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Dredging permit held up on environmental concerns  

Credit:  By Michael Hallisey | August 24, 2022 | spotlightnews.com ~~

GLENMONT – Two federal agencies have recently sucked the wind from the Port of Albany’s sails as it waits for approval to move ahead on constructing a 500-foot wharf at Beacon Island.

As of last week, the port was waiting on obtaining a dredging permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, allowing it to move forward on the construction of a 500-foot wharf needed for the highly lauded $350 million wind turbine tower manufacturing complex.

However, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Environmental Protection Agency have pushed to withhold the permit over concerns for the environment, including potential harm to the habitats of sturgeon according to a report published by the Times Union on Thursday, Aug. 18.

Though the port’s expansion plans include reconstructing a sturgeon habitat across the river from the port, the two agencies contend that less harmful alternatives have not been adequately considered.

The Port of Albany has been awarded the coveted bid to house the state’s first wind tower manufacturing site last January when New York State Energy Research and Development Authority selected a joint bid from energy company Equinor, and wind industry manufacturers Marmen and Welcon.

It was considered to be the first step towards the state’s larger plan to establish a home base for a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse, including two offshore wind farms that will yield a combined 2,490 megawatts of carbon-free energy, and bring another $8.9 billion in investments. It also includes an offshore wind turbine staging facility and operations hub at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, increased commitment to the Port of Coeymans, and maintenance out of Port Jefferson and Port of Montauk Harbor in Long Island.

The project is expected to expand the Port of Albany as it is prepared to produce 150 off-shore wind towers, and create up to 350 long-term jobs.

However, since the port’s expansion plans cleared site plan approval from the Town of Bethlehem, it has labored through several protests, including a lawsuit filed by neighboring residents who contend they were not properly notified.

Port officials said they were working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide it with more information as it considers its decision on the permit.

Source:  By Michael Hallisey | August 24, 2022 | spotlightnews.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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