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Gianaris blasts plan to add power plant

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State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D−Astoria) blasted the state’s Electric Generation Siting and the Environment Board after it paved the way for the second phase of an Astoria power plant earlier this week.

The board, which determines where power plants can be located within the state, approved amendments to Astoria Energy LLC’s certificate of environmental compatibility Tuesday, which means the group can begin construction on the second phase of a power plant that it operates on the northwest section of Steinway Street in Astoria.

The assemblyman said the community is already overburdened with power plants. Astoria provides an estimated 60 percent of the city’s electrical power.

“Approving another power plant in an already over−saturated neighborhood is a dereliction of duty,” he said. “The board’s decision makes its members directly responsible for increased asthma and lung disease in western Queens.”

The siting board is made up of members of the Public Service Commission, the governor’s office, the state Environmental Conservation Department and several other state agencies.

−− Nathan Duke

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