DUNKIRK – Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) will be in Chautauqua County Thursday to make a pair of stops, including a joint press conference in the North county address a recently filed lawsuit by the Sierra Club.
Reed will join State Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R-Chautauqua) and other local officials at 3:30 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk to discuss the Sierra Club lawsuit against the State Public Service Commission and involving the NRG Repowering Dunkirk Project, which would convert the coal burning facility into a generating station powered by natural gas.
The Sierra Club claims that the PSC’s environmental review of the project was flawed. The lawsuit also claims that the conversion of the power plant from a coal burning facility into a 435 megawatt natural gas burning operation will result in “unjust and unreasonable” rates for National Grid customers. That’s because the lawsuit claims ratepayers will have to pay $150 million more over the next 10 years to cover the cost of the project.
State Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean) also recently weighed in on the lawsuit, calling it frivolous and adding that similar lawsuits have not been successful and she is confident the repowering project will move forward as scheduled.
The NRG Power Plant is the largest taxpayer in Chautauqua County. In addition to it continuing to provide taxes to the county and other local municipalities, Officials said the transition will also bring in an additional 50 jobs while also preserving more than a hundred more at the plant
Prior to the lawsuit being filed, the natural gas facility was expected to be in service by fall 2015.
In addition to his appearance in Dunkirk, Congressman Reed will also make an appearance today at Cummins Engine Plant in Lakewood.