Danskammer Generating Station

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Danskammer Generating Station (also known as Roseton Generating Station) is a coal-fired power station near Newburgh, New York. This station is on the Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation grid.

Units 3-4 were fueled by coal, but were shut down in 2012 and converted to run on natural gas in 2014.[1]

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The Danskammer station was built by Central Hudson Gas & Electric in the 1930s. In 2001 Central Hudson sold both Roseton and Danskammer to Dynegy, under new rules deregulating electricity, in order to become just a distributor of power.[2] Dynegy later added a facility that allowed the plant, which had previously received coal only by rail, to receive coal from self-unloading ships.[3]

Dynegy filed for bankruptcy in 2011. In 2012 the Danskammer plant incurred extensive storm damage from Hurricane Sandy and was shut down.[4][5] Pursuant to the bankruptcy declaration, Dynegy sold the Danskammer plant to Helios Power Capital, LLC in 2013.[6]

Conversion of units 3-4 to natural gas

Following the 2013 acquisition, Helios Power Capital had planned to dismantle the Danskammer plant. However, the New York Public Service Commission was interested in stabilizing electric power prices in the Hudson River valley region, and created a new electricity regulatory zone to facilitate such stability. Helios then proposed to renovate and reopen the plant. After extensive consultations and negotiations on environmental permit requirements, DEC and EPA allowed Danskammer to reopen, using only natural gas as the primary fuel. Units 1 and 2 may use oil as a backup fuel. Units 1 through 4 were restarted in 2014.[7]

Coal Source

According to iLoveMountains.org, Danskammer purchases coal directly from companies who practice mountaintop removal mining (MTR).[8] The plant is connected to the Fanco mountaintop removal mine in West Virginia, which is operated by the Apogee Coal Company LLC and controlled by Patriot Coal.[8]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Helios Power Capital LLC
  • Parent Company: Helios Power Capital LLC
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 387 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 147 MW (1959), 239 MW (1967)
  • Location: 992 River Rd., Newburgh, NY 12550
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.5688, -73.973682
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,746,225 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Danskammer Generating Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[9] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[10]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Danskammer Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 30 $220,000,000
Heart attacks 54 $5,900,000
Asthma attacks 480 $25,000
Hospital admissions 24 $560,000
Chronic bronchitis 18 $8,100,000
Asthma ER visits 19 $7,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Coal Sources

At least a portion of coal burned at Danskammer comes from Colombia.[11][12] In 2006, the plant received at least one 11,000-ton shipment of coal from el Cerrejón mine, which is owned by a consortium of Anglo American (33%), Glencore International (33%) and BHP Billiton (33%).[11][12]

Colombian Coal and Human Rights Violations

Colombia's coal mines, like many industries in the country, are filled with stories of displacement and terror. A number of entire communities in the coalfields have been displaced, including Tabaco, a 700-person Afro-Colombian village that was razed in 2001.[13] People living near the coalfields have faced malnutrition, diseases such as ringworm, and restricted access to land since the large mines opened up.[13]

The Drummond Company (operator of la Loma mine in Colombia) has been the subject of numerous lawsuits regarding the murders of 70 union miners and railroad workers, collectively.[14][15][16] The murdered Colombians were killed by the notorious paramilitary group, United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which had been hired by Drummond to act as security.[15] In addition to those killed, a lawsuit against Drummond describes "how hundreds of men, women, and children were terrorized in their homes, on their way to and from work… innocent people killed in or near their homes or kidnapped to never to return home, their spouses and children being beaten and tied up, and people being pulled off buses and summarily executed on the spot."[15]

Articles and Resources


  1. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' US EIA, 2014
  2. Business Wire (January 30, 2001). "Central Hudson Closes Sale on Roseton and Danskammer Generating Plants; Divestiture Means Immediate Changes in Customer Bills". Press release. Retrieved on November 21, 2009.
  3. McCartney, Richard (October 15, 2006). "Designing and upgrading plants to blend coal", Tradefair Group. Retrieved on November 21, 2009. "Danskammer Generating Station. This plant in Roseton, N.Y., used to receive all of its coal by unit trains. A self-unloading coal-receiving system capable of handling ships as heavy as 30,000 dwt (deadweight tons) was added to enable deliveries of coal from the Hudson River" 
  4. Schutzman, Nina (2014-11-23). "Danskammer set to return to financially-strapped school district". 
  5. "Dynegy Announces Results of Roseton and Danskammer Auction", Dynegy News Release, Accessed 12 December 2012.
  6. Dynegy Bankruptcy Judge OKs $3.5M Plant Sale To Helios. Portfolio Media (2013-08-30).
  7. Error on call to Template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (2015-02-11). . Presentation at the 18th Annual Joint Seminar of the Air and Waste Management Association and New York Water Environment Association, Pittsford, NY.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "What's my connection?", ilovemountains.org website, Accessed April 2010.
  9. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  10. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Aviva Chomsky, "Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the making of a global working class", Duke University Press, 2008.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Recent DYNEGY DANSKAMMER, L.L.C. Shipments", Import Genius website, accessed July 19, 2009.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Aviva Chomsky, "The dirty story behind local energy", "The Boston Phoenix", October 1, 2007.
  14. International Rights Advocates, "Juan Aquas Romero, et al. v. Drummond Company Inc., et al.", Plaintiff's Opening Brief, December 11, 2007.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Federal lawsuit alleges U.S. mining company Drummond paid millions to Colombian paramilitary terrorists who killed 67; including "execution" of union leaders", "Reuters", May 28, 2009.
  16. "Children of slain Colombian coal miners sue Drummond Co. in Birmingham federal court", "Birmingham News", March 20, 2009.

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