The Northport Village Board recently joined opposition to a proposed power plant on 14.4 acres in Kings Park siting environmental and health concerns, as well as the need to make use of existing facilities such as the Northport power plant.
Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures submitted a proposal to the Long Island Power Authority to build a 400 megawatt natural gas-powered power generation facility on Townline Road in Kings Park in the beginning of this year. The proposal is among 28 other on-Island proposals that LIPA is considering. More information is available here.
LIPA would not comment on the proposal because the procurement phase of the RFP is ongoing. A decision is expected in the fall.
The village's resolution, passed in a special meeting Oct. 9, urges the State of New York, the LIPA, the Town of Smìthtown and the Suffolk County Legislature to reject the proposal based upon a number of factors:
- The proposed site is located in Groundwater Management Zone I and bulk storage of toxic and hazardous materials over 250 gallons is prohibited;
- The plant runs on natural gas and would require on-site storage of 600,000 gallons of distillate petroleum, qualifying it as a major oil facility;
- The site is currently zoned for residential and light industrial use and CPV's proposed usage would require a zone change under the Town of Smithtown's code to Heavy Industrial use;
- The area and its road network is already burdened with a resource recovery facility, a sand mine, and cement and asphalt plants so that downzoning the Carlson property to permit this proposed Heavy Industrial use poses an unacceptable threat to groundwater aquifer and the Well-being of residents living in or near Kings Park;
Trustee Henry Tobin said that the village's main concern is putting the aquifer at risk. "The last thing we need is for more groundwater contamination that may close more wells, which might force Suffolk County Water Authority to drill even deeper into our aquifers and tap the thousand year replenishment aquifer, the Lloyd," he said.
Tobin said he is also concerned that building another power plant is going to lessen the likelihood that an existing one is repowered.
"Rebuilding, i.e. repowering, the Northport or Port Jefferson plants, when done properly, could reduce the level of air pollution, reduce harm to the aquatic environment and produce energy more efficiently," said Tobin. "If we risk forgoing the benefits because another power plant is being built than we're going to be suffering the loss of a great opportunity."
Tobin said that there has been talk about repowering the Northport Power Plant, though no formal details have been revealed. "We haven't been notified by LIPA about anything," he said, "Though we're seeking information."
The Huntington Town Board passed a similar resolution on Aug. 14 with Councilman Mark Cuthbertson emphasizing the impact on surrounding residents in East Northport and Fort Salonga. The Townline Association, a nonprofit organization comprised of residents and merchants from the Smithtown and Huntington Townships, is leading the opposition.