Queens residents had been complaining about the old, oil-burning Charles Poletti Power Project plant in Astoria for years. The New York Power Authority opened a new, cleaner, natural-gas-powered plant
at the site in 2005, but did not immediately cease operations at the old one. The Authority promised to shut it by this year
; Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. joined with environmental groups to hold the Authority's feet to the fire -- as has become a big part of Vallone's constituent service, since the city keeps putting plants in Astoria
This past weekend the old plant ceased operations. Vallone, his father, a former council speaker, and the Authority's president turned out for a press op. The Power Authority says all the workers at the old plant will be given new jobs, so "there truly is no downside in this plant's closure," says Why Leave Astoria.