The Department of Environmental Conservation won’t make a decision for several months, but says that as it stands, the project would interfere with limits on greenhouse gas emissions set by the CLCPA.

Liz Donovan

State Sen. Michael Gianaris speaks alongside Assemblymember Zohran Kwame Mamdani and former Astoria Councilman Costa Constantinides at a rally opposing the power plant Thursday.

The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said that a proposed power plant in Astoria — which has inspired hours of public comments this week, mostly in opposition — is not in line with the state’s landmark climate legislation. 

The proposal for the Astoria Gas Turbine Power Replacement Project, submitted by energy company NRG, would replace a 50-year-old high-polluting “peaker plant” with a more modern fracked-gas power plant that the company says can eventually run on renewable energy.

But environmentalists aren’t convinced the company will be willing or able to make the switch. At two days of public hearings this week, opponents argued that the project does not align with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which passed in 2019 and aims for New York State to reach 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040.

Public comment is still open on the proposal for two and a half weeks, and the DEC won’t make a decision for several months. But the agency told City Limits that the project, as it stands, is not in line with the CLCPA. 

“While sufficient information has been submitted to begin the required public review, DEC has determined the applicant has not demonstrated sufficient compliance with the requirements of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, including requirements regarding greenhouse gas emissions,” a spokesperson for DEC said in a statement Thursday night.