Town votes to lift restrictions on equipment for planned power plant

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YAPHANK -

A second power plant in Yaphank is one step closer to being built.

Caithness 1 is already up and running, and Caithness 2 could soon very well be right next door. The Brookhaven Town Board voted this week to lift restrictions on the equipment needed to build the 600-megawatt, gas-fired power plant.

Critics worry about what a new power plant would do to air quality and water quality, and wonder if a new power plant is even needed here on Long Island. But Caithness has said the plant would supply energy across the state, reduce carbon dioxide omissions, and save LIPA ratepayers about $75 million a year.

Brookhaven civic leader MaryAnn Johnston says another power plant would create more health problems for people living in the area.

“It has the second worst air quality in all of New York in that area. They have the highest incidents of lung disease and asthma in that area,” she says.

A statement from Caithness Long Island, however, says the plant will be "the region's cleanest, most fuel-efficient, and most water-conserving power plant."

Johnson believes the power plant will still have an impact on the quality of air and life, and says her group is working to stop the project.

“We're killing the planet. And I refuse to play a role in that,” said Johnson.

The Brookhaven Town Board may have given its green light, but the town Planning Board and state agencies would also have to approve the project before a new plant could be built.

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