From the Daily News:
An Astoria power plant is attempting to clean up its act by swapping out one of its aging generators for two new, more environmentally friendly ones.
The only catch is that Astoria Generating Company's roughly $750 million Luyster Creek Energy Project may actually be permitted to increase pollution in the area.
That fact wasn't made clear at a public hearing Wednesday in Astoria on the proposed 410-megawatt facility. And that's worrying local elected officials.
Community members can submit written comments about the proposal - which needs state approval - to the Department of Environmental Conservation through Sept. 9.
The company hopes to receive the necessary permits by the end of the year and start construction by the spring of 2013, a company official said.
The two new generators would go live in 2015 and allow the plant to produce about 16% more electricity, the official said.
"The overall plan is expected to reduce emissions," said project manager David Perri, who works for US Power Generating Company, which oversees Astoria Generating Company.
The Luyster Creek plan would swap out one old generator for two cleaner-burning ones, and lower emissions of two other generators that are about 50 years old, Perri said.
But regulatory permits could actually allow the company to produce more pollution overall in Astoria.
For example, the plant would be allowed to increase its overall carbon monoxide output by almost 89 tons a year, Perri said. Nitrogen oxide could go up by almost 25 tons annually.