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Politics

Gianaris Calls on DEC to Reject New Astoria Fossil Fuel Plant

NEW YORK – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to reject NRG’s permit application for a new, fossil fuel-powered power plant in Astoria. The proposed plant would be inconsistent with New York’s nation-leading climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) and would negatively harm area residents who already suffer high rates of asthma.

“Given the severity of the climate crisis, no new fossil fuel plants should be getting built, period. I urge DEC to reject these permit applications and stop this destructive plant from being built,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “I will continue working with my community to fight against this ill-conceived project until it is finally dead.”

Astoria is home to multiple power generating facilities, and the area immediately surrounding those plants is known as “Asthma Alley,” where residents are known to have higher-than-average rates of asthma. Senator Gianaris has been working with local leaders and area residents to oppose this plant.

The new plant would also make it likely the state would fail to comply with the CLCPA, New York’s nation-leading climate law which Senator Gianaris championed in 2019. CLCPA commits New York to an equitable clean energy future – with 70% of electricity being renewable by 2030, 100% carbon-free by 2040, and an 85% emissions reduction overall by 2050. Crucially, at least 40% of investment is reserved for areas that have suffered from climate injustice. These ambitious goals are critical, and they are the law. “We must do what it takes to win this clean-energy future, secure a livable climate, and fully-fund a just transition for frontline communities,” Gianaris’ statement read.

Senator Gianaris’ testimony came at a DEC public hearing held about the project. The state’s environmental agency extended the comment period to September 13. Comments can be submitted to the DEC here: comment.nrgastoriagas@dec.ny.gov.

Senator Gianaris’ written testimony is available online: shorturl.at/sGNW4.

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