Alexander Saunders Papers: Records Relating to the Storm King Case, 1962-1966, 1962 - 1966

Descriptive Identification

Repository
Marist College, Archives & Special Collections
James A. Cannavino Library
3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Extent
1 linear foot
Creator
Saunders, Alexander
Language
English
Abstract
In September 1962, the Consolidated Edison Company announced plans to build a pumped storage facility, the largest of its kind in the world, at Storm King Mountain near Cornwall, New York. The initial application for license to construct the plant was filed with the Federal Power Commission in January 1963. On November 8, 1963, a small group of concerned citizens met at the home of Carl Carmer and formed the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference to fight the pumped storage project on the grounds that it posed a threat to the Cornwall water supply and Hudson River fisheries as well as to scenic and historic Storm King Mountain. Alexander Saunders, of Philipstown, New York, joined the fight against the Consolidated Edison Co. and was an active member of Scenic Hudson’s executive committee. In his testimony before the F.P.C. Mr. Saunders stated the mission and motivating factors that lead him, and many others, to become a part of Scenic Hudson, “When we began, there were not many of us. Today our membership exceeds 1,200. This is no special group. We are not simply the affluent. Our membership is from all walks of life and now from all parts of the country. There are many, I dare say, who have not even seen Storm King Mountain…Why then, some may ask, are we here? Your honor, we are here because we love the Hudson. We love this wonderful River and its wonderful hills… We hope that the children of the country will have a chance for that same affection.” (From Alexander Saunders, in testimony before the Federal Power Commission, Series 8, Box 75, Folder, 945, in the Scenic Hudson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College). Working closely with the other members of the organization, as well as the outside community, Mr. Saunders and Scenic Hudson were successful in their attempt to keep the pumped-storage facility from being placed on historic Storm King Mountain, thereby fulfilling his goal of ensuring that the children of the country would have a chance for the same affection he had toward the river. The Storm King case lasted for 17 years. In a negotiated settlement in December 1980, Consolidated Edison agreed to drop the plan for the Storm King facility. The lengthy and controversial case set important precedents in environmental law and is generally credited with spawning the modern environmental movement. Scenic Hudson, Inc. continues to serve as an environmental watchdog in the Hudson Valley.

Administrative Information

Access Restriction

No Restrictions. Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives & Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/.

Use Restriction

No Restrictions. Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives & Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website: http://www.loc.gov/copyright/title17/.

Biographical/Historical Commentary

In September 1962, the Consolidated Edison Company announced plans to build a pumped storage facility, the largest of its kind in the world, at Storm King Mountain near Cornwall, New York. The initial application for license to construct the plant was filed with the Federal Power Commission in January 1963. On November 8, 1963, a small group of concerned citizens met at the home of Carl Carmer and formed the Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference to fight the pumped storage project on the grounds that it posed a threat to the Cornwall water supply and Hudson River fisheries as well as to scenic and historic Storm King Mountain. Alexander Saunders, of Philipstown, New York, joined the fight against the Consolidated Edison Co. and was an active member of Scenic Hudson’s executive committee. In his testimony before the F.P.C. Mr. Saunders stated the mission and motivating factors that lead him, and many others, to become a part of Scenic Hudson, “When we began, there were not many of us. Today our membership exceeds 1,200. This is no special group. We are not simply the affluent. Our membership is from all walks of life and now from all parts of the country. There are many, I dare say, who have not even seen Storm King Mountain…Why then, some may ask, are we here? Your honor, we are here because we love the Hudson. We love this wonderful River and its wonderful hills… We hope that the children of the country will have a chance for that same affection.” (From Alexander Saunders, in testimony before the Federal Power Commission, Series 8, Box 75, Folder, 945, in the Scenic Hudson Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College). Working closely with the other members of the organization, as well as the outside community, Mr. Saunders and Scenic Hudson were successful in their attempt to keep the pumped-storage facility from being placed on historic Storm King Mountain, thereby fulfilling his goal of ensuring that the children of the country would have a chance for the same affection he had toward the river. The Storm King case lasted for 17 years. In a negotiated settlement in December 1980, Consolidated Edison agreed to drop the plan for the Storm King facility. The lengthy and controversial case set important precedents in environmental law and is generally credited with spawning the modern environmental movement. Scenic Hudson, Inc. continues to serve as an environmental watchdog in the Hudson Valley.

Scope and Content

The Alexander Saunders Collection consists of materials documenting the landmark environmental law case that opposed the Consolidated Edison Company’s proposed pumped storage facility at Storm King Mountain, near Cornwall, NY. The Scenic Hudson Decision, as the case is called in law books, launched the modern environmental movement. The records consist of legal documents, testimony, notes and publicity materials, printed matter, and clippings.

Controlled Access Headings

Components List

  • 1. Legal Materials, 1962 - 1966

    • Consolidated Edison Testimony, Transcripts, Appeals
      Box
      1
      Folder
      1
    • Intervenors Opposes to Con Ed
      Box
      1
      Folder
      2
    • Intervenors Pro Con Ed
      Box
      1
      Folder
      3
    • Con Ed - Testimony
      Box
      1
      Folder
      4
    • Testimony
      Box
      1
      Folder
      5
    • Project 2338 - Opinion & Order Issuing License and Reopening and Remanding Proceeding…3/9/65
      Box
      1
      Folder
      6
    • Project 2338 - Opinion & Order Denying Application for Rehearing and Petition to Reopen Proceedings…5/6/65
      Box
      1
      Folder
      7
    • Hearings before the Subcommittee on National Parks & Recreation...H.R. 3012 and Related Bills
      Box
      1
      Folder
      8
    • Testimony
      Box
      2
      Folder
      9
    • Testimony
      Box
      2
      Folder
      10
    • Testimony - Leon H. Keyserling
      Box
      2
      Folder
      11
    • FPC Hearings and Testimony
      Box
      2
      Folder
      12
    • Northeast Blackout & Testimony
      Box
      2
      Folder
      13
    • Congressional Hearings - Jean Saunders Testimony
      Box
      2
      Folder
      14
    • Jean Saunders - Testimony and Statements
      Box
      2
      Folder
      15
    • FPC Hearing
      Box
      2
      Folder
      16
    • Exhibits Accompanying Testimony of Staff Witness Joseph J.A. Jessel
      Box
      2
      Folder
      17
  • 2. Notes & Publicity Materials, Printed Matter, and Clippings, 1962 - 1966

    • Notes and Publicity Materials
      Box
      3
      Container
      18
    • Printed Material
      Box
      3
      Folder
      19
    • Clippings
      Container
      3
      Container
      20
    • Clippings
      Box
      3
      Folder
      21
    • Clippings
      Box
      3
      Folder
      22
    • Clippings
      Box
      3
      Folder
      23
    • Clippings
      Box
      3
      Folder
      24
    • Con Ed - Annual Reports, 1962-1965
      Box
      3
      Folder
      25