Constantinides Responds to “Blue Light” Phenomena with New Bill
Yesterday, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection joined Astoria leaders and environmental activists to call on NYC to assess whether gas-fired power plants can be closed.
Constantinides will introduce a new bill mandating the City do so in the wake of the strange “blue light” phenomena that happened late last month.
Many of the residents in the surrounding blocks of the Con Ed arc flash were left unsure if the air was safe following the incident, but officials later clarified that there were no environmental risks.
In 2015 it was found that Astoria had a higher volume of pollutants than the borough and citywide averages. Constantinides’ new legislation will require that the City of New York assess the feasibility of replacing 21 gas-fired plants with batteries that store energy from wind, solar, and other renewable resources.
Constantinides outlined the plan outside the Con Edison substation, at 31st Street and 20th Avenue, not far from where the Dec. 27 incident occurred. He was joined by State Sen. Jessica Ramos who stated, “Dirty energy production so close to where we live, work, and play is harmful to our health. Our borough is one of the most polluted in New York City, and this is not an environment we should have to raise our children in. Council Member Costa Constantinides’ bill to investigate closing gas-powered plants is an important first step in questioning our dependence on dirty energy and toward creating a cleaner, safer, more sustainable New York”.
The legislation represents a broader push to make New York City’s electric grid greener and is in the spirit of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent pledge to make the state grid carbon neutral by 2040.