New Milford, Sherman, and Kent Residents Want Air Protected From Dover Power Plant
In the past year since Cricket Valley Energy Center broke ground in Dover Plains, NY local residents in Connecticut, namely people who live in New Milford, Sherman, and Kent, CT, have expressed their growing concerns in numerous ways.
Most recently, residents are reportedly requesting more air monitoring tests as the power plant gets closer to actually opening up shop in 2020, according to the News Times. These tests could determine baseline data before the plant starts generating power and before dangerous emissions are released. Tons of pollutants are expected to be produced by the plant annually, however according to officials these pollutants are expected to stay within the federal limits.
Recently about 100 local residents packed Kent Town Hall to discuss this issue with officials from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. According to newstimes.com, Michael Benjamin, chairman of the newly formed Western Connecticut Clean Air Action group, which was responsible for organizing the forum, had this to say:
This is a large, gas-powered facility under construction, not six miles from this hall, and our towns residents are very concerned.
Since the preliminary model studies show there should be no problems, DEEP officials will not be adding additional monitoring stations due to the high cost. Right now the closest DEEP monitoring station is 15 miles away on Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall.
Jaimeson Sinclair, an assistant director of air engineering and enforcement for DEEP told newstimes.com:
Predictive modeling is showing this plant is only going to contribute a fraction of pollutants to the ambient air here.
DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee stated that there may be few options for local residents due to the fact that Connecticut doesn’t have any jurisdiction over a New York project, which is in its own energy region.
The only way New Milford, Sherman or Kent residents could have any say is if the plant failed federal emissions standards and Connecticut wasn't able to reach the acceptable air standards.
One of the many gripes about the Cricket Valley plant was that Connecticut residents had no idea this plant was actually being built, until final plans for the plant were already approved.
Cricket Valley Representatives weren’t present at this recent meeting, but did release a statement stressing that the project was in compliance with state and federal regulations. They stated that they will operate using state-of-the-art emissions-reduction technology and will be monitored continuously by the NYSDEC for compliance with air quality permits.
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