Opponents Of Desalination Urge Calls To Governor's Office

Rockland Water Coalition wants governor to know residents object to the proposed water treatment plant in Haverstraw.


Dear Editor,

Over 24,000 Rockland residents have signed petitions opposing United Water's proposal to construct a desalination plant on the Hudson River for public drinking water.  An overflow crowd of hundreds of people at Haverstraw Town Hall had to be turned away from the one public hearing on this proposal on March 6 due to lack of space.  Key elected officials, including Harriet Cornell, the Chair of the Rockland County Legislature and Alden Wolfe, Chair of the Rockland Legislature Environmental Committee, have expressed concern about the real cost and need of desal and have urged the NYS DEC to carefully scrutinize all alternative options and conduct a 50-year accounting of United Water's releases from Lake DeForest first. (Their letters are attached.)

Despite this clear and overwhelming opposition by Rockland residents, we are now hearing that Governor Andrew Cuomo may be pushing for approval of this proposal. We are hearing that a decision on desalination could be imminent. YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED!

It is urgent that you call Governor Cuomo today to tell him that ROCKLAND RESIDENTS SAY NO TO DESALINATION!  Rockland ratepayers and taxpayers do not need to pay higher water costs and taxes for this United Water boondoogle! As most Rockland residents already know, United Water wants to build a desalination plant for Rockland's drinking water in Haverstraw Bay, one of the most richly productive and irreplaceable habitats on the Hudson River, located just 3.5 miles downstream from Indian Point, a leaking nuclear power plant.

In 2007, United Water was fined for excessive transfers of fresh water from Lake DeForest to New Jersey. It is inevitable that these water transfers will increase if United Water puts the desalination plant on line for Rockland County.  Under United Water's plan, Rockland residents would pay even higher energy and water costs to drink Hudson River water while substantially increasing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions at a time when we urgently need to reduce our energy use to fight climate change.  

It appears that Governor Cuomo is pushing for this plant because he thinks it will create jobs.  United Water’s ads are telling you that desalination will boost job creation.  That’s what they tell the public.  

But in their environmental impact statement, United Water states that aside from temporary construction work, only TEN permanent jobs will be created. Ten jobs! Is it worth a permanent steep escalation in water rates to pay for ten permanent jobs?  It will be Rockland residents who will PAY for these jobs.  Rockland residents are already taxed enough!

If you are concerned about desalination, you must act now. It takes one minute to call Governor Cuomo’s office at  (518) 474-8390 and you have the option of either leaving a recorded or message or speaking with a representative. You can also email him at gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us to let him know that you oppose this desalination plant – a misguided proposal that will lock Rockland County in permanently to the most expensive water treatment option of all. This is not the right way to create more jobs! 

We can create far more long-term local jobs through green alternatives.  Tell the governor to support sustainable alternatives, which will strengthen our local and regional economy, create green jobs, protect Haverstraw Bay, and protect the character of our community.   

Signed on behalf and in support of the Rockland Water Coalition:

Peggy Kurtz, Rockland Sierra Club
George Potanovic, Jr., Stony Point Action Committee for the Environment
Laurie Seeman, Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance
Shirley Lasker, Councilwoman, Town of Clarkstown
Rita Louie, Deputy Mayor, Village of Pomona
Connie Coker, Former Rockland County Legislator and Environmental Chair

John Taggart June 19, 2012 at 08:03 PM
The desal plant is the lowest priced solution to produce more water in rockland to say different is a lie. Solar power is also being considered at the plant. How many people signed that petition after being lied to by the petition holder. How many people on that petition are actually in the water service area, in Rockland? Taking water from an endless source and not from aquafers and well systems is the environmental thing to do. Damaging the hudson is another made up lie. A large volume slow draw system allows the nets to have holes as small as 1/2 mil a sturgeon egg is 2 mills. Not much of anything can get through. To say a 200 million dollar plant that will take 5 years to build dosen't creat jobs shows a type of obsession or mental illness. If the people against the plant went into the test facility and asked questions, and looked at verified test results instead of standing outside with paper signs and boycotting knowlege.....I was gona say they would think different. I forgot facts dont count. We're loseing out tax base here in North Rockland. The environmentalists are going after our power plants, gas production, water production, our very independence. Obama has been working on green jobs for 3.5 years the result is higher unemployment. Anyone in favor of this plant, the jobs, and the tax revenue please call those same numbers and emails and say yes. Build the desal plant now! Do the right thing Cuomo, don't bow to nuts.
Smitty Chesterfield June 19, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Which one are you, John...a union rep or a United Water/Suez employee? The public realizes the concerns and want it stopped.
John Taggart June 19, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I am John B Taggart of Haverstraw NY I dont need to join a group or coalition. I doubt united water would let its people run amuck like I do. The public is constantly played by special interest groups. This plant is a great idea and every thing I said is true. Stopping things over unfounded made up concerns is no way to run a society.
Watchdog June 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM
The co founder of Greenspeace makes mincemeat out of the Envirowhackos. http://www.climatedepot.com/a/9508/Greenpeace-Founder-Dr-Patrick-Moore-Questions-ManMade-Global-Warming-Calls-it-Obviously-a-Natural-Phenomenon
Watchdog June 19, 2012 at 09:44 PM
We should be grateful we have such a well managed fine company like United Water delivering sensible solutions at such a low cost. Water is second only to air on Mazlows Hierarchy of Needs. A continued, safe supply is necessary for survival. I do not work for UW nor am I a member of any Union. In fact I am an advocate of fewer unions but this has nothing to do with unions and everything to do with an assured, safe, cheap supply of Fresh, Clean water for all citizens, even the Envirowhackos for their weekly shower.
Smitty Chesterfield June 21, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Proximity to Indian Point and leakage. That's safe? It's desalination...not de-radiation.
Watchdog June 21, 2012 at 03:30 PM
If Indian Point blows up the last thing on my hierarchy of needs would be to stop fleeing so I can quench my thirst.
Watchdog June 21, 2012 at 03:36 PM
If it was possible to turn water into oil, would you still object?
Smitty Chesterfield June 21, 2012 at 03:41 PM
When did I say "blow up"? Don't misinterpret what you read.
John Taggart June 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Look at the thermal immaging of indian points discharge. It runs right down the shore of Westchester. The water cannot cross the Hudson. As overkill there will be radiation detectors. Better chance of getting hit by a meteor.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something