The $1.8 billion North Bergen Liberty Generating project is temporarily on hold as they are preparing to submit a new air permit application to the state Department of Environmental Protection, an agency spokesman said.
“The applicant for this project has advised the DEP that it is considering making changes in technology for the plant and has indicated it will submit a new air permit application,” DEP spokesman Larry Hajna told HCV in an email.
“The DEP has suspended its review of the existing application and will adjust its review process accordingly when a new application is received.”
First announced with great fanfare at a press conference in April 2018, the power plant was tentatively expected to come to North Bergen by the end of 2022.
Local officials, including Mayor Nick Sacco, said the clean-burning natural gas plant would power 1.2 million homes in New York while providing a major economic boon for the township – which was also enthusiastically backed by labor unions.
In July, the project received their first land use approval from the DEP, but the project has largely been stalled ever since then in the midst of intermittent protests from environmental groups and activists.
A hot button issue during this past election cycle in May, unsuccessfully mayoral Larry Wainstein filed a lawsuit against Gov. Phil Murphy (D) in hopes of halting the project.
Meanwhile, Sacco has said publicly that he currently does not see the power plant happening in its current form.
On Thursday morning, about 24 hours after this story was initially published, Brendan Middleton, a spokesman from NBLG said they do not consider the project to be on hold and are moving forward.
“Despite published reports to the contrary, the proposed NBLG project is not on hold, and all efforts are actively being made to move forward,” he said in an email.
“The company simply informed the Department of Environmental Protection that it is adding information to and amending the current air permit application to reflect possible technology changes. Meanwhile, all other engineering, land use requirements, environmental reviews, permitting and planning have been, and continue to be, actively pursued.”
He added that they remain in “close contact” with the DEP and other authorities “to clarify misunderstandings.”
Editor’s Note: This story was updated on Thursday morning with a comment from a North Bergen Liberty Generating spokesman.