Thursday, September 30, 2010
(Bethel) - County Manager David P Fanslau announced today that Sullivan County supports the request issued by Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday that urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to deny a transfer of license requested by AER, NY-Gen, LLC (AER) for the Swinging Bridge, Mongaup Falls, and Rio hydroelectric power projects located in Sullivan County. In a letter to FERC, the congressman and senator argued that the applicant's longstanding license noncompliance issues must be resolved before such a request should be approved.
"The hydroelectric system has been in non-compliance with its FERC license for far too long,” said Jonathan F. Rouis, Chairman of the Sullivan County Legislature. “AER has failed to address the main issues required by the FERC license, and has not conducted good faith discussions with the community and stakeholders," said Rouis.
"Residents of the Town of Bethel and throughout the County have complained for years about the company's failure to provide adequate access to the Toronto Reservoir and failure to provide for adequate water levels in the Toronto and Swinging Bridge Reservoirs. They need to resolve these issues before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can even consider an application for license transfer," said David A. Sager, Chairman of the Public Works Committee and Legislator representing District 1 that includes Bethel.
“The owner of the reservoir system must be required to bring themselves into compliance with the terms of their license immediately, and FERC shouldn’t approve any of their requests until they do so. Many local residents and community leaders have raised strong concerns about the continued lack of public access and low water levels during the peak recreational season,” added Sager.
“We fully support the request by Congressman Hinchey and Senator Schumer for FERC to deny the AER petition. Congressman Hinchey and Senator Schumer have been receptive and responsive to the needs of Sullivan County and our residents regarding this matter, and we thank them for taking a strong stand in demanding immediate compliance with the FERC license,” concluded Rouis.
For more information, please contact Jonathan Rouis or David Sager, (845) 807-0435