STONY POINT, NY – Three New York State Senators today held a public hearing to gauge answers from a company, Transmission Developers, Inc., who is developing the Champlain Hudson Power Express – a project designed to deliver clean wind and hydro power to the New York metropolitan area.
At a press conference shortly before the scheduled public hearing that was held in the afternoon, the bi-partisan delegation spoke about what they hoped to learn from the 4-hour Q&A session, listening to both proponents of the plan and giving residents a chance to voice their concerns.
“We are here in Stony Point, because this is a major flashpoint in the fight over whether New York State should continue to control its own generation and transmission future, or whether we should simply outsource our citizen’s property, jobs and energy needs to another country,” said Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “Beyond the economic dangers the project poses, The Champlain-Hudson Power Express will likely also result in the use of eminent domain to take away the property rights of residents and turn a historic revolutionary war era cemetery into a construction site. This is wrong, and we cannot allow it to happen.”
“It is my hope that today’s public hearing will bring to light the many unanswered questions and concerns that the people of Rockland County deserve to have answered,” said Senator Carlucci. “We need to find what the costs associated with the construction of the project will be, how it will impact energy costs for consumers, will this result in any potential job or tax revenue losses for local communities, and most importantly is this in the best interest of the Lower Hudson Valley.”
“This hearing is a wonderful opportunity for the residents of Stony Point
to have their voices heard and express their reservations and deep concerns about the proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express project,” said Senator Bill Larkin (R-C-I, Cornwall-on-Hudson). “This project cannot be allowed to destroy historic landmarks and infringe on resident’s property while alternative energy sources are available to us without the devastation to people’s lives. I want to thank Senator Maziarz for allowing the citizens of Stony Point and the surrounding communities the opportunity to make sure the impact on their lives is understood and the severity of the situation is heard by all.”
The public hearing featured Donald Jessome, President and CEO of Transmission Developers, as well as scores of Stony Point advocates, environmental and labor organizations, as well as local and state elected officials.
According to the plan, cables will be buried underwater in the Hudson River running from the U.S.-Canadian border through New York, heading south through Rockland County before heading back into the Hudson River.
This has caused many concerns for residents of the North Rockland community who claim this plan will severely impact their quality of life, environment, economic development, and leave open the possibility of eminent domain.
Back in 2011, Senator Maziarz introduced legislation (S.7391/A.10530) that would prevent gas and electric companies from expanding transmission lines or electric generating facilities that originate outside of New York, and in doing so not allow the use of eminent domain for public purposes in certain circumstances.
Supporters of the bill argue that projects such as the Champlain Hudson Power Express do not encourage economic development or employment opportunities within New York, and instead invest in its own energy infrastructure opposed to importing energy
Senators David Carlucci and Bill Larkin both are co-sponsors on the bill.