A new task force of business and community leaders has been formed to find short and long-term solutions to natural gas shortages at the heart of a moratorium that will start next week on new Con Edison gas connections in Westchester.
The Business Council of Westchester has named 16 members to the task force including representatives from Simone Development Companies, MacQuesten, RXR and Biddle RE Ventures.
“With hundreds of millions of dollars in new development and thousands of residential housing units in jeopardy, immediate action was needed to address this problem,’’ said Marsha Gordon, president of the BCW, the county’s only business membership organization focusing on economic development and advocacy.
“We have gathered some of the leading experts on this task force to explore ways to address these natural gas shortages that threaten to short circuit economic development projects. After decades of struggling, our downtown areas of Yonkers, New Rochelle and other urban areas are seeing unprecedented new growth and renewal. To jeopardize this is simply not an option.”
Last month, the BCW brought together more than 50 developers with projects planned for Westchester to a briefing and discussion with representatives of Con Edison.
A lack of pipeline capacity necessary to supply the gas to the utility to meet increased demand is the root cause of the problem, Con Ed had explained. “While the gas shortage has been years in the making, it has now reached the point of a crisis that threatens our economy,” said Gordon. “While there are no easy solutions,” she said, “there are potential steps that can be taken to ease the immediate problem that we will be carefully evaluating with the goal of recommending a plan of action steps as quickly as possible.”