Bonacic: Ferc Shouldn't Let Mirant Walk Away

John J. Bonacic

February 06, 2006

State Senator John J. Bonacic today released a letter he has written to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Environmental Conservation on the reservoirs operated by Mirant in Sullivan County.

"It appears that Mirant is getting ready to walk away from its Swinging Bridge and possibly other reservoirs, leaving Sullivan County residents low and dry," Bonacic said - speaking of the lowered Swinging Bridge reservoir and the other reservoirs in Mirant’s area.

The Senator said that FERC should take steps to stop Mirant from surrendering its Federal licenses in the Sullivan County area. "FERC should take steps to prohibit Mirant at the national level from walking away from its local reservoirs without securing them and maintaining their recreational value. Mirant may be trying to pack its bags here, but they are going to want other things in other parts of the country and FERC should hold them accountable here, first," Bonacic said.

Senator Bonacic also said Mirant should not be allowed to hide behind its bankrupt New York sub-corporation. "In law, there is a theory called 'piercing the corporate veil'. That theory allows a parent company or corporate officer to be held liable for the wrongful act of the bankrupt company. To allow Mirant to leave us with unsafe dams and reservoirs of limited or no value would be to allow that company to shed its albatross while profiteering elsewhere in the nation. It is unethical and should not be allowed," Bonacic said.

Bonacic also stated that he has been informed that the construction company, ACT, a Canadian Company working on the Swinging Bridge dam, had walked left the job this past Friday as a result of a construction related dispute. However, Mirant officials told Bonacic that the orders have now been placed and Mirant was trying to get construction crews back on the job.

"I will continue to do all I can to hold Mirant’s feet to the fire. We cannot allow them to surrender their license without having assurances from FERC that Mirant will take care of its local obligations, first," concluded Senator Bonacic.