Raia Grills National Grid Over Keyspan Takeover

Assemblyman urges representatives to clean up Northport power plant and continue pilot payment to Northport, East Northport school districts
April 5, 2006

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-Northport) met with representatives from National Grid of London to discuss the pending sale of Keyspan to National Grid. Raia noted he is concerned primarily with one of the system’s largest and most polluting plants in Northport and grilled representatives regarding their intentions to invest in the facility to make the plant more environmentally friendly.

“I am very concerned about their intentions to clean up the plant,” said Raia. “Thus far, there hasn’t been a commitment to clean up the Northport plant, rather suggestions that it ’might’ be an option.”

The aging power plant in Northport runs on oil and poses a health threat to citizens. The plant is capable of running on natural gas, however high cost has prevented the cleaner fuel from being used. Raia urges that any future deal must require the use of natural gas when the plant is retrofitted. In addition, the Northport plant is a vital source of revenue paying approximately $40 million in property taxes that benefit the local school district, Northport and East Northport taxpayers.

“This takeover opens a window of opportunity to clean up the most polluting plant on Long Island,” concluded Raia. “Legislators, environmentalists, and Long Islanders must stand united to pressure National Grid to clean up these power plants.”

This meeting comes on the heals of a meeting last week of LIPA Chariman, Richard M. Kessel, at which time Raia raised the same concerns.

“I will fight to ensure that any agreement includes a plan to clean up the power plant and protect taxpayers,” concluded Raia.