MASSENA - State Senators Patty Ritchie and Joseph Griffo, who last week called on the New York Power Authority to return to the table and negotiate with local communities impacted by the massive St. Lawrence power dam, today welcomed the news that talks are restarting.
In a press release issued by Sen. Ritchie, she, Sen. Griffo and Sen. George Maziarz, chair of the Senate’s Energy Committee, urged NYPA to return to the talks with members of the St. Lawrence County Local Government Task Force, comprising representatives of the affected communities.
“I’m pleased that the Power Authority has agreed to continue discussions with the communities on finding a more fair way to compensate them for the continuing deep impact of the power dam,” Sen. Ritchie said. “I want to thank NYPA’s CEO, Gil Quinones, for listening to the voices of North Country residents and their representatives and continuing to work toward an acceptable deal for both sides.”
“The north country sacrificed land, economic opportunity and tax revenues to play host to the power dam, and they only seek to be treated fairly,” Sen. Griffo said. “Resuming these talks is a positive sign for the communities and for the region.”
Local government leaders and the Power Authority have been conducting a 10-year review of the Massena dam’s 2002 relicensing agreement.
Critics say that deal shortchanged the north country, compared to a similar relicensing pact between NYPA and Western New York communities located near the utility’s Niagara Project facility, and the differences have cost local communities here millions of dollars.