Electric Power Generation under NYS Article X

The New York State Public Service Commission draft (link for comments) from the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment for the proposed regulations to the Power NY Act 2011, known as Article X is deficient in its mandate. Since a SEQR review for electric generation projects that fall under the new regulations is no longer a requirement, New York State is effectively writing new regulations that abdicate the oversight role of the Department of Environmental Conservation. The motive to fast track permitting approval at the expense of environmental protection demonstrates a bias in favor of developer projects. Therefore, in order to establish an equitable balance in interests, it is prudent to include a comprehensive citizen participation process within the administrative structure of the DPS.

The purpose of incorporating a Citizen Advisory Panel within the PSC is to have access, in a timely manner to the entire database of relevant information on each project. A review of applications and stakeholder input from representatives of citizen organizations is in keeping with the Article X mandate. Recommendations by the panel have the value of experience and expertise that deserves consideration by the Article X Siting Board.

The Citizen Power Alliance is a coalition of concerned citizen organizations that have years of involvement within the electric permitting process. From the perspective of local community interest, the spirit of Home Rule will remain in practice with the support of the multi-agency Siting Board. Individual municipalities, hard pressed to engage as an intervener or challenge the new Article X application process, will benefit from a central resource function of the Citizen Advisory Panel.

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