Where is the proposed site of this power plant?
The location where site prep began in July of 2015 is in the Hamlet of Slate Hill, New York, Town of Wawayanda, between Interstate 84 (near exits 3E & 3W) and Route 6. It is just south of the intersection of Routes 6 and 17M.
What would the power plant look like, if built?
The buildings would cover 22 acres and be around 130 feet high (13 stories). Two emissions stacks would each be about 275 feet high (over 27 stories high). There would also be storage tanks on the site. These would include a 965,000-gallon diesel fuel oil storage tank, a 115,000-gallon aqueous ammonia storage tank, and a 400,000-gallon demineralized water tank.
An underground transmission line running from the CPV site to an existing New York Power Authority line would also need to be constructed.
Construction of a new switchyard adjacent to this NYPA line is also planned.
CPV Valley would need to be connected to the Millennium Pipeline approximately 7 miles south of the site. This connector pipeline, which has been named the Valley Lateral, is subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval. (FERC approves 98% of the projects that come before it.) If approved this pipeline could be forcibly located using eminent domain.
What kind of pollution would the smokestacks emit?
The figures below are in tons per year:
carbon monoxide 344 tpy
nitrogen oxides 186.8 tpy
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 65 tpy
formaldehyde 1 tpy
hazardous air pollutants 8 tpy
total Particulate Matter (PM/PM10/PM2.5) 95tpy
sulfur dioxide 42 tpy
sulfuric acid mist 13tpy
greenhouse gases 2,000,000 tpy
Could there be health risks to nearby residents?
The combination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrous oxides (NOx), and particulate matter (PM) will create ground level ozone, the main constituent of smog. Ground level ozone has been linked with respiratory diseases, cancer, stroke, and premature death. VOCs on their own are carcinogens and have been linked to neurological and developmental issues, liver and kidney damage, and brain damage.
What kind of power plant is it?
It would be a 650 MegaWatt gas-fired plant with diesel fuel back up. The back up fuel could be used 720 hours per year, per turbine. (There would be 2 turbines.)
Where would the gas come from?
The gas would come from the Valley Lateral Pipeline, an as yet unbuilt pipeline proposed to connect the CPV Valley Energy Center with the existing Millennium Pipeline. The source of the gas would be fracked gas from wells in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
What is fracking?
Fracking is a method for extracting gas deposits from rock. In order to free the gas from the rock, millions of gallons of fresh water are contaminated with truckloads of chemicals and sand and forced under extreme pressure into wells that have been drilled deep into the earth, sometimes for miles. Typically, after a well reaches a certain depth it is then drilled horizontally, sometimes for additional miles. Along the way the frack fluid fractures the dense rock into fissures which frees the gas for extraction. The contaminated water is then removed, leaving the sand behind to keep the fractures open. Once the water is removed, the gas can move out and be captured.
The millions of gallons of water that have been used (per well) must then be disposed of. In some instances this contaminated water has been dumped into rivers and streams. Containment wells have also been used. In containment wells the water is pumped underground for storage. Recent studies have linked earthquakes to this process.
What effect could this plant have on home values in the area?
Some studies have estimated that home values in the area could decrease by as much as 15% For example, a 250 thousand dollar home could lose between 35 and 40 thousand dollars of its value.
What kind of emergency plan would be in place for this plant?
CPV has so far not released the details of an emergency plan. The Town of Wawayanda Planning Board Technical Review Comments dated May 8, 2013 states only that “The Facility’s Emergency Response Plan shall be submitted to the jurisdictional emergency services for review and approval prior to commercial operation of the facility.”
The on site 115,00 gallon ammonia storage tank will be at 19% concentration. If it were to be at 20% concentration the Clean Air Act and federal regulations would require that a catastrophic release model be developed. By using the 19% concentration CPV has avoided this requirement.
How many hours a day would the plant operate?
Once a plant like this begins operation it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is the lifespan of a plant like this?
If this plant is built would be with us for a least 30 years.
Are there alternatives to building a plant like this?
Yes! Plans for renewable energy from wind, water, and solar have been drawn up. A recent study has demonstrated that New York State could be fully powered by wind, water, and solar by 2030. For an introduction see http://thesolutionsproject.org
Who would be the customers for the electricity generated by this plant?
The plant would be built primarily to supply Westchester County and New York City. Claims that Orange County needs this new energy source are false.
Have local residents been informed about this power plant?
During the permitting process there were minimal efforts to inform those who would be most affected by this plant.
Will the plant’s operation require water to be used?
Yes. The water supply for the plant will be treated wastewater from the Sewage Treatment Plant of the City of Middletown, New York. And the wastewater produced by the CPV plant will be returned to the City of Middletown STP.
Is there a danger to the area’s water supply?
The land at the site is primarily wetlands. It is a low lying area that is prone to seasonal flooding. The escape of any of the treated wastewater as it travels to and from the plant, as well as the escape of ammonia or diesel fuel being stored at the plant, would harm plant and animal life and could contaminate the drinking water supply of the entire surrounding area. The air pollution emitted from the stacks from the fracked gas fuel will fall to earth and find its way into streams, rivers, and lakes. Also, pipelines leak. The fracked gas could contaminate underground water sources near these leaks.
What effect could this plant have on farms, orchards, and gardens in the area?
This plant would impact New York State’s precious Black Dirt Region, impacting farms, orchards, and gardens in Wawayanda, Wallkill, Mount Hope, Goshen, Florida, Chester, Minisink, Westtown, Pine Island, Warwick, Slate Hill, Pellets Island, Durlandville, and beyond.
Health risks to those working outside in the impacted areas, air and water pollution, and contamination of the soil are major concerns.
There are also numerous horse farms, dairy farms, and small animal farms in Orange County. All of these would be subjected to environmental effects as well.
Is there any way to protect oneself from the health risks of living near a plant like this?
The best protection would be to live somewhere else.
How many trucks a day will be using local roads to travel to and from the CPV site?
CPV has said that the number of trucks will be “hard to determine.”
Is there any way to stop this plant from being built?
Request that your name be added to our email list at http://firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept informed about the lawsuit against CPV and the Town of Wawayanda Planning Board that we have filed, and about ways that you can join in opposition to this plant.
Thank you for reading. Please inform your friends, family, and neighbors.