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Town of Huntington, NY - News Details

1/24/2020 - Lupinacci Calls on State to Enforce Northport Power Plant Emissions Compliance

Huntington – Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci released a statement on calls by State Senator Jim Gaughran for the production of State DEC emissions reports on the Northport Power Plant on January 24, 2020:


“The emissions produced by the Northport Power Plant have always been a very serious concerning for our community, especially now with the environmental findings at Northport Middle School coming to light. We trusted the school district would take quick action to protect their students and faculty based on the findings of their investigation and we applaud the school district’s recent decision to move out of the building while they further their environmental investigation. We are also pleased to hear the State Department of Health is investigating a possible connection between the Northport Power Plant and environmental issues found in the area surrounding the plant, including the area in the vicinity of Northport Middle School.


“Prior to my colleagues on the Town Board inquiring with our Town Attorney on this issue this week, the Town Attorney, his internal team and our outside LIPA counsel have invested significant resources in researching documents dating back decades, and housed in the Town Clerk’s Archives, regarding terms of agreements granting or removing emissions monitoring authority over the Northport Power Plant, and past Town Board and Planning Board resolutions concerning this topic. While the question of the Town’s emissions monitoring authority is under review, there is no question that the New York State DEC and the EPA have environmental oversight on the plant’s emissions, confirmed in part by the 2019 NYS DEC permit review report cited by the Senator today.


“If the New York State DEC has determined that the plant has been in "severe non-attainment" for VOCs, and they have assessed the impact of those emissions on the greater safety, health and general welfare of the community, we ask Senator Gaughran to ensure the State acts to ensure that LIPA comes into compliance, since the State has the information he is calling for the Town to seek and the authority to enforce emissions regulations.


“Our administration and this Town Board inherited the LIPA case in 2018. The Town has spent approximately $4.2 million to date defending the LIPA tax lawsuit. In our short two years in office we have invested the most significant amount of resources into this case, $1.9 million, which amounts to over 45% of the full legal costs over the entire ten-year timeline of the case.


“In addition to the tax certiorari experts on our legal team, we have an internationally recognized energy analyst with more than thirty years of experience in the energy, utility, environmental, and regulatory fields providing invaluable assistance to our attorneys. While the pending nature of the litigation limits what we can say publicly regarding this topic, we want to assure our residents that this administration is devoting substantial resources and pursuing all avenues to obtain a fair outcome in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of our community.”