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NYPA Relicensing, Part 2: Taking a Risk

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Drive along the St. Lawrence between Ogdensburg and Massena and you'll see a mosaic of public and private property. Beautiful riverside homes sit next to state picnic areas and town beaches. New York Power Authority marinas and recreation areas share the shoreline with Mohawk tribal lands. These diverse interests share one thing in common: the water in the wide St. Lawrence and 37 miles of its shoreline are used to make two million kilowatts of electricity at the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project near Massena. Nearly fifty years ago, the project flooded thousands of acres of marshes, farms, businesses, and houses. A series of public meetings began almost five years ago to hear from stakeholders looking for compensation as the New York Power Authority seeks a license to operate the project for another 50 years. After all the bargaining, when the Power Authority released a draft of its application in January, some groups cried foul and accused the Power Authority of not negotiating in good faith. In part 2 of David Sommerstein's series on the relicensing, local groups are stepping up their struggle to get a settlement they can live with for half a century, but in doing so, they risk losing what they've already been offered.

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