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Source: Ramapo Times

Public Service Commission Says "No" to Hudson River Desalination!

Posted: November 14, 2014
Originally Published: November 14, 2014

Albany, NY—The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has ruled today that there is no current need for a desalination plant, which would have made the Hudson River the primary drinking water source for Rockland County. The plant was original proposed by United Water following a 2006 PSC case, during which United Water was required to find an additional water supply source for Rockland County. In the subsequent years, environmental groups, Rockland ratepayers, and elected officials throughout the county have argued that the desalination plant would be costly, environmentally irresponsible, and ultimately unnecessary given the county’s ample water supply and potential for better water conservation practices.

Now, the PSC has ruled there will be no need for a desalination plant until at least 2020, and that United Water must evaluate better conservation alternatives. In addition, the PSC has rejected a surcharge and ensured that Rockland residents would not foot the $40 million bill for the expenses United Water incurred while pursuing permits for the desalination plant.

In response to the PSC ruling today, Jordan Christensen, Program Coordinator for Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE), said:

“Today’s decision is an overwhelming victory for the people of Rockland County. The desalination plant would have been expensive for ratepayers, energy-intensive, and disruptive to an ecologically sensitive area with several threatened and endangered species. Residents of Rockland continuously expressed concerns over possible radioactive elements in the Hudson River, since the plant’s intake pipe would have been built just over three miles away from the Indian Point Nuclear Facility. For years, the public came out to hearing after hearing to demand water conservation as an alternative to desalination.

CCE applauds the PSC for its decision and thanks the Commission for listening to the 26,000 residents of the county who signed petitions, wrote letters, and testified in opposition to the desalination plant. Rockland County has already shown a commitment to better water conservation and, thanks to today’s decision, will not be burdened by higher water rates and degraded water quality due to an ill-conceived desalination plant.”