New York Daily News -
Plant project hits roadblock
Monday, April 5th, 2004

Community advocates battling a massive power plant proposed for the Greenpoint waterfront may be one step closer to winning their fight.

The 1,500-megawatt power plant pushed by private developer TransGas Energy got a thumbs down last week from a pair of hearing examiners overseeing the project's approval process under Article X of the New York State Public Service Law.

The project still must go before the panel that ultimately approves new power plants - the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment. A final decision is expected by June 5.

But to date, the board has never reversed the hearing examiners' recommendation, officials confirmed.

Community opponents, who charge the plant will scuttle waterfront development and cause pollution, hailed the examiners' decision. It is the third prominent rejection of the proposed project, which calls for a combined electricity and steam plant at Kent Ave. and North 12th St., activists noted.

Last spring, Mayor Bloomberg came out against the project, saying he preferred housing or open space at the site. In December, staff experts from the Public Service Commission also recommended rejecting the proposal.

"This is strike three against this project," said Councilman David Yassky (D-Greenpoint).

Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D-Greenpoint) also applauded the decision.

"This is a major victory for the North Brooklyn residents and for all communities that are on the waterfront," he said.

Len Shapiro, TransGas project manager, blasted the recommendation and said the project is crucial to the city's future energy needs. The company plans to file documents countering the recommendation, he said.

"By the April 1 recommendation's logic, no plant would ever be approved anywhere a municipality wishes to propose another use," Shapiro said in a statement.