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Report Highlights Alternatives To Proposed Water Supply Project in Rockland

WAMC/Allison Dunne

A report compiled for an opponent of a proposed water supply project in Rockland County, New York says a serious look at alternatives has been missing in the debate. The report’s author says a viable alternative to the more than $120 million project can be brought to the table.

International environmental consultant and former New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Al Appleton wrote the report for the Rockland Water Coalition, a grassroots group that asked Appleton to look at the issue of alternatives to United Water New York’s proposed desalination plant, or the Haverstraw Water Supply Project. The report comes as the New York State Public Service Commission announced in July it had instituted a proceeding to examine the continuing need for United Water New York’s proposed desalination plant along with the county’s water supply needs. Here’s Appleton.

He says in the past 25 years or so, the emphasis has switched to demand-side solutions.

He also says the economic impacts of the proposed plant need to be examined in greater detail. Deb Rizzi is spokeswoman for United Water New York. She says United Water has thoroughly studied the issue for many years.

United Water’s proposed desalination plant would treat water from the Hudson River and deliver up to 7.5 million gallons a day of potable water to Rockland’s residents. Again, here’s Appleton.

Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee says without state agencies rigorously examining alternatives for Rockland’s water supply needs, Rockland residents will suffer.

As a result, Jaffee says she will use a Massachusetts regulation in shaping legislation she plans to introduce.

Here’s United Water Spokeswoman Deb Rizzi.

Other elected officials and heads of environmental and citizens groups joined Appleton in pointing out alternatives. They also urged community members to turn out for PSC public hearings in Rockland October 1 and 2 on the county’s water supply needs and the proposed plant.

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