Sens. Ritchie, Griffo call on NYPA to return to negotiations
Monday, June 30, 2014 - 2:38 pm

State Sen. Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo joined with Chair of the Senate Energy Committee George Maziarz to call on the New York Power Authority to get back to the table after NYPA abruptly ended talks on benefits to local communities that have been impacted by the sprawling St. Lawrence-FDR power dam.

“The shoreline communities sacrificed so much to make the St. Lawrence Power Project possible, and the impact is still being felt today,” said Ritchie, Republican from Heuvelton whose district includes the affected communities of Waddington, Lisbon and Louisville. “The Power Authority needs to reach a common sense compromise that addresses the needs of these communities, and we are urging that they get back to table to resume negotiations. It’s time to find common ground.”

“The Power Authority has earned billions of dollars from its operations on the St. Lawrence River, and these communities want nothing more than to be treated fairly,” said Griffo, Republican from Rome whose district includes Massena.

Ritchie and Griffo both serve on the Senate Energy Committee.

“NYPA has an obligation to treat host communities equitably, whether they are in Western or Northern New York,” said Senator Maziarz. “But if NYPA won’t talk, they’re not living up to their end of the deal. It’s time to get back to table and reach an equitable deal for the North Country.”

Local government leaders and the Power Authority have been conducting a 10-year review of the Massena dam’s 2002 relicensing agreement.

Critics say that deal shortchanged the North Country, compared to a similar relicensing pact between NYPA and Western New York communities near the utility’s Niagara Project facility, and the differences have cost local communities here millions of dollars.