There are 18 fossil-fueled Peaker Plants in NYC, most of them in low-income communities. One of them, the Gowanus Plant, is in our own Brooklyn backyard, polluting not only the immediately adjacent neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Red Hook (both of them already heavily affected by industrial pollution) but also by others within a two-mile radius, including Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, and Greenwood Heights.
The Gowanus Peaker Plant, operated by the Astoria Generating Company (AGC), sits on barges near the mouth of the Gowanus Canal at 28th Street and 2nd Ave. It’s turned on about 30 hours a year. Because it is so old and polluting, NYS has mandated that the owners either put very expensive pollution controls on the plant — or close it down by 2023. Instead, with its Gowanus Repowering Project (GRP), the owners want to swap out its old mechanics for new ones, thus essentially putting a new plant in place of the old.
350 Brooklyn, along with other climate-justice organizations, has been waging a campaign for two years against the GRP, which is in the process of applying for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the NYS Public Service Commission. There has been no movement on the application for over a year, but AGC and its huge parent companies are watching our every word and action, so we know they're worried.
Moreover, the Clean Futures Act has been introduced in the NYS legislature. This bill would ban all new fossil fuel plants in the state. Yet, as we fight every plant individually, the more likely the comprehensive legislation can get passed. Every step, made by each one of us, is important in this time of Climate emergency.
In addition, we cooperate with other coalitions to stop fossil-fueled power plants, for example, the Astoria plant in Queens and the Danskammer plant in Newburgh, NY, both of which are currently in permitting processes. We are also grateful for the work of the PEAK Coalition, which consists of UPROSE, THE POINT CDC, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and Clean Energy Group. Indeed, many more individuals and coalitions will be needed to deal with the fossil fuel industry — the most powerful the Earth has ever endured.
We thank you for your participation.