The author, Stephen E. Herrmann of this opinion viewpoint, was a former Special Assistant to the General Counsel of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He is part of the law firm Richards, Layton & Finger. His bio states that he has 30 years’ experience in advising boards of directors on corporate governance issues.

From the offset, it should be emphasized that sound energy policy must be based upon actual need, effective cost, efficient generation and balanced environmental protection. Mr. Herrmann’s revealing admission that Article X’s true purpose is to override local zoning and land use authority is clearly stated, “new law hopefully will create a one-stop siting decision-maker”. The elimination of SEQRA compliance and discarding the principled legal standard of Home Rule, has been a main objective of foreign developers, as they rush to site ill-conceived projects, especially over the strong objections of local community representatives.

Absent in Mr. Herrmann’s advocacy for corporate interests is that the two local residents to the new board do not have a vote in the decision and that the five permanent members are NYS bureaucrat appointees that have no accountability to the general public, much less the residents where the project will be fast tracked.

The insignificant amounts for “intervener funding” and limited time for filing, actually creates a major profit center savings for single-minded developers. With a 25 megawatts trigger for jurisdiction, the conclusive result is that siting can and will be forced upon any location that benefits the developer.

(Click to read the entire article)

Original article by The author, Stephen E. Herrmann - NEW YORK’S POWER PLANT SITING SOLUTION


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