Activists rejoice after DEC fails to renew CPV’s air permit

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WAWAYANDA -

Local lawmakers and activists in Orange County are claiming victory after the state Department of Environmental Conservation decided last week not to renew the air permit for a controversial natural gas power plant.

The surprise reversal, which effectively shuts down the CPV power plant in Wawayanda, was made only four days before it was scheduled to finally reopen.

Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis says he wants the DEC to do more, citing corruption and the indictment of a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a pay-to-play scheme with CPV earlier this year as a reason to pull the plug on all the plant's permits.

Many who live around the plant also allege that CPV has been emitting toxic fumes since it started testing its operations in January.

While activists like Protect Orange County's Pramilla Malik are pleased CPV is on temporary hold, she says the DEC's permit denial won't stop the group's weekly protests or overall intent to see the plant shut down forever.

“We'll do exactly what we have been doing, because what we're doing is working,” she says.

CPV can now either appeal the DEC’s decision or go through a 45-day or longer regulatory process to try to get a new air permit through the EPA.

A CPV spokesperson wouldn't tell News 12 what the plant plans to do, other than “work through this.”

The DEC tells News 12 that the state did not renew CPV's air permit because the plant's current permit didn't meet regulatory requirements.

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