Onorato Seeks Update On Poletti Power Plant Closing
State Senator George Onorato (DAstoria), concerned about the continued overabundance of power plants in Western Queens and their impact on the public health and environment, recently wrote to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) requesting an update on plans to shutter the Charles Poletti power plant in Astoria.
In a letter to NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kessel, Senator Onorato wrote, "In September of 2002, I stood with former Governor George Pataki, New York Power Authority representatives, other elected officials, and concerned community members to applaud the announcement that the exceptionally dirty Charles Poletti power plant in my senate district in Astoria, Queens was slated for closing as early as February of 2008, but certainly by January of 2010. Given that Western Queens, the area I represent, is inundated with generating facilities and provides some 60 percent of the entire city's power, you can imagine what welcome news this was to all of us."
However, Onorato noted that he- together with other elected officials and community members- is now becoming concerned about the schedule for closing down the Poletti plant by the stated 2010 deadline.
"I am aware that two other projects that would help to generate needed electricity in the wake of the Poletti plant shutdown have been fraught with a variety of technical complications, cost overruns and a lack of access to credit," he wrote. "If these projects- specifically the cross- Hudson River cable project which is proposed to transport lower-cost energy from other states, and the new Astoria Energy L.L.C. plant- do not come to fruition, I would like to know how the loss of these generating facilities will impact the promised closing of the Poletti plant."
Continuing, Onorato wrote, "In this light, I would greatly appreciate a detailed response from the New York Power Authority outlining the Authority's plans and timeline for closing down the Poletti plant, as well as comprehensive information about the progress of the cross- Hudson cable and Astoria Energy facility. I am also concerned about reports that the Authority might consider building another power plant in Astoria in the event that these two projects do not succeed. My community cannot and will not accept the burden of yet another generating facility with its accompanying pollution and other negative effects on Western Queens."
Discussing his letter, Onorato said that he is looking forward to hearing back from the NYPA and "working together to ensure both adequate power and a cleaner environment for the people of Queens".