© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Group Sues N.Y. State Dept. Of Environmental Conservation

Wikipedia user Fmtownsmarty

The environmental group Long Island Soundkeepers is suing New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, and the company that runs Long Island’s biggest power plant.

The lawsuit says National Grid’s Northport Power Station is killing billions of fish in Long Island Sound. Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment said the station’s 50-year-old water cooling system uses water from Long Island sound to regulate the power station’s temperature.

“It draws in approximately 1.6 billion gallons of long island sound water per day. And unfortunately as it draws that water in, it’s sucking in egg, larvae and juvenile finfish and shellfish. It’s killing 8.5 billion fish and shellfish each and every year from the Long Island Sound,” she said.

The lawsuit filed this week says DEC failed to enforce state and federal laws requiring National Grid to upgrade to a new cooling system that uses less water. The suit says DEC shouldn’t give National Grid an operating permit until the plant makes the upgrade. DEC is allowing the company to operate under a permit that’s almost 10 years old.

A spokesperson for National Grid said that the company is “working with the DEC to study the impacts that its cooling water system may have on aquatic life.” A spokesperson says the company has proposed upgrades to reduce those impacts.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.