Comptroller pens letter to NYSDEC opposing NRG Energy’s proposals for Astoria power plant, with aim of protecting the well being of Astoria residents and the environment
Stringer calls on DEC to require the project undergo a full environmental review
Comptroller Stringer: “Instead of doubling down on fracked natural gas, I believe we must commit to a future powered by innovative, clean energy technologies that can transform the Astoria waterfront into a hub of sustainability.”
Today, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer sent a letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Environmental Permits expressing opposition to NRG Energy’s Astoria Replacement Project — a fossil fuel initiative that would pose environmental risks to the local Astoria community and undermine the fight for a more sustainable city. The letter called on the DEC to ensure that the project undergoes a thorough environmental impact assessment that assesses how the plant would be compatible with the State and City’s ambitious climate goals. Comptroller Stringer noted in the letter that the proposed plant would run on fracked gas — posing a direct threat to the health and well being of local Astoria residents and the broader climate.
The letter recommended that NRG undertake a comprehensive review of non-fossil fuel project alternatives that would improve local air quality, and provide strong, resilient power supply to meet demand. The Comptroller highlighted how a mix of renewables such as wind, solar, and battery storage systems could help power the energy grid and provide a model for how to retire other peaker plants across the city and state.
Comptroller Stringer also noted that the proposal comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed stark disparities in health care and disease burden on low-income communities of color — communities that have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution and thus at greater risk from COVID-19. The letter called on any environmental review to include an analysis of the proposal’s impact on air pollution and the need to properly retrofit the existing plant to mitigate air pollution if the project does not move forward.
The full text of the letter can be found below andhere.