Environmental Justice

Join the Environmental Justice Task Force!

CONTACT:
Charley Bowman
Phone: (716) 688-2374
Email: RenewableEnergy@WNYPeace.org
or
Frank Gage
Phone: (716)893-5584
Email: snowbird1967@roadrunner.com

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11/13/17 ACTION ALERT – Please send NEW comments to NYS Department of Environmental Conservation regarding Stone Dam Road Pipeline.
Thanks to our urging, the NYSDEC extended the comment period for the Stone Dam Road Pipeline and also made the documents including maps available for online viewing. So now it is time to send in comments. We have until November 24th.
We have found out that this is a proposed 1.4 miles long, 2” distribution line in Southern Allegany County along a very rural stretch of Stone Dam Rd or Rt. 29. We do not have plans to launch a campaign against this project, but do feel it is important to make the NYSDEC aware of serious concerns including the crossing of a trout stream, running along a wetland, and within the watershed of the Allegany River. Also the north/south direction just above Potter County PA, home of fracking wells, raises questions of National Fuel requesting future expansion once they establish the right-of-way. Regardless of the outcome we will need to keep an eye on this area.
PLEASE SEND COMMENT
To write your own comments see the list of concerns below and/or take a look at the application here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/111710.html  On that page you will find links to the documents.
Please make three copies and sign either this prepared comment or your own and send by regular mail and/or email to the following addresses:
Please send comments to:
Bruno A Dibella
NYSDEC Region 9 Headquarters
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716)851-7165
DEP.R9@dec.ny.gov
Basil Seggos Commissioner NYS DEC
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1010
Charles Cranston
NYSDEC Allegany Office
182 East Union Street, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706
 
Concerns and questions regarding the Proposed Stone Dam Road Pipeline:
  • The stated purpose of this project is to provide access to natural gas to local community. The 1.4 mile stretch of this pipeline is very sparsely populated and according to maps appears to be destined to service one home. Of the buildings that appear on the maps, several are farming structures, two homes have for sale signs and at least one appears to be abandoned. There are one or two farms and no other businesses along this stretch of road. Most of the 1.4 miles is woodland or farmland with no community to be serviced, bringing the stated purpose into question.
  • The pipeline would be located in the Genesee River watershed. The Genesee flows northward to Lake Ontario. The northern terminus of this pipeline would be approximately 26 feet from the Genesee River. Both Marsh Creek and Redwater Creek are proximate to the proposed project and are both NY State protected trout streams. The project would cross Redwater Creek. The project would also cross 7 culverted drainages
  • 1,733 feet of the project would be within the adjacent impact area of a protected NY State Wetland area. Construction would impact 0.6 acres of that area.
A conclusion could be drawn from the above concerns that the impact on trout streams, Genesee River watershed and protected wetland is not worth the risk to service at most, a handful of homes, perhaps just one.
  • The location of this project that would run in a north/south route is approximately 2 miles from Potter County, PA where expansion of fracking wells are planned. Could this be segmentation of a larger intended project? Once National Fuel gains right of way in this protected area will they request further expansion that leads to a transmission pipeline?
  • The application for this project was submitted by National Fuel in the month following the denial of NYSDEC 401 Water Quality Certification of the Northern Access Pipeline.
  • The northern terminus of this project is on River Road that continues north adjacent to the Genesee River. If National Fuel were to request future northward expansion it would cause greater impact to the river and watershed.
If anyone studies the documents and realizes further concerns especially regarding water impacts, endangered species or suspected segmentation please let me know.
 
Thank you for taking action!
Onward,
Diana Strablow
Sierra Club, Niagara chapter

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New Campaign (10/2/17)

NIRS needs your help! U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) is attempting to rush H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017, to the House floor for a vote.

NOW is the time to call your Congressional representatives (202-224-3121), and tell them to VOTE NO on HR 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2017.

NIRS has mentioned before what an incredibly BAD idea H.R. 3053 is. Here are the facts:

  • H.R. 3053 tries to revive the failed, canceled Yucca Mountain (NV) site as a nuclear dump, despite volcanoes, earthquakes, its inability to isolate the waste and violations of environmental justice, Western Shoshone sovereignty and state authority.
  • H.R. 3053 directs the Department of Energy to contract for a temporary storage site (called Centralized “Interim” Storage-CIS or Monitored Retrievable Storage-MRS), which is illegal under current law. The bill removes the requirement that a permanent nuclear disposal site is operating, before an additional, interim storage site can open. That means these supposedly temporary sites could become permanent, above-ground, nuclear waste “parking lot dumps”.
  • H.R. 3053 would trigger thousands of intensely radioactive shipments on our roads, rails, and waterways over decades…an unprecedented, massive, multi-decade, high-level nuclear waste shipping campaign from over 100 nuclear reactors through 44 states to a private corporate parking lot dump, and possibly, DOE centralized “interim” parking lot dumps. All of the waste would have to move again when a permanent site is opened, increasing transport risks.
  • H.R. 3053 weakens environmental and safety requirements for the deadliest waste.
  • H.R. 3053 fails to make waste storage less dangerous at the sites where it is now located. Even if a permanent site opened immediately it will take years to move it there, and at operating reactor sites new waste will be added. In the meantime, communities need Hardened On-Site Storage in containers that can be inspected for cracks, repaired or repackaged.

Call your Congressional representatives today and let them know you oppose H.R. 3053 and the threat is poses to all of us.

You can find background information on HR 3053, organizing and educational resources to use in your community, and transportation maps and statistics on NIRS’ Don’t Waste America campaign page.

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Arrestees at Crestwood Equity Partners

March 7, 2016. Fifty-six Defenders of Seneca Lake being arrested at the gates of Crestwood Equity Partners gas storage facility near Watkins Glen NY. Bill McKibben was among the perps! Charley Bowman is 4th from the left… The grand event was organized by We Are Seneca Lake …see www.WeAreSenecaLake.com for more info…

 

Our Purpose and Vision

  • NY State should produce all its electrical power from clean, renewable resources of energy (wind, solar and geothermal- (and air-) sourced heat pumps) by 2030. All transportation vehicles – cars, trucks and trains – should run on either hydrogen or batteries by 2030.

  • No investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure

  • No Bakken crude oil trains (aka “Bomb trains”) in NY State and elsewhere. (This became true this summer – 2017, but not true in the Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast).

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Renewable Energy Projects and Information

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Renewable Energy Production in New York State: Essentially, No Overall Progress in 10 Years
 
Relative Fuel Use has been Constant for Many Years…
Solar PV GWh in New York State: Behind the Meter

War Abroad Supports Shale Oil Production in US and Canada

War in Iraq Supports Shale Oil Production in U.S.


Our Comments on the NYS Energy Board’s Draft Energy Plan

– New York State Draft Energy Plan is not a road map to a renewable energy future in New York State. The plan —

  • ignores discussing global warming and climate change
  • ignores discussing the serious problem methane poses to global warming;
  • ignores – – in its entirety – – discussing New York State’s immense now-in-place-and-functioning renewable energy infrastructure
  • ignores discussing the `frozen’ nature of New York State’s total renewable energy production
  • ignores discussing the serious problems posed by hydrofracking
  • ignores comparing the economics of shale gas with renewable energy
  • ignores discussing the impending problems communities and workers will face as coal plants close
  • ignores discussing possible funding sources for the gradual transition to renewable energy
  • ignores discussing the immense wealth within New York State that could fund the transition

In short, the NYS Draft Energy Plan is a moldy old road map for the purpose of continuing on the fossil/nuclear fuel potholed – – bumpy – expensive- pathway we’re currently on.

This report from the WNY Peace Center’s Renewable Energy Task Force discusses all that is ignored by the NYS Energy Board.

Enjoy reading –and thinking–about our upcoming renewable future.

Our Comments on the NYS Energy Board’s Draft Energy Plan


Electrical Energy Production in New York State…and Where We Have to Go….

Repowering the Dunkirk Coal Plant and Cayuga Coal Plant with Renewable Energy

The fact that coal is a dangerous fossil fuel for human health and the climate coupled with the cheap natural gas is forcing coal plant operators to close their plants, or curtail energy production. New York State’s Public Service Commission held hearings on what to do with the Dunkirk Coal Plant (Dunkirk NY) and the Cayuga Coal Plant (near Lansing NY on the shores of beautiful Cayuga Lake, just north of Ithaca).Only two choices were presented by the Public Service Commission: repower with natural gas or shut down the plants and improve transmission lines into both areas. The global warming potential of methane is about 90 times that of CO2 (Howarth et al. Climatic Change 106:679-690 (2011)). Hence New York State’s Public Service Commission is seriously considering an option (methane) that would enhance the global warming.

The WNY Peace Center’s Renewable Energy Task Force offered a third alternative: repower both with renewable energy by creating two large solar parks: one at the old Seneca Army Depot (between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes) — the other at the Dunkirk Coal plant itself. Our report can be downloaded here: Green Powering the Dunkirk and Cayuga Coal Plants

Seneca Army Depot Solar Park
— would be the largest solar farm in U.S.
Dunkirk Solar Park
Seneca Army Depot Image...
Red: 8,366 acres for a 2,091 MWp-dc solar park.
Excluding the following areas: Blue: 620 acre Area Q, home of the Seneca White Deer population
and Green: Five Points Correctional Facility.
Dunkirk Coal Plant Image...
Dunkirk NY Solar Park, 65.7 acres, 13 MWp-dc
Lansing Coal Plant
Lansing Coal Plant Image...
Lansing, New York — 313 acres, 78.2 MWp-dc .

Methane derived from shale or conventional sources contributes to global warming more than do coal or oil

…..both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger GHG [Greenhouse Gas Footprint] than do coal or oil, for any possible use of natural gas and particularly for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating. The 20-year time period is appropriate because of the urgent need to reduce methane emissions over the coming 15–35 years….Robert Howarth, May 2014 (see below)

Robert Howarth, May 2014: A bridge to nowhere: methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas

Howarth et al 2011: Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations

Jacobson et al paper: A 17 Year Plan for Generating all of New York State Electrical, Transporation and Heating Energy from Renewable Sources of Energy

“We have an emergency….we have a crisis” — James Hansen, Feb 20, 2013

Listen to James Hansen, inteviewed by Subhankar Banerjee, February 2013


 

Niagara Falls / Lewiston NY Solar Array Projects:

Niagara Falls Air Base & Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir

We need to immediately begin the transition to 100% renewable energy….

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), continue to increase. For the first time in our 8,000 year human history — on Thursday May 9, 2013 at 8 PM (Eastern Standard Time) — the atmospheric CO2 level reached a landmark concentration of 400 parts per million1. Apart from a seasonal variation (minimum around October, ever-increasing maximums around May of each year), the increase shows no sign of abatement, and is due mostly to the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.You can view the current CO2 level (in parts per million) here: Current Atmospheric CO2 Level

The increasing greenhouse gas level is causing unpredictable changes in climate over the entire Earth: sea levels are rising endangering continued human habitation in coastal areas and islands; the oceans’ reefs are disintegrating due to acidification; the ocean’s temperature is increasing which will increase the frequency and severity of storms (superstorms); and the average temperature is rising, diminishing glaciers and sea ice, causing the slow rise in sea level.

All this adds up to one thing: long established food growing areas may loose that ability, while other areas may gain it — or not.

If the burning of fossil fuels is not soon attenuated, some of these climatological changes will likely cause war between those who continue to “have” and the newly “have-nots”, within the same jurisdiction (i.e.country or state), between countries, or both…

For example, the origins of the Syrian Civil War can be traced to an extended Syrian drought between 2006 and 2010. In that time, Syria lost 80% of its cattle. As a result of the loss of farming, 1.5 million Syrians migrated to Syrian cities — the largest internal migration in human history. These climate refugees needed new water wells to quench the thirst but permits to dig were given out in a sectarian manner. Wells were dug anyway. NPR broadcast a segment on the climatic origins of the Syrian Civil War on Sunday, September 8, 2013. You can listen here Also see The Role of Drought and Climate Change in the Syrian Uprising: Untangling the Triggers of the Revolution, by Francesca De Châtel, January 27, 2014

To abate the increasing greenhouse gas levels, we need to stop burning fossil fuels. The technology is available to do this through wind, solar and geothermal sources of renewable energy.

As part of this needed world-wide effort to transition to sources of renewable energy, the WNY Peace Center proposes gigantic solar arrays at the following locations: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls NY, the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir in Lewiston NY, Dunkirk Coal Plant, Dunkirk, NY (now closed), Coal Power Plant at Lansing NY (operating), and the former Seneca Army Depot .

Slides of the most recent version of the proposal, dated October 20, 2013 are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project

Nick Mottern – Knowdrones.org – interviews Charley Bowman about the Proposed Solar Farms in Niagara County

On April 26, 2013, as part of his wonderful “Drones and Global Conflict Education Series — Nick Mottern interviewed (now) Former Interim Executive Director Charley Bowman about the Peace Center’s plans for two solar farms in Niagara County: one at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the second on top of the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir. The interview can be seen here here

Weather Analysis Concludes that Niagara Falls Area is Best Suited for Solar Farms
In December 2012, Buffalo State College’s Dr. Stephen Vermette, and Jack Kanack (of Weather Medic, Inc), along with Buffalo State students Fred Bloom, Brigette Brzezniak, William Matalonis, and Samantha Thomas wrote a detailed analysis of weather patterns in Western New York. They concluded that Niagara Falls and Lewiston NY “…are best suited for WNY to maximize solar energy and the solar view, and to minimize the impact of “lake effect” clouds, and snowfall amounts…“. Sunshine Report


New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) Annual Reports – “Gold Book”

Unofficial 2016 NYISO Gold Book Report – Excel Spreadsheet
Unofficial 2015 NYISO Gold Book Report – Excel Spreadsheet
Unofficial 2014 NYISO Gold Book Report – Excel Spreadsheet
Unofficial 2013 NYISO Gold Book Report – Excel Spreadsheet
Unofficial 2012 NYISO Gold Book Report – Excel Spreadsheet

Official 2017 NYISO Gold Book Report
Official 2015 NYISO Gold Book Report
Official 2014 NYISO Gold Book Report
Official 2013 NYISO Gold Book Report
Official 2012 NYISO Gold Book Report


Older Versions of NFARS/Lewiston Solar Farms Proposal

Some slides from an older version of the proposal, dated April 25, 2013, are here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array ProjectAn older version, dated October 4, 2012, is posted here: Niagara Falls/Lewiston NY Gigantic Solar Array Project

References

1. Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears, By Justin Gillis, New York Times, May 10, 2013.