a formal response to CPV’s claims against his recent filing for an injunction. It is unclear when we will hear a decision from the judge. If granted, construction on site would be halted for 2 months while the court case is resolved. In court last Thursday, CPV claimed all present activities on site would be limited to “site preparation.” It is also possible a voluntary injunction would be agreed on by CPV with the judge to stop work once “site preparation” was finished. What exactly that means is questionable. It would seem the earth moving, digging, clearing and electrical work on site now is not considered more than “site preparation” by CPV although it is negatively impacting the sensitive wetlands and species of concern on site, all in question by this court case.

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Sussman’s lawsuit argues for a new supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The recent listing of the Northern Long Eared bat as federally threatened is one reason to take a hard look and reevaluate the project, the recent ban on fracking in New York State contradicting the permitting of infrastructure projects, transportation and processing of fracked gas, is another. Not to mention the poor job of letting locals know the project was happening in the first place. While the legal case remains in limbo, what is clear is the widespread opposition by local residents!

Despite widespread opposition and unanswered questions, the transformation of this beautiful forest wetland and field into an industrial zone is underway. Located 65 miles northwest of New York City, the CPV Valley Energy Center is a 720 megawatt combined cycle natural gas powered electric power generating facility with ultra low sulfur diesel backup. The project will be constructed by a joint venture consisting of Skanska USA Civil Northeast, Inc., Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. and ECCO III Enterprises, Inc. Perrecca Electric is doing electrical work. Construction will take 32 months with commercial operation projected in early 2018.

The earth moving, unloading of electrical boxes and destruction of this area is being facilitated by these companies by the authority of the Wawayanda Town board, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and other state/town agencies for an unnecessary power plant that most residents oppose.

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A State Trooper talking with a Skanska worker

Around nine am today town of Wawayanda code enforcement came to site and told protesters the only permit the workers had was for ‘Storm water Management.’ If this is the only permit given, how does electrical and other work count as Storm Water Management?

Skanska workers were slowed down by protesters and redirected from certain entrances because of the inconvenience of our presence multiple times. When asked if they had permits to come in off the highway pull off, Skanska workers appearing to be management said yes. When someone asked the State Troopers to check and prove it to us, they became disgruntled and refused. Skanska is the same company responsible for building an unnecessary and cruel animal vivisection lab in Seattle Washington . It is clear we are up against a lot, but spirits are high and resistance is fertile!

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