FACT NUMBER ONE: OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS TGE's TARGET!
What They Claim...What We Know!
TGE claims we need this plant to meet our city's growing energy demands.
Last year, industry groups estimated that we should add 2,000-3,000
megawatts of new generating capacity over the next five years to make
New York City the most competitive and efficient energy market in the
United States. Since that time, 1,390 new megawatts of energy have
either been built or are currently under construction. An additional
1,631 megawatts have been approved and will be built pending financing.
(TGE's project does not have any financing beyond the application
stage.) Therefore, there are more than enough new projects either being
built or already approved to more than meet both the current and
projected energy needs for New York City.
TGE claims the plant will not harm the environment.
TGE's claim that it
will reduce local emissions by millions of pounds per year is false
advertising and has been reported by the Task Force and local elected
officials to the New York State Attorney General's Office for
investigation. In fact, TGE's proposed plant would introduce some 1,000
tons of additional toxic emissions into our local environment each year,
including more than 400 tons of particulate matter. As it is, this
community is home to the City's highest concentration of waste transfer
stations, the largest sewage treatment plant on the eastern seaboard, a
17-million gallon Mobil Oil spill (larger than the Exxon Valdez spill),
a nuclear waste disposal facility, and over 3,500 trips per-day of
commercial truck traffic. North Brooklyn presently does not meet
National Ambient Air Quality Standards for carbon monoxide, ozone
precursors, and particulate matter. The TGE plant would compound these
problems and jeopardize a cleaner future for our waterfront.
TGE Claims Its Plant Does Not Pose A Threat To Community Health.
particulate matter has been linked to increased asthma rates, upper
respiratory illness, lung cancer and increased frequency of heart
attacks and cardiac fatalities. Areas of our community already have the
third-highest rate of asthma and childhood leukemia in the City, and a
cancer rate several times higher than the national average. The proposed
plant is adjacent to a new public park and private residences, and just
a few blocks from McCarren Park, schools, businesses, houses of worship,
a land-marked historic district, and a proposed national historic site.
The plant's 325-foot-tall smokestack would disperse its emissions
another 2.5 miles into the surrounding area, with prevailing winds
driving these pollutants directly into the densely populated Greenpoint
and Williamsburg neighborhoods.
TGE Claims Its Plant Will Support The Local Economy.
The Polish & Slavic
Federal Credit Union has estimated that property values near the site
would fall as much as 40% after construction of this plant. Developers
have also threatened to suspend projects intended to revitalize the
waterfront; this would result in the loss of hundreds of union
construction jobs expected to last more than a decade. Local businesses
are expected to suffer as well. There are also concerns that TGE will
threaten the viability of the NYC 2012 Olympic bid. In short, the
overall economic loss to our community will be devastating.
What's The Alternative?
Every government- and community-sponsored
planning study of this waterfront site has called for redevelopment
consistent with the robust socioeconomic growth experienced by the
community over the last twenty years. This includes rezoning to create
opportunities for residential and commercial development, as well as
parks and public access to the shoreline. The community's detailed plans
for rezoning and redevelopment were recently approved by the City
Council and the Department of City Planning is currently in the process
of enacting those plans. The TGE plant, located less than two blocks
from the long-awaited waterfront park (co-developed by NYU and the State
of New York), would jeopardize these plans, which community groups have
worked on for more than ten years.
What Must Be Done?
Before TGE can build plant it must win approval from
the State in a licensing process known as Article X, conducted by the
New York State Public Service Commission ("PSC"). Under state law, both
TGE and the PSC must seek community input on the proposed project.
Currently, TGE is trying to complete its formal application after
completing a series of impact studies. TGE has announced that it plans
to file its application by the end of 2002. At that point, TGE will
attempt to advance its proposal through a series of hearings, briefs,
and permit approvals. The Task Force has secured legal representation
from the Pace University Energy Project, New York's leading energy law
institute. With their help, we are challenging TGE in the Article X
process and convincing the State that TGE's proposal poses serious
environmental, health and economic risks both to this community and the
City of New York.
How You Can Help!
A victory over TGE is within our means, but it will
take time, money, and plenty of good old-fashioned community action. The
Task Force has mounted an ambitious community outreach and action
campaign. Funds must be raised to pay the legal and administrative costs
of this battle, and volunteers are needed to address the hundreds of
tasks, large and small, that will add up to success. Letters, emails,
faxes, and phone calls must be made by each and all of us to our elected
officials to let them know the TGE plan is wrong for our community.
And--because TGE is required to submit a monthly report with the
Department of Public Service, including all letters TGE receives from
the public--we need to make our voices heard there as well.
Click here to VOLUNTEER or contact your
REPRESENTATIVES or TGE.