We want to call your attention to a proposed energy development here in the Catskills that is audacious and concerning. Premium Energy Holdings of California has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin a preliminary study for a project that would build a dam in the Catskill Park. The resulting reservoir would be the source of water that would be released periodically to generate electricity by turning turbines that would be installed below ground level. The water would be drawn and pumped up from NYC’s Ashokan Reservoir. In addition, power lines would need to be installed. Interestingly, the company, Premium Energy, did not notify the NYCDEP, the controlling agency, of their plans to file for a permit. Nor did they explore the idea with any other Catskills entity, apparently. They have demonstrated a lack of respect for the Catskill Park, the watershed and for local communities that suggests a warning for how they will proceed if they receive a permit.
Three possible sites for the dam have been proposed. Each would create major impacts on Catskills communities, the protected lands of the Catskill Park, important infrastructure, Catskills fisheries and, of course, on water quality in the NYC watershed supply system. Each would flood approximately 200 to 300 acres and require a dam of over 2000 feet in length.
While we support all responsible efforts to create alternative means of producing electric energy, those efforts must take into account the effects on communities and on conserved areas that are vital to the ecological health and well being of our planet. The Catskill Park, America’s First Wilderness, is such a place. Established by New York State and protected by the state constitution as “forever wild’, it deserves and must receive the highest degree of protection possible. The Premium Energy project would cause permanent and irreparable harm, and, therefore, it must be rejected.
It is the CMC’s opinion that the proposal is without merit and that FERC should deny the application. We encourage individual citizens; to express their opposition by posting a comment with FERC by using this link: https://ferconline.ferc.gov/QuickComment.aspx. Comments are due no later than April 12.
Please fight to preserve one of the few natural resources in NY.
Stop the madness