As Hudson River Desalination Plan Advances, Local Groups Push Back
Submitted by Elizabeth Mooney on Thu, 2012-02-23 16:58.
The Rockland Water Coalition, which opposes desalination plant plans, will host a public information meeting tonight, Thursday, February 23. A few weeks later, on March 6, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which has issued preliminary permits for the plant, will hold a public hearing. The DEC has set an April 20 deadline for public comment.
Steve Goudsmith, a spokesman for United Water New York, said the state Public Service Commission has mandated the company to provide additional water supply, and that the Hudson River desalination project is the most cost-effective to build and operate. Water conservation alone won't be adequate, he said.
Established in 1869, United Water New York, based in West Nyack, provides water and wastewater services to about 270, 000 customers in Rockland and Orange counties.
Haverstraw Bay, where the water intake pipe would be, is considered the aquatic nursery of the Hudson River, hosting marine life that enters the river to spawn before heading back to the Atlantic Ocean, The Journal News reported.
In its opposition to the plan, the Rockland Water Coalition posted this statement on its Web site: "Sustainable water strategies can strengthen our economy while protecting our environment. We call on Rockland County to adopt a water management policy that includes: better coordination of land-use planning, an active program to preserve open space, green infrastructure to reduce flooding and increase recharge of aquifers; and an energetic program of water conservation and efficiency. Finally, Rockland County must face the fact that limits to development, based on sustainable use of resources, are essential if we are to avoid the social, economic, and environmental costs of desalination."
Information about the DEC public hearing and ways to submit comments before the April 20 deadline can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20120201_not3.html
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