Rep. Mike Lawler, Assemblyman Matt Slater, and Gina Arena Celebrate Victory for Local Control in Proposed Mahopac Battery Storage Facility

May 16, 2024

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Mahopac, NY – May 16, 2024… Today, Congressman Mike Lawler, Assemblyman Matt Slater, and Gina Arena for State Senate released the following statement after achieving a significant victory for local control as state-level legislation to overrule local planning boards and fast track battery storage projects without proper environmental reviews has now stalled.

A proposed battery storage farm in the town of Carmel had raised serious and legitimate concerns among the residents of Mahopac and neighboring Somers due to its proximity to homes—just a few hundred feet away—and the potential risks of pollution to wells and toxic exposure from any potential fire. S7834 would have allowed Albany Democrats to overrule local zoning and planning boards for similar projects around the state. After facing significant pressure from residents, the bill is now dead.

“This is a prime example of why local control is critical in the Hudson Valley. The residents of Mahopac and Somers spoke out loud and clear, and their voices were heard” Congressman Lawler stated. “Albany’s attempt to override local decision-making was thwarted, thanks to the impassioned advocacy of local residents.”

“I firmly believe in the importance of local control, unlike my opponent Mondaire Jones, who cosponsored legislation in Congress that would have overruled local zoning laws,” concluded Congressman Lawler. “It is incumbent on Mondaire Jones to make clear where he stands as it pertains to local control of zoning – especially in the case of this proposed legislation by State Senator Harckham.”

Assemblyman Matt Slater added, “As a former town supervisor I know how important local control is for the Hudson Valley. I proudly led the fight against Governor Hochul’s disastrous housing mandate and will always stand up for our communities to make sure they have the ability to make the best decisions for our neighborhoods and families.”

Gina Arena, a candidate for State Senate, directly criticized Senator Peter Harckham for initially sponsoring the bill. “Senator Harckham’s proposal was a blatant power grab that disregarded the legitimate concerns of local residents. By removing his name from the bill, he acknowledges the mistake, but the damage to his credibility is done. We need leaders who prioritize the safety and well-being of their constituents over political maneuvering to appease the fringe of their party.”

New York’s 17th Congressional District is just north of New York City and contains all or parts of Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester Counties.