Letter to Tompkins County

Re: Cayuga Power Plant

Dear Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee of Tompkins County,

Seneca Lake Guardian’s mission is to promote sustainable energy, increase investment in water supply/sewer systems, and to challenge destructive power plants, reckless development and decrepit infrastructure around Seneca Lake and throughout the Finger Lakes Region. As such, we write to urge you to adopt Resolution A, which asks the DEC to categorically deny Cayuga's application to convert to fracked gas, asks the Governor to provide support for transition to renewable energy, acknowledges that Cayuga’s proposal will result in significant environmental impacts, and calls on the DEC to require Cayuga to submit a full Environmental Impact Statement.  

Permitting a fracked gas power plant in the region is irresponsible for a myriad of reasons, namely because we are in the midst of a global climate crisis, and this proposed facility would increase greenhouse gas emissions at a time when it is imperative that we eliminate carbon producing projects, not create them. The proposal is neither in keeping with New York’s Renewable Energy Vision nor Tompkins County’s renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals and therefore should be denied.

The facility would create a virtual pipeline using diesel trucks to transport fracked gas past homes in the Villages of Lansing, Candor, Spencer, Owego; Towns of Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield, Danby, Candor, Spencer, Tioga, Owego, Vestal; and the City of Ithaca.  These trucks would navigate our rural roads passing health care facilities, day care centers, private and public schools, and many agritourism businesses that drive our economy. The diesel emissions create Volatile Organic Compounds that are harmful to crops, particularly grapes.

Seneca Lake Guardian represents hundreds of businesses and thousands of area residents who stand together in opposition to irresponsible and unsustainable infrastructure such as the Cayuga Power Plant. When our sister organization Gas Free Seneca was fighting a proposed fracked gas storage and transport facility along Seneca Lake, the Tompkins County Legislature drafted a resolution opposing the plan because it was antithetical to our region’s vibrant bucolic tourism-related character and it threatened the health and safety of our community. The proposed Cayuga Power Plant poses many of the same risks, and we urge you to come out strongly opposed to this facility in your own county by passing a resolution asking for outright denial of the project.

Joseph Campbell,
Mary Anne Kowalski
Yvonne Taylor

Principals of Seneca Lake Guardian