Neighbors report odor from CPV Power Plant in Wawayanda

Posted: Updated:
WAYWAYANDA -

Residents in Orange are raising air quality concerns as a controversial, newly built natural gas power plant begins testing its smoke stacks.

They say there is a strong, diesel-like fuel odor that can be smelled for miles coming from the 680-megawatt CPV Power Plant in Wawayanda.

A representative for the company says stacks are being tested with fuel oil, which carries a more-pronounced plume of smoke and odors. They say it's all within safety requirements.

However, the smell of that burning oil is now renewing concerns about what people nearby will regularly breathe in once it's open 24/7.

"The realization was this isn't smog. We're just standing in pollution," says Chris Kehoe, of New Hampton.

There didn’t seem to be an odor when News 12 was near the site Thursday, but the allegation is that it worsens at night. Residents from all over the county are reaching out with the same claims.

CPV released a statement following the outpouring of concern saying, "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. It's important to note that the vast majority of the visible plume is water/steam, not emissions from combustion."

A former CPV executive is tied to an alleged pay-to-play scandal involving a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Joseph Percoco allegedly took cash bribes from the company's ex-employee in exchange for permits.

The facility is set to open in March.

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