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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY OFFICE OF ASSEMBLYMEMBER ARAVELLA SIMOTAS For Immediate Release September 22, 2011 Contact:

Loren Amor, 718-545-3889

Simotas Rejects Luyster Creek Community Agreement Proposal


Declines to Back USPowerGen Project Unless Emissions Reduction is Guaranteed ASTORIA, N.Y. Assemblymember Aravella Simotas announced that she continues to oppose US Power Generating Companys (USPowerGen) Luyster Creek Energy Project at Astoria Generating Plant, despite a proposal by the company to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the Astoria community committing to an overall reduction in emissions. After meeting with USPowerGen representatives, Simotas remained unconvinced that the company could guarantee its project would not increase pollutants in western Queens. The Astoria community has been environmentally assaulted by power plants for years, Simotas said. Weve worked hard to shut down the worst polluters and secure emissions reductions in other facilities, and we cannot risk allowing a new project to proceed if there is any chance that it will put our residents health at risk. The Luyster Creek Project would add two new, cleaner-burning generators to the Astoria Generating Plant while retiring the sites oldest unit and upgrading two others with more environmentally-friendly technology. However, the permits that USPowerGen is applying for with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would allow the company to increase total emissions at the plant. At their meeting with Simotas, US PowerGen representatives claimed that the permits would give the company more flexibility in lieu of new DEC regulations, but they remained committed to reducing overall emissions at the plant. US PowerGen proposed signing an MOU with Astoria residents, similar to one it reached in Brooklyn regarding its Gowanus Generating Station project. Simotas balked at the idea, however, stating that such an agreement would make the Astoria community responsible for holding USPowerGen accountable for its facilitys emissions output. As an attorney, I know exactly how complex, onerous and costly it would be for our community to police and enforce this kind of agreement, Simotas said. If USPowerGen wants to continue

with the Luyster Creek project, then the company needs to bear the responsibility for ensuring that our residents are not exposed to additional pollutants. USPowerGen has agreed to extend the public comment period for the Luyster Creek Energy Project until October 11, a timeframe in which Simotas expects the company to apply for new DEC permits that would require overall emissions reductions. I will not support any energy project in my district that has the potential to increase pollution, Simotas said. The only way for USPowerGen to guarantee that the Luyster Creek Energy Project will decrease overall emissions in our community is if it is legally bound by DEC permits to do so.