News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson Joint Statement on PSC Ruling on Desalination Plant Proposed for Rockland County

Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson Joint Statement on PSC Ruling on Desalination Plant Proposed for Rockland County


Hayley Carlock, Scenic Hudson, 845 891 3148; [email protected]
Leah Rae, Riverkeeper, 914 715 6821; [email protected]

HUDSON VALLEY— Two leading Hudson Valley environmental groups are applauding a decision today by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) that United Water should not continue to pursue its proposed desalination plant in Haverstraw, Rockland County. In ordering United Water to put aside its development of the desalination facility, the PSC also required the company to come up with more sustainable ways to manage Rockland County’s water supply. Underpinning the PSC ruling is the fact that the county’s water supply is forecast to be adequate well into the future and that conservation measures could obviate any future need for the facility.

Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson have worked for more than a year with the Rockland Water Coalition, thousands of local citizens as well as local advocacy groups and public officials to get the PSC to recognize that Rockland County does not need an additional water supply and that an expensive desalination plant is unnecessary. Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson along with allies contend that the oversized 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.

Today Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper commended the PSC for listening to the citizens of Rockland County and the experts and giving the Rockland County Task Force on Water Resources Management an opportunity to demonstrate that conservation and efficiency measures can ensure Rockland has adequate water supply more sustainably and inexpensively than the proposed desalination plant. However, the groups are concerned that United Water will not embrace the community’s and PSC’s call for better water management planning, and therefore they urge the PSC to closely monitor the utility to ensure that it fully supports the efforts of the task force to pursue a more sustainable water future for Rockland County.

The groups applauded a statement made today by PSC Chair Audrey Zibelman, who said of the desalination proposal, “We need to make new plans, not just dust off old ones.”

Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper said that there now is a clear mandate for a new direction and that the facts will continue to lead to the demise of the desalination plant.


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