UPDATE: Tom Rumsey, Senior Vice President of External Affairs made a statement at CVP: “It’s important to note most of the visible plume is steam, not emissions from combustion. We want to assure residents that all of the current activity is being conducted in a safe manner and in accordance with the approved state permitting process.”
As one of the governor’s most loyal aides was facing corruption charges, a Middletown power plant at the center of the fray has been accused of “thumbing its nose” at opponents.
Joseph Percoco, a Rockland native and a former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, appeared Monday in federal court in Manhattan to answer charges that he accepted bribes connected to the CPV Valley Energy Center, a natural gas-fired electric-generating plant. Prosecutors say CPV paid $90,000 a year to Percoco’s wife for a “low-show” job at CPV in order to pressure officials to approve a purchasing agreement for CPV’s plant. That arrangement allegedly resulted in a total of $287,000 in payments to Percoco.
Meanwhile, CPV itself is generating heat of another kind: A lateral gas line from the Millennium Pipeline to the plant, strongly opposed by people in the area, including actor and Warwick resident James Cromwell, was test-fired on Friday. However the test was done with oil, not natural gas — apparently coughing smoke throughout the Middletown area.
“In effect, the company is giving the middle finger to New York and to the citizens of New York,” Cromwell said in a published report on Monday. “Performing this test while corruption trial in New York begins, which directly involves bribery in the certification and permitting of this plant, as well as the trial we are having on appeal to try to stop this, I think we have highly legitimate grounds.”