Today, the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) announced that it will withdraw its application to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for an air permit to operate a new fracking gas power plant in Newark and submit a new application that reflects the Commission’s new target of reduction of the pollution related to the proposed standby generator power project.
The PVSC also announced that it will launch a new public process to promote alternative sources of energy for renewable energy and will be engaging an energy advisor to identify ways to reduce their overall dependence on polluting fossil fuels.
The Newark power plant, which would be paid for in large part in taxpayer-funded FEMA dollars, is part of a post-Sandy resilience project. The 2012 storm caused the sewage treatment plant to lose power and billions of gallons of raw or partially purified wastewater poured into the Passaic.
A growing coalition is forming between Ironbound organizations and other groups in Newark and across the state. Last month, over 40 organizations called on Governor Murphy and the PVSC to stop the fossil fuel power plant and replace it with a clean renewable energy solution.
In response to today’s announcement from PVSC, Food & Water Watch, New Jersey State Director Matt Smith published the following statement:
“This is only a first step by PVSC, but it is encouraging to see that the Commission understands that the communities that would be affected by this polluting facility are struggling to stop it. Governor Murphy ultimately has the power to stop this power plant, and if he intends to meet his own commitments to climate, clean energy and environmental justice, he must replace this dirty energy proposal with a clean, renewable energy alternative to protect and promote public health for Newark residents and parishes downwind from the proposed facility. “