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State Supreme Court Dismisses Village of Port Jefferson Lawsuit Against Caithness II Power Plant Project

Court cites lack of legal standing and failure to produce hard facts that Caithness II would bring harm to the Village 
YAPHANK, NY ? May 4, 2015 ? On Friday, May 1, 2015, New York State Supreme Court Justice Jerry Garguilo dismissed the Village of Port Jefferson’s lawsuit seeking to vacate the special use permit issued by the Town of Brookhaven for the Caithness II power plant project in Yaphank. The Village challenged an environmental review of the Caithness II project and the Town’s approval of the permit on July 15, 2014. The court ruled that the Village of Port Jefferson failed to show that it had the legal standing to contest the actions of the Brookhaven Town Board in connection with the Caithness II project and that claims that Caithness II would harm the Village were based solely on “speculation and conjecture.”
The court noted that Caithness II underwent an extensive public environmental review process as required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), which consisted of a comprehensive environmental review of the project, including land use, ground and surface water impacts, air quality, noise, traffic and visual impacts and economic and socioeconomic considerations. On June 10, 2014, the Brookhaven Town Board issued findings based on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared for the Caithness II project and concluded that the project “avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impact to the maximum extent practicable, and therefore will not cause any significant adverse environmental impacts.”
The Village of Port Jefferson had alleged, and failed to prove, that Caithness II, located more than 10 miles away from the Village, would cause harm to the Village. The court issued a lengthy, detailed decision, and noted that it undertook a “detailed review of the record and pleadings” and ruled that Caithness II would have no environmental impact on the Village. The court described the Village’s claims that is would suffer harm as “unsubstantiated conjecture”, and dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.
Caithness II is a 750-MW, natural gas-fired power plant that will employ state-of-the-art, highly efficient combined cycle electric generation and air-cooled technology, and was selected by LIPA in 2013 as part of a highly competitive bid process because it will provide the best value to Long Island ratepayers and the environment. The project presently has many of the necessary environmental and municipal approvals to begin construction. PSEG-Long Island (PSEG-LI) has since recommended that the project be put on hold pending completion of its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
A recent study conducted by General Electric Consulting concluded that Caithness II would provide immediate and significant economic and environmental benefits. The GE study estimated that Long Island ratepayers would save more than $1 billion in wholesale electricity costs during the first six years of operation. In addition, the study found that the Caithness II plant would create numerous, tangible environmental benefits, including considerable reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) by displacing existing older, more polluting power resources. The GE study also noted that Caithness II will increase operational flexibility of the electrical system, thus helping support the integration of renewable energy sources onto the grid.
“Caithness is satisfied with Justice Garguilo’s ruling that the Village of Port Jefferson lacked the legal standing to challenge the actions of the Brookhaven Town Board with respect to the issuance of a special use permit to allow the construction and operation of the Caithness II power plant project in Yaphank,” said Ross D. Ain, President of Caithness Long Island, LLC.
About Caithness Long Island II, LLC
Caithness Long Island II, LLC, is a subsidiary of Caithness Energy, L.L.C., a privately held, New York-based independent power producer. For over 25 years, Caithness has been a pioneer in the development of clean, reliable energy. More information can be found at www.caithnesslongisland.com.

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