North Country Officials Join NYPA to Celebrate New FERC License
July 27, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MASSENA – New York Power Authority officials joined with local officials and residents from throughout the North Country and with federal and state officials on Tuesday to celebrate the beginning of the Power Authority’s second half century as operator of the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project here.
“This is truly a red-letter day for the Power Authority and for the North Country,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, chairman of the Power Authority. “I’m particularly delighted to see so many of the people who contributed so much to the successful relicensing of the St. Lawrence-FDR Project. It is a credit to all who worked with us – local communities, state and federal governments, environmental interests, business and labor. This is your license, too.”
Ciminelli added, “The new license is also a tribute to the vision and determination of Governor George E. Pataki. It’s no secret that there were some difficult and discouraging times as the process began to unfold, but Governor Pataki never wavered in his commitment to a relicensing agreement that put first and foremost the needs of the North Country and of the communities that are home to this project.”
Congressman John McHugh said, “This license is a tribute to the hard work and cooperation exhibited by residents of the project area, representatives of the federal and state governments and the Power Authority.”
State Senator Raymond Meier said, “A long, involved process was successfully concluded with the issuance of the new license and I think all those who took part are pleased with their efforts.”
State Senator Jim Wright, who chairs the State Senate’s Energy Committee, said “St. Lawrence-FDR is one of the major cornerstones of New York State’s energy supply system and I am delighted that this new license will keep the New York Power Authority in the ‘operator’s chair’ for another 50 years.”
Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine said, “All of us in the North Country are happy that this process has concluded so productively.”
Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, said, “The new license and the agreements on recreational and environmental enhancements, as well as the community trust funds, are positive developments for all in the community.”
Assemblyman Chris Ortloff said, “Safe, reliable power is
vital to the economic well-being of the North Country. Today’s license
renewal of the St. Lawrence-
Ken MacDonnell, mayor of the Village of Massena and chairman of the local government task force, said, “The primary objective of the task force was to keep the power allocation in Northern New York because it is the low-cost power produced here that creates the jobs that are the economic soul of this region.”
Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer of the Power Authority, noted that St. Lawrence-FDR was the Power Authority’s first generating facility and “this project will always occupy a unique place – in our history and in our hearts.”
He thanked community and business leaders in the North Country and Power Authority staffers for the dedication and hard work that lead to the successful completion of settlement negotiations and the issuance of a new license.
He also told the audience that the $281 million life extension and modernization program at the project was right on schedule with completion due in 2013. “It will insure that St. Lawrence-FDR runs at maximum efficiency for many years to come,” Zeltmann said.
The NYPA president pointed across the South Channel of the St. Lawrence River to Hawkins Point, where the project’s new visitors center is under construction.
“This fine new facility will replace the center that was located here at the power dam and that was closed for security concerns,” said Zeltmann. “The new center, which we plan to open for the 2005 tourism season, will include most of the exhibits from the previous center and will feature indoor and outdoor areas for community use. And – for good measure – it will provide a terrific view of the power dam, which you couldn’t get at the old location."