WAWAYANDA SIX ARRAIGNED FOR DECEMBER BLOCKADE OF CPV PLANT
Those who have come to be called the “Wawayanda Six” were arraigned tonight,January 21, at Wawayanda Town Court, 80 Ridgebury Hill Road, Slate Hill, NY.
James Cromwell, Terri Klemm, Pramilla Malick, Naomi Miller, Maureen Murphy-Smolka and Madeline Shaw, represented by attorney Michael Sussman, entered pleas of not guilty in relation to charges of disorderly conduct/obstructing traffic from their December 18th, 2015 blockade of the Competitive Power Ventures Energy Project construction site on Route 6 in Wawayanda, NY.
The Wawayanda Six are part of a rapidly growing movement of local and regional citizens deeply concerned about the health and environmental impacts of the proposed 650-MW plant. The plant would create electricity using gas drawn from hydro-fracking – a process banned by Governor Cuomo in the State of NY because of its negative health impacts. The plant would also have a million-gallon diesel tank and 15,000-gallon ammonia tank – each creating high explosive risk.
Scientists estimate that the toxic emissions from the 28-story stacks would spread in a radius of at least 30 miles – making its effects felt dramatically in parts of Sullivan, Pike, and Sussex Counties as well as throughout the Lower Hudson Valley region. Weekly protests have drawn increasing participation from impacted residents of Pike County in PA and Sussex County in NJ, and two of those arrested in December live in Sussex County.
According to actor James Cromwell, actions like this are important because they draw attention not just to this power plant, but to the 300 others planned for the USA, “which must be stopped if we are going to live on this planet”.
Six Citizens Including Actor James Cromwell Arrested At Fracked-Gas Construction Site As Lawsuit to Halt Project Moves Forward
Slate Hill NY: Six citizens from both New York and New Jersey impacted by a controversial fracked-gas power plant in Orange County were arrested today as they blocked the construction site. They say the project creates unacceptable health and safety risks to the public.
The CPV Valley Energy Center, a 650 MW Gas-Fired power plant is now under construction by Maryland based venture capital firm Competitive Power Ventures despite intense local opposition and a lawsuit pending in the State Supreme Court of New York.
Earlier in the morning Attorney Michael Sussman, representing affected residents and opponents, held a press conference at the CPV site announcing the basis of an appeal filed at the Supreme Court of The State of New York. In a statement Sussman said that the project is “a past generation facility” and questioned Governor Cuomo’s contradictory approval of the power plant given the official state policy banning fracking:
“This very same Governor has presided over the expansion of an energy-creating infrastructure which promotes fracking in neighboring states and approves power plants, like CPV, which are highly dependent on the natural gas so produced. This policy decision is inconsistent with the values which informed last year’s announcement, short-sighted and must be reversed.”
Actor James Cromwell, member of Protect Orange County, was arrested when he locked himself to two other impacted residents, grandmother Madeline Shaw of Slate Hill and Pramilla Malick, a mother of 4 from Minsink, NY. Three others — Naomi Miller of Wawayanda, Terri Klemm of Branchville, NJ, and Maureen Murphy-Smolka of Sparta, NJ — joined hands along side of them to block entrance to the site. All six were arrested.
Members of the group arrested live as far away as 35 miles. They are calling on Governor Cuomo and state agencies to rescind permits for the power plant and halt the gas infrastructure build-out until further health studies are conducted. They note that the degree, kind, and range of health effects from fracked gas infrastructure are only beginning to be understood. Their opposition reflects a wave of protests against fracked-gas infrastructure throughout the state reaching critical mass almost one year to the date the Governor announced a ban on fracking.
James Cromwell was one of two people recently ejected from a local award dinner honoring the project sponsor, Competitive Power Ventures, after disrupting the event. The story made national news, bringing the environmental and health questions about CPV to the attention of NBC News viewers and People Magazine readers.
Court appearances are scheduled for January 4th, 2016 and January 21, 2016 in at the Town of Wawayanda Court.
Following are statements from all arrested on their reasons for engaging in this act of civil disobedience:
James Cromwell: “I am here in support of the people of this town, this country, and people all over the world who have a right to live in an environment that is not being polluted poisoned and devastated by an industry that cares more about its own profits than the well-being of all sentient beings.”
Naomi Miller: “In the context of the global climate movement we see this as a red line that we cannot cross if we hope for a healthy future for our children and grandchildren.”
Madeline Shaw: “I am doing this for my children and grandchildren. Orange County deserves better than this. This is a toxic and explosive hazard that we can’t live with.”
Pramilla Malick “CPV and Governor Cuomo are locking us into a toxic, dangerous, and unlivable future. We are being locked out of our homes and our way of life. Our entire community is being held hostage by the fracking industry.”
Terri Klemm: “We all have concern and the responsibility to act when something of this magnitude threatens our environment
Maureen Murphy-Smolka “I am very concerned about the impact this project will have on our regional air and water quality. These are shared resources and that no state should have the right to destroy.
James Cromwell and Pramilla Malick were escorted out of The Orange County Partnership’s Annual Event on Tuesday, Dec 1.
Click here for the THR article: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20151202/NEWS/151209876
RALLY TO PROTECT ORANGE COUNTY,
RALLY FOR PARIS & COP21
Middletown NY: This weekend, opponents of the 650 MW CPV Valley Plant will join hundreds of thousands of people from around the globe and rally to demonstrate their demand that world leaders gathering in Paris this coming week for COP 21 will meet the challenge to change the way that we power our planet. Plans for clean, renewable energy, if implemented immediately, may save our earth from climate catastrophe. A continued dependence on fossil fuels spells certain disaster.
Locally, the members of Protect Orange County will gather at the building site of the CPV Valley Energy Center, an electrical generating plant to be powered by fracked gas. “The CPV Valley Plant represents the wrong direction for New York State and the wrong direction for our planet. “, said a spokesperson for Protect Orange County. The plant will emit 2.1 million tons of green house gases annually. Yet, this figure does not even include leaking methane. According to Barbara Warren, an analyst for the Citizens Environmental Coalition, the actual global warming potential of the plant would be 4 times that amount at just a 5% leakage rate.
All are invited to attend. The group will meet at the CPV site on Route 6, less than a mile south of the intersection of Routes 6 and 17M just outside Middletown, NY. at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 28th. Rain or shine, we will be there with our signs and our hopes for a better future.
Protect Orange County, is also proud to be a signatory to a letter issued by frontline communities to world leaders demanding an ethical energy plan and an end to sacrifice zones. On Saturday at the rally they will echo this call to our own Governor and urge him to rescind the permits for CPV and transition the state to renewable energy. They note that the Governor banned fracking stating that he would not sacrifice the southern tier and now they call for equal protection for Orange County.
Also featured at the rally will be the 50 foot United States of Fracking Banner that tells the stories of communities across the country impacted by fracking, including Minisink NY. The neighboring town lost their challenge of a Millennium Pipeline 12,260 HP compressor station several years back, that opponents say was built to serve the CPV plant. The banner has travelled across the country to tell the story of communities being sacrificed for the gas industry and fracking.
New York City: The Illuminators projected a protest message to Governor Cuomo upon the Harvard Club in Manhattan on Thursday night during his fundraising event there, on behalf of frontline communities impacted by a growing number of fracked-gas infrastructure projects in NY such as pipelines and power plants, (Pictures attached). The message urged the Governor to stop a controversial gas power plant project in Orange County that has received all state approvals and started construction despite intense local opposition.
URGING HIM TO PULL THE PLUG ON THE CPV VALLEY ENERGY PROJECT
Press Contact: Pramilla Malick 646-498-1742 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
New York City: The Illuminators projected a protest message to Governor Cuomo upon the Harvard Club in Manhattan on Thursday night during his fundraising event there, on behalf of frontline communities impacted by a growing number of fracked-gas infrastructure projects in NY such as pipelines and power plants, (Pictures attached). The message urged the Governor to stop a controversial gas power plant project in Orange County that has received all state approvals and started construction despite intense local opposition. The CPV Valley project is a new 650 MW combined cycle gas plant that would take Marcellus shale fracked gas from the Millennium Pipeline, through the equally controversial Minisink Compressor station, and convert it to power for the wholesale energy market in NY. The project is being built by Maryland based Competitive Power Ventures. According to Common Cause, the company made sizable donations to Governor Cuomo throughout the project’s approval process.
Protect Orange County, a group representing the New York communities impacted by the project, protested at the fundraiser earlier in the evening wearing cow masks, calling themselves “The Angry Cows”. A statement issued by the group said“ As we celebrate the Governor’s decision to reject the Port Ambrose LNG project we urge him to be consistent and also reject the CPV plant, along with several pipeline projects his DEC has jurisdiction over. All of us need equal environmental protection. Why is Orange County being sacrificed?” Protestors say they dressed as cows to represent all the dairy farms that would be impacted by the project, which would release 2.1 million tons of green house gases into the atmosphere annually along with many toxic chemicals. They say that it would not only risk the health and safety of local residents, but also contaminate the many dairy farms surrounding the project site, which is in a designated class two agricultural district and critical environmental area.
Although the protest planned for Governor Cuomo’s fundraiser at the Harvard Club became a celebration rally after the Governor’s announcement of the veto, the protestors were still there to remind the Governor that much more needs to be done to extend the environmental, health, and safety protections (discussed in his earlier press statement) to all New Yorkers. Protestor Pina Flores, said “I think its incoherent for the Governor to have approved the CPV Valley project, while he claims to understand that fracking is harmful. Is he saying it’s ok to frack our neighbors in PA, or the New Yorkers living near the infrastructure?” Frontline community supporters say they will continue to protest the Governor until he rescinds the state permits for several fracked gas projects that are being developed in New York.
October 13, 2015
Goshen, NY: Michael Sussman, attorney for opponents of the CPV Valley Energy Project, a 650MW facility planned for Wawayanada, NY has filed a Notice of Appeal upon the project sponsor, Competitive Power Ventures, and the Town of Wawayanda Planning Board, lead agency for the environmental review.