An upgrade downer: Power plant's $750 project may allow more toxins

Michael Gianaris

August 26, 2011

The Daily News wrote about the Luyster Creek power plant project that is supposed to generate energy more efficiently. There is no reason why western Queens has to be responsible for most of the city's power production.


The Luyster Creek plan would swap out one old generator for two cleaner-burning ones, and lower emissions of two other generators that are about 50 years old, Perri said.

But regulatory permits could actually allow the company to produce more pollution overall in Astoria.

For example, the plant would be allowed to increase its overall carbon monoxide output by almost 89 tons a year, Perri said. Nitrogen oxide could go up by almost 25 tons annually.

Perri insisted that just because the company is allowed to generate more pollution doesn't mean that it will.

"Our actual emissions will be below our permit levels," he said.

US Power, which also has two locations in Brooklyn, produces about a fifth of the city's total electricity, Perri said.

It also remains unclear whether the plan will be affected by the recent explosion at one of the company's generators, Perri said.

No injuries or environmental hazards were reported following the July 27 blast, which is still under investigation, he said.

Local elected officials expressed concern over the possible increase of emissions and bemoaned what they've called an overabundance of power plants in the area.

"This community cannot support a plan that has the potential to increase emissions further," said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). "There's too many power plants in one neighborhood.

"There's no reason why western Queens has to be responsible for most of the city's power production."

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