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20. Environmental Pioneering - Storm King Mountain

Overlooking Newburgh Bay is Storm King Mountain, a famous feature of the Hudson Valley landscape. In 1962, the Consolidated Edison Power Company proposed to build a pumped storage electrical generating plant that would have cut away the face of Storm King. Worried about impacts on the mountain's scenery and the potential for fish kills at the water intakes, concerned citizens formed the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference to oppose the project.
The Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference laid the foundation for the modern environmental movement. In 1965, the group won a precedent-setting lawsuit, establishing a requirement that environmental and aesthetic impacts be considered before project approval. This hard-won legal decision became the basis for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

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Proposed Storm King power plant
1962 proposal for Storm King Mountain pumped storage plant, courtesy of FDR Library, Hyde Park