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State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

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Sen. Kushner’s Bill Protecting Ct’s Air Quality Passes State Senate

HARTFORD -- State Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) today led Senate approval of her bill to provide air quality monitoring assistance to towns like Sherman, New Fairfield and Kent that may have their air quality affected by the Cricket Valley Energy Center in New York.

Senate Bill 585, “AN ACT CONCERNING AIR QUALITY MONITORING IN TOWNS NEAR THE CRICKET VALLEY ENERGY CENTER,” passed the Senate on a unanimous and bipartisan vote and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“This bill will help establish some baseline air quality measurements so we have some idea of what the air quality is like in western Connecticut right how that might change in the coming years when Cricket Valley goes online in New York,” said Sen. Kushner. “This air monitoring has been a real priority for residents in my district, so I’m glad the state Senate came through for them today.”

Western Connecticut residents are concerned about possible air pollution from the 1,110-megawatt Cricket Valley Energy power plant that is being built in Dover Plains, New York – less than 10 miles from the Sherman Town Green, and less than 20 miles from New Fairfield Town Hall.

The plant, powered by natural gas, is expected to go online in mid-November.

Since the Cricket Valley project was a New York State project, the residents of Sherman, New Fairfield, Kent and other adjacent Connecticut towns weren’t aware of it until after the project had been approved and construction began.

Even Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection(DEEP) officials concede that the Cricket Valley Energy plant will contribute more pollutants into the air in at least a 50-mile radius of the plant – they just don’t know exactly where, and how much.

The bill calls for DEEP to provide technical assistance and support “to any municipality that purchases, leases or is provided the use of air monitoring equipment for the purpose of establishing an air quality baseline in such municipality and determining any effect on such baseline by the Cricket Valley Energy Center in the State of New York.”

That assistance may include information on the best practices for establishing a baseline, guidance on the siting and placement of air quality monitors, information concerning the best maintenance and practices required to assure the accuracy of air quality monitors, proposed schedules for data retrieval, and reviewing the results.

If approved by the House and signed into law by the governor, the bill would take effect on October 1.

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