News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > PSC Makes Right Decision on Desalination Plant

PSC Makes Right Decision on Desalination Plant

Hayley Carlock, Scenic Hudson, 845 891 3148; [email protected]
Cliff Weathers, Riverkeeper, 914 478 4501, Ext. 239, [email protected]
George Potanovic, Jr., Rockland Water Coalition, 845 429 2020, [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2015

HUDSON VALLEY—Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper commend the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for its decision today to halt an unnecessary, costly and environmentally damaging desalination plant proposed for Haverstraw, Rockland County. The project proponent, Suez NY (formerly United Water New York), will now be legally required to devise more sustainable ways to manage Rockland County’s water supply. The PSC decision was based on the clear evidence that the area has adequate water supplies and that improvements in conservation and sound water management will obviate any future need for the industrial water facility that was proposed.

Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson have worked for seven years with the Rockland Water Coalition, together with thousands of local citizens, as well as local advocacy groups and public officials, to persuade the PSC that Rockland County did not need an additional water supply and that an expensive desalination plant was unnecessary. Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, along with their allies, provided expert analysis demonstrating that the oversized, energy-intensive plant proposed by United Water would have major impacts on the environment and endangered species, public health and drinking water safety, while also burdening consumers with rising costs for water when water conservation efforts could answer the county’s need for drinking water.

Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg said, “We applaud this watershed decision of the PSC which shows that they heard and looked out for the needs of Rockland County residents while also protecting the Hudson River. The future is about smart and efficient management of our region’s water resources. We now can look ahead to United Water taking the necessary actions to reduce the volume of water lost in its system and sharpen the management of the region’s water supplies. With the desalination plant proposal rejected, it’s time to focus on working together to create a sustainable plan for Rockland’s water needs.”

“The Public Service Commission’s ruling confirms what Rockland residents and Riverkeeper supporters have known for years: desalination is flat-out unnecessary and wasteful, given options for increased water conservation and better management of existing supplies,” said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. “This is a major victory for smarter use of our water resources, and it was fought for and won by the citizens of Rockland and our other partner groups. Riverkeeper is proud to have fought with them and appreciate the PSC’s hard work on this crucial issue.”

Peggy Kurtz of the Rockland Water Coalition said, “This is a truly groundbreaking decision that looks forward to a water policy for the 21st century, a century in which we must steeply reduce our impacts on climate and strengthen our community resilience in the face of climate change. With this decision, the PSC sets New York State on course toward a water and energy policy that looks beyond big, energy-intensive construction projects, such as desalination, in favor of greener, energy-saving, more climate-resilient solutions such as conservation, efficiency and repair of leaks. This decision ultimately safeguards the life of the river and the quality of our drinking water.”


Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member