FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2005
Schumer Urges Feds To Reconsider Green Island Power Authority’s Licensing Permit For Cohoes Falls
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Recently Rejected GIPA’s Permit Application on Procedural Grounds Schumer: Restoring Waterfalls Would Re-establish Natural Landmark In Capital Region
US Senator Charles E Schumer urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reconsider its recent decision to reject Green Island Power Authority's (GIPA) application to study the Cohoes Falls Project. In a letter late Friday to FERC Chairman Patrick Wood III, Schumer expressed disappointment in the Commission’s decision and asked the Chairman to develop a plan that recognizes the electrical, economic, and environmental impact this license could have on the Capital Region.
“We have an historic opportunity here,” Schumer said. “Not only would this help to fulfill New York’s energy needs, but it would also restore a magnificent natural landmark. Plus, the jobs and economic growth could mean a big boost to the area. This is a win-win for the Capital Region and I’ll continue to press for it until we can move forward.”
The Cohoes falls are the second highest waterfalls in New York State. Decades ago, the construction of the current plant diverted almost all of the waterflow, leaving the falls dry virtually all of the year. The GIPA proposal includes plans to restore year round waterflow to the falls, affording us the ultra-rare opportunity to re-establish a natural landmark.
In his letter, Schumer made it clear that he favors the GIPA proposal over that of current owner Brascan of Canada, which seeks to operate the current plant without significant improvements to the facility and the community. “I am also very concerned about the fact that 73% of all hydroelectric power generation in New York State, including this plant, is now controlled by foreign companies. Through its rejection of GIPA's proposal, I am concerned that FERC may have unnecessarily dismissed several lawful avenues for the consideration of alternative projects and potentially narrowed the scope of available solutions designed to serve the public interest.”