VIDEO: Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley Appears to Deny 90 Days Public Comment in Scoping.

At last night’s Town of Ulster Town Board meeting, Town of Ulster citizens made a consistent request of their Town Board (who is Lead Agency in SEQR for the proposed Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a gas-fired power plant project in the Town of Ulster) for a 90 day public comment period during the Scoping process.

At the end of a productive public comment period, Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley asked the rhetorical question,  “Can I see a show of hands how many people want the Town of Ulster to comply with NYS SEQR law?”

Confused, citizens responded, “What do you mean? The 90 days?”

No, no, no, no. I asked a question. How many people want the town to comply with the SEQR law?” asked Supervisor Quigley.

What does that mean?” said citizens.

Well you should have done your homework before you asked for 90 days!”  he snipped.

Stunned, the citizens yelled out “Who do you think you are?” and “We’re not voting for you next time.”

“Fine with me.” said Supervisor Quigley.

I guess the answer is no for the extension.” said a citizen as he exited the room.

That appears to be the case. We’ll see.

 

12:07 – 15:32
Regis Obijiski   Ledge Road, Town of Ulster
“…in light of the open meetings law, please publish changes to agenda at least 24 hours in advance so that citizens can make plans to attend…second point, please extend public comment in scoping in SEQR to 90 days….the proposed project has escaped far beyond a decision to accept or reject complicated concerns such as human health, environmental impact, safety and residential properties abound….third point, comments and questions from citizens who submitted comments and given verbally to GlidePath at their 1/17 meeting should ask those questions again by submitting them during the Scoping process….lastly we are planning citizens scoping meetings to dissuade or defeat the power plant as proposed.”

15:50 – 18:20
Laura Hartman, Birch Street, Town of Ulster
“….thank you Town Clerk for adding going forward meeting schedule onto the town calendar…as representative of the TownOfUlsterCitizens.org, I am submitting two petitions this evening. One with approx. 279 of concerned citizens throughout the Hudson Valley, and one with 57 signatures from your consituents here in the Town of Ulster….it was originally written and supported by (the coalition) and I thank them for their support….we request that you provide a public comment period of 90 days and we thank you for your consideration.”

19:04 – 24:00
Fred Gnesin, Ledge Road, Town of Ulster

“…I along with 137 homeowners along with 100 or so renters in Ulster Gardens apartments who will be affected by the GlidePath project as it is currently formulated. It would seem that consideration of this location was the result of visual impairment and lack of thoughtful and humane consideration of the proximate population. It should be noted that the estimated value of the 137 residences is conservatively valued at approximately $32 million dollars. The value of such homes would decrease by 20% – 50% depending upon the selling stampede to evacuate the area due to the realistic potential of pollution and catastrophic fire hazard, water runoff, wild life eradication, noise, etc. that the project will clearly present. The proposal contemplates an unmanned facility,  controlled remotely from a point in the midwest….that is somewhat akin to auto pilot airplane without anyone sitting in the cockpit.  Shit happens. No facility like this has ever been built by GlidePath….its outcome at best would cause irrevocable harm to innocent residents of the Town of Ulster. Your fellow neighbors are expected to sacrifice for some fat cat hedge fund managers from Chicago, and the ToU will have gained nothing but potential three mile island….”

“15 seconds…” said Town of Ulster Town Board member John Morrow.

“You can read the rest, unless I am granted the opportunity…” said citizen Neeson.

Additional time was granted by Town Board Member Eric Kitchen.

“….the project would not hire anyone in the area. It is a no-win situation for us….I am a registered Republican all of my life, an independent thinker and fiscal conservative. Partisan opinions have nothing to do with this matter. This is personal.”

24:24 – 28:33
Dan Furman, Risely Street, Town of Ulster

“…Something disturbing has come to light.  We questioned their (GlidePath) credentials and how they could do this safety.  “We’re experts! We know what we’re doing”. They told us during their presentations that emissions would be 195 lbs per kWh. Their poster said this, the slides said this, and the guys in suits and ties said this….but they were challenged that night on that number she said not only is the number too low, it’s physically impossible. Apparently she as right. She said GlidePath called her and said, ‘yeah, you’re right. There was a mistake on the spreadsheet. It isn’t 195 lbs per kWH, it’s   850 lbs per KwH.” …when you’re going to build a powerplnt like this, the residents living near it have two concerns. Emissions and noise. If they’re experts in the this, how could they make such a big mistake on that number, and stand up there and tell us…this isn’t like they spelled the Town’s name wrong, or put down the wrong address. That’s a mistake. What this says to me is that they don’t know. They are going to build 80 foot smoke stakes and they don’t know what’s going to come out of them…does that bother you? It bothers me. They are not experts. They are executives. That number is not only wrong, it’s stunningly wrong.”

28:57 – 31:24
Karen Spanier, Lakeview Avenue, Town of Ulster

“I am concerned with the 850 lbs per KwH. That’s why I am asking for 90 days, to have more time to do homework.”

31:52 – 34:55
Vincent Guido, Old Flatbush Road, Town of Ulster

“The ask tonight is to have a 90 day public comment period….I would urge the Town Board to give the residents to look at these documents, get the help that they need and even help to inform you.  Do we want to sacrifice a little bit of tax base and an extended water line for the quality of life in our town?”

35:30 – 36:30
“How long before the citizens will know if you’re going to grant us the 90 days?

Supervisor Quigley: “Can I see a show of hands how many people want the ToU to comply with NYS SEQR law?”

Citizens:  “What do you mean? The 90 days?”

Supervisor Quigley: “No, no, no, no. I asked a question. How many people want the to town to comply with the SEQR law.”

Citizens: “What does that mean?”

Supervisor Quigley: “Well you should have done your homework before you asked for 90 days!”

Citizens:: “Wow. Stunning. We’re not voting for you next time.”

Supervisor Quigley:  “Fine with me.”

Citizens: “Who do you think you are? I guess the answer is no for the extension.”

NEXT UP:

The Town of Ulster will host a public scoping meeting on Thursday, February 22nd at 7:00pm at Town Hall. GlidePath was stated to be present by Town Board members at the recent Scoping educational panel.  Citizens from around the county are invited to (and should) attend.

More details shortly.

VIDEO: “Battery Storage, Climate and the Grid: The Proposed Lincoln Park Project in Context” Hosted by Citizens For Local Power

 

On Tuesday, February 13, Citizens for Local Power hosted an excellent public educational forum “Battery Storage, Climate and the Grid:  The Proposed Lincoln Park Project n Context”.

With a proposal on the table to build a power plant in the Town of Ulster that combines a 20-megawatt gas-fired plant with battery storage, the group brought together a panel of experts that included: Jen Metzger, Director, Citizens for Local Power (moderator) Energy Storage 101: What We All Need to Know with Dr. William Acker Executive Director, New York Battery and Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST); Karl Rabago, Executive Director, Pace Energy & Climate Center and Co-Director of the Northeast Solar Energy Market Coalition and, Emissions Impacts of the Proposed Lincoln Park Project with Evelyn Wright, Energy Economist, Sustainable Energy Economics, and member of Citizens for Local Power.

Video made by The Kingston News, brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org

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Because Evelyn Wright’s presentation spoke directly to the Lincoln Park project emissions impact, we will start here and extract some of the key points that she made that is new information to us and important for our community to have.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO REVIEW
Emissions Impacts of the Proposed Lincoln Park Project with Evelyn Wright, Energy Economist, Sustainable Energy Economics, and member of Citizens for Local Power

1:38 – 2:07
GLIDEPATH MISREPRESENTED ITS GAS EMISSIONS NUMBERS.  GlidePath said this week that emission rate / diesel emissions was to be 800-850 lbs/MWH and not 195 which is the number they gave us at their open house meeting in the Town of Ulster on January 17th.   “I told them that I thought 195 was impossible, and last week they called to confirm me that they had made a mistake in their spread sheet. Sorry.”

5:31 – 6:51
TOTAL YEARLY EMISSIONS OF LINCOLN PARK PROJECT EQUAL TO ALL HOUSEHOLDS IN THE TOWN OF ULSTER OR 1.5% OF ALL OF ULSTER COUNTY’S EMISSIONS.  The total emissions for the Lincoln Park project during the course of the year is 30,272 metric tons CO2 equivalent, about equal to the annual emissions from all households in the Town of Ulster, or 1.5% of all Ulster County emissions.

7:03 – 11:04
RENEWABLES DON’T REQUIRE FOSSIL FUEL FOR BACK-UP.  “GlidePath is making the argument that this project is supporting clean energy and it supports renewables….I wanted to break that down for you, because I think that’s something we’re going to hear GlidePath say over and over, ‘Well, if you’re going to have renewenables you’ve got to have fossils to back them up.’ That’s not true here.”

12:01 – 13:18
IF OUR AREA DOESN’T NEED PEAK CAPACITY, WHY DID GLIDEPATH CHOOSE ULSTER FOR IT’S PROJECT?  “We know that the peak load in this region is declining. so we don’t need this peak capacity here. Our air quality has been improving to the point where in the last several years, we haven’t had any unhealthy air quality days at all.  This is not true downstate where they really do need this additional peak energy.  It’s much harder to get your air permits to build a facility like this in places that the EPA has designated bad air quality….we live in a remarkably clean place but that is literally why they are proposing this project here because they think they can get the permits more easily here because our air has room for pollution in it.”

13:21 – 15:58
GLIDEPATH IS A STORAGE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY COMPANY. THEY’VE NEVER BUILT A FOSSIL PROJECT BEFORE.  “Glidepath has never built a project like this before. They are a storage and renewables company…I don’t know how they convinced themselves this was a great thing for them to do in order to get into the NYS market, because they have not built a fossil project before.”

 

 

VIDEO #2
Please click on the image to review

 

45:01 – 47:19
ENERGY STORAGE IS CHEAPER THAN A “PEAKER”.  “Energy storage is already cheaper than a Peaker…ths project (Lincoln Park) is about making a Peaker cheaper with storage but head to head, storage wins standing on its own and, if we continue to develop and use storage wisely, we can get it down to the range where it starts competing with combined natural gas and we can really do something about carbon emissions.”

 

VIDEO #3
Please click on the image to review


45:28 – 46:01

“DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA IF THIS PLANT WILL MAKE NOISE?”  “I heard Peter Rood (principal of GlidePath) say if he were a neighbor, his biggest concern would be the noise….these things are loud.”

 

VIDEO & POWERPOINT: SEQR and the Scoping Process: Lincoln Park Power Plant Project

Click on IMAGE to download powerpoint.

On Friday, February 9th Environmental Advocacy Director Hayley Carlock and Land Use Advocacy Director Jeffrey Anzevino of Scenic Hudson joined close to 50 Town of Ulster residents and two Town Board Members (Morrow and Secreto) to discuss the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center’s SEQRA process and why public participation in developing the scope for the environmental impact statement is important.

“Public involvement reduces the likelihood that unaddressed issues will arise during public review of the draft EIS. From the public’s perspective, scoping is important because it offers an opportunity to ensure the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is as comprehensive as possible to minimize the project’s environmental impact on the community. It also increases the likelihood the project will be consistent with community values.”

Presented by Scenic Hudson. Sponsored by KingstonCitizens.org in partnership with CAPP-NY, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Riverkeeper and the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

Thanks to The Kingston News for filming this event, brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org.

WELCOME TownOfUlsterCitizens.org!

KingstonCitizens.org wishes to welcome our new sister organization TownOfUlsterCitizens.org, a non-partisan, citizen run organization focused on increasing citizen engagement and creating a better Town of Ulster, NY.   VIEW

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

1. Town of Ulster Citizens should attend the next Town Board meeting on Thursday, February 15th and request a longer public comment period (90 days).  VIEW

2. The public and municipal leaders are invited to attend the upcoming educational panel “Battery Storage, Climate, and the Grid: An Educational Forum hosted by Citizens for Local Power” presented by Citizens For Local Power on February 13th.  VIEW 

IMPORTANT DATES

1. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th at 7pm “Battery Storage, Climate, and the Grid: An Educational Forum hosted by Citizens for Local Power”. VIEW

2. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15th at 7pm:  Town of Ulster Town Board Meeting. Citizens should request for a longer public comment period in the Scoping process.
VIEW  Petition Language

3.  THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd.   Public Scoping Meeting, Town of Ulster   VIEW

4. THURSDAY, MARCH 22nd.    Deadline for written comments.

IMPORTANT MATERIALS

1. Draft Scope for Lincoln Park Grid Support Center.   VIEW

2. Concept Plan: Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. VIEW

3. Full EIS Part 1. VIEW

4. Full EIS Part 2. VIEW

5. FEAF for the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center. VIEW

Read more…

NEXT STEPS: ToU Town Board Make Pos Dec Determination in Lincoln Park Grid Proposal

 

By Rebecca Martin

Last night (2/1), the Town of Ulster (ToU) Town Board added a late entry to their Town Board Workshop Meeting regarding the Lincoln Park Grid Support Center, a gas-fired power plant being proposed in the ToU.  As Lead Agency, the Town Board presented and passed a resolution for a Positive Declaration (pos dec) determination in SEQR, as well as proposed a public scoping session on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:00pm at Town of Ulster Town Hall.

ToU citizen Laura Hartman attended the meeting last evening with several other concerned citizens. During public comment, Hartman graciously thanked the board for making a positive declaration for the proposal.

“I’d like to ask for 90 days for public input and for items like this to be listed in advance so that the public can have the chance to see (items that are of interest to them) to participate in the meetings” Listen at at 27:28

 

 

 

Our coalition of partners (that includes CAPP-NY, Catskill Mountainkeeper, KingstonCitizens.org, Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson and Woodstock Land Conservancy) has been waiting for a pos dec determination.  In preparation, we created a letter that was ready to submit first thing this morning to Supervisor Quigley and the ToU Town Board requesting a 90 day public comment period with at least two public scoping meetings  given the magnitude of the proposal.

 

TAKE ACTION NOW.

Citizens can help. Please SIGN OUR PETITION and request that the ToUTown Board as Lead Agency allow for a 90-day public comment period with at least two public scoping meetings on the Draft Scope of the Proposed Lincoln Park Grid Project

 

A LITTLE INSIDE BASEBALL. Connecting the dots.

A Positive Declaration is “a determination by the lead agency that an action may result in one or more significant environmental impacts and so will require the preparation of an EIS before agency decisions may be made regarding the action. The positive declaration starts the EIS process.”

A pos dec and public scoping process is a great step for our communities and county.  However, the ToU Town Board has already scheduled a public scoping meeting to occur on February 22nd without releasing the draft scoping document.

Why is that significant?

A draft scope is submitted to the Lead Agency (and in this case, the Town of Ulster) by the applicant  (GlidePath via Chasen & Company, their consultant) to release to the public.  I like to think of a draft scope document as a ‘table of contents’.  Typically, a 30 day window occurs for the public to review the document so to be sure that all items of concern for study are included.  There is no one better to do this work than the citizens who live within proximity to the project with the support of the environmental advocates who have dedicated their life’s work to the protection of the area.

All of these items end up in the scoping document and will require the applicant to pay for consultants to do the required studies. This will be a costly process for GlidePath. Given the public’s disdain for  the proposal, it will be interesting to see how far they go as a true indication of it’s profitability.

Speaking of which, while a project is undergoing the SEQR process, it cannot apply for any applicable tax incentives or grants. So that is an entirely other item that citizens will want to pay close attention to as we proceed

The ToU Town Board has already set the public scoping meeting to be 2/22 according to their agenda item without the release of the draft scope. This is problematic and indicates that they intend to release it sometime between now and the 22nd, banking on a 30 day window. This would leave the public with limited time to review and ask questions for a proposal of great magnitude.  As far as I know, this is the first peaker gas plant being proposed in Ulster County. The project plans to re-connect new gas infrastructure at a time that citizens living in Ulster County and New York State have expressed their intention to segue from fossil fuels to renewables. A natural gas peaker power plant created by a company from the Midwest most certainly doesn’t do that.

 

ADDITIONAL READING:

DAILY FREEMAN:  Ulster Town Board Members Declare Proposed Electric Generating Plant May Harm Environment.

KINGSTON TIMES:  Ulster Power Plant People Get an Earful at Forum.

VIDEO: Town of Ulster Citizens Tell Elected Officials and GlidePath “We don’t want this project”