North Bergen commissioners pass resolution calling for closure of Ridgefield power plant

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The North Bergen Board of Commissioners approved a resolution last Wednesday calling for the closure of the PSE&G Bergen Generating Station in light of diversified energy company announcing last month that they would divest in fossil fuel burning power plants.

The PSE&G Bergen Generating Station in Ridgefield. Photo via Flickr.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The resolution points out that the Ridgefield council approved their own local legislation back on June 20th, 2018 opposing the proposed North Bergen Liberty Generating Station since it would be one of the largest sources of air pollution in the state.

That project was halted almost exactly one year ago after Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he would not be supporting it.

Meanwhile, the Bergen Generating Station, a 1,229 megawatt gas fired power plant, has previously been named as the top producer of greenhouse gases in the state, according to a report in The Record.

“The Bergen Generating Station has consistently been cited as the dirtiest power plant in the state and the biggest contributor to climate change in our area — closing this plant and transitioning it to a renewable energy use would not only benefit North Bergen residents by making our air cleaner and reducing carbon emissions, it would also help hundreds of thousands of people who live within a few miles of the facility,” state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco said in a statement.

“With PSE&G announcing its divestment plan, this is the perfect opportunity for local communities to bring pressure on the utility to close this dirty plant, and we hope that Mayor Suarez and his fellow Ridgefield leaders will join us in this fight and make their commitment to environmental justice clear.”

Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez was an outspoken opponent of the NBLG project in North Bergen, attending public rallies against the project and was frequently quoted in the media on the topic.

“Most importantly, the effects on our health and … our air here already isn’t a great quality. It’s gonna be putting more and more CO2 emissions into the air,” as CBS reported.

On Saturday, Suarez responded in an email, stating that there are stark differences between the NBLG proposal and the Bergen Generation Station.

“The failed Meadowlands Power Plant would have provided energy to New York City, pollution to New Jersey and tax revenue to North Bergen which is why it was so adamantly opposed by almost every Bergen County Municipality and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, Mayor’s Committee,” he began.

“The PSE&G plant presently in the Borough of Ridgefield has been here for over one half a century and provides energy to the residents of New Jersey. The future of energy in New Jersey should be clean energy and not constructing new power plants and if there is an alternative supply of clean energy for the Borough of Ridgefield, we would gladly support it.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez.

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