Proposed Hess Plant in Newark Faces Community Opposition

Some Newark residents will continue voicing their opposition to a proposed natural gas power plant at a Planning Board meeting at City Hall Wednesday night.

Energy company Hess wants to build a new 655-megawatt plant on a brownfields site in the Ironbound neighborhood, but opponents are enraged by the prospect of any new pollutants in the air. Hess countered it will meet state-of-the-art emissions controls and won't cause a violation of air quality standards.

A company spokesperson said the proposed Newark Energy center will be one of the cleanest plants of its kind in the U.S., bringing much power to Northern N.L. and reducing reliance on older, less efficient electricity sources with higher emission.

But dozens of residents who attended a planning board meeting on Monday were not convinced. They’re worried about air quality and noise, despite the fact that the nearest house in Newark is more than a mile away, and the closest residence in Jersey City is a little less than a mile over the water.

Hess wants to build the plant, topped by 250-foot stacks, near Newark Bay and the mouth of the Passaic River, next to a police firing range and existing fuel storage tanks owned by the company.

The company said the proposed plan will also be an economic boost for Newark, creating jobs and restoring a brownfields site.