‘Wawayanda Six’ to Stand Trial in CPV Energy Center Protest

Group seeks to prove civil disobedience was necessary
September 21, 2016 Updated: September 22, 2016
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Six activists who engaged in acts of civil disobedience against the building of the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) Energy Center will stand trial on Sept. 29. The six were arrested after some chained themselves together and others simply linked arms in front of the construction site entrance to the center on Dec. 18 of last year.

Known as the Wawayanda Six, the activists seek to prove their actions were necessary. Among them are actor James Cromwell and state senate candidate Pramilla Malick. The six are expected to produce nationally-known environmental experts to prove their case when they appear in New York Justice Court.

The civil disobedience of the activists was sparked by concerns over the environmental impact building the CPV would have on the local ecosystem, and of gas obtained by fracking. The fracked gas would flow in through a pipeline connected to the energy center. Fracking is banned in New York State, but importing fracked gas is not. The activists are expected to center the case around the detrimental health and environmental effects of fracked gas.

Fracking involves obtaining gas through drilling down into the Earth and then drilling laterally into shale rock formations and using pressurized liquid to release trapped gas. Though the process can potentially yield abundant gas, critics claim it damages the environment and furthers reliance on fossil fuels.

The trial is scheduled to take place in the Town of Wawayanda Court, 80 Ridgebury Rd. in Slate Hill.