Work Week with Congressman Faso
Table of contents

Happy New Year

I want to take the opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and wish you a safe and prosperous 2018. It’s an honor to represent our district in Congress and work on issues that affect our state and nation.  In the past year, I was able to travel throughout the entire 19th District meeting with so many interesting and hardworking people, while learning about the issues impacting their businesses and families. 

In 2018, I will continue advancing policies to expand the small business economy, and to assist our farmers and veterans.  As a member of the House Transportation Committee, infrastructure investment is a top priority of mine. We need an aggressive plan to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband internet access to rural communities, and improve water and sewer systems.  

Touring a Local Organics Producer

As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I’m always visiting local farmers. This week, I took a tour of Tongore Brook Farm in Stone Ridge with owner Michael McDonough to learn about the innovative, year-round organic agriculture process. Virtually independent of conventional energy sources, this modern greenhouse operation produces USDA certified organic micro greens which are highly valued by restaurants and consumers. The 3000 square foot greenhouse when fully operational can produce products equivalent to a conventional 10 acre farm, while using a fraction of the water and energy.

Powering New York with Cleaner Energy 

Over the last 10 years, New York state has led the nation in our reduction of carbon dioxide emissions largely due to the fact that we have replaced coal-fired generating stations with cleaner natural gas-fired power plants. As a result, our CO2 emissions from electricity generation have decreased by nearly 50 percent since 1990.

I recently toured the construction site in the Town of Dover where the $1.5 billion Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) is underway. The project is being built on the site of a contaminated former industrial plant first used during World War II and which has laid dormant for many decades.  This combined-cycle natural gas facility will use the latest technology to assure nominal emissions which will help maintain air quality around the plant.  

Furthermore, CVEC’s proximity to existing gas pipeline infrastructure ensures limited disruptions to the local environment because no new gas lines outside of the project property will need to be constructed. This project passed thorough environmental reviews and will be necessary to support New York’s electricity grid following the closure of Indian Point nuclear power plant in 2020.  

Lastly, CVEC will provide millions of dollars in annual tax payments to support the Dover Union Free School District, the Town of Dover, and Dutchess County, thereby lessening the burden on local taxpayers. I strongly support the completion of the Cricket Valley Energy Center

Supporting Local News Outlets

Local newspapers are incredibly important to communities like those in Upstate New York. I signed a letter urging the U.S Department of Commerce to consider resource costs for local newspapers and American jobs when considering any action on paper importation sanctions.

Firefighter Assistance Grants

The Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program began a new funding cycle on Tuesday that will accept applications until Friday, February 2, 2018.  These grants are given directly to firefighting and EMS companies to educate the public about fire prevention and increase preparedness when responding to fires in their communities.

Recipients can utilize these grants to help purchase firetrucks, SCBA’s, radios, personal protective equipment (PPE), stationary air compressive storage systems, infrared cameras, gear and other equipment necessary to the operations of their departments. Applicants must be fire departments that have a formally agreed upon arrangement with a state or local government to provide fire services to a population within a fixed geographical area. Both volunteer and career departments are eligible.

If you have any questions regarding the AFG process, please feel free to call my Kinderhook office at (518) 610-8133. My office can assist in obtaining clarification from FEMA with questions about this program. In the meantime, find more information on the AFG program and see an overview of the program through FEMA's web portal.

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