New York Daily News -
Reject power plant
in W'burg: Schumer

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

Plans to build a power plant along Brooklyn's north waterfront suffered a blow yesterday when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke out against the idea.

Schumer asked the state's Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment to reject TransGas Energy System's application to build a 1,100-megawatt plant on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg border.

"Building this proposed plant...would be the wrong move for Brooklyn," Schumer wrote in a one-page letter to the siting board. The plant "would jeopardize economic development plans, and cost the area badly needed residential and commercial development."

TransGas filed its application in December, saying its proposed electric and steam-generating plant would provide power to more than 1 million New York homes.

"I am disappointed that the senator, who has shown himself to be a leader on so many issues, has taken this position at the expense of sound energy policy," said TransGas President Adam Victor.

The facility would reduce the nation's reliance on Saudi and foreign oil, and "produce clean, cheap, reliable energy for the senator's constituents," Victor said.

"We are more than willing to meet with Sen. Schumer should he desire to learn the real facts about the project and its many environmental, economic and energy benefits," Victor said.

Last month, the state board gave its first-round approval to the proposal, which set in motion a yearlong process of public hearings and reviews of the plan. The first public hearing is at 7 tonight in the Polish National House, 261 Driggs Ave., between Leonard and Eckford Sts.

The TransGas plan proposes a 9-acre site, spanning from North 12th and North 14th Sts., and Kent Ave. to the East River.

'Reclaiming the waterfront'

Many people in the community are against the plan.

Peter Gillespie, executive director of Neighbors Against Garbage, one of the leading organizations in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Task Force, added that the plant will spew more than 1,000 tons of toxic emissions per year.

"It violates the community plans to build residential, light-manufacturing, community and open-spaced areas," Gillespie added.

City Councilman David Yassky (D-Greenpoint) said Schumer's letter will play a key role in preventing the construction of the plant.

"This is not just a community saying 'Don't put something in my backyard,'" he said. "This is a much larger goal of reclaiming the waterfront for the city."