Proposal for compliance on Section 12 of the Power NY Act 2011 – Article X
The intense opposition from County and Town governments over several provisions in Article X poses a challenge for implementing the statue. This proposal addresses some of the deficiencies in administrating the legislation and offers solutions for the process.
The noticeable absence of SEQR compliance, the ambiguous voting status of the two ad hoc members, the lack of acknowledging the system of taxation for local jurisdictions and the need for guidelines to establish the staffing for administrating the permitting are evident.
Compliance with the proviso that “allow several parties to participate in the siting proceeding non-profit organizations formed in whole or in part to promote conservation, the environment, or consumer interest”, is a basic purpose of this proposal.
The experience and expertise of Citizen Power Alliance members is unmatched in New York State when it comes to siting industrial wind and energy generation projects. Our network of citizen and professional advocates for rational, economic and efficient energy, comparable with sound environmental concerns, can be a major benefit in implementing a reasonable Article X. Therefore, it is recommended that New York State adopt the method used in the State of Kansas, under an appropriate name that applies to Article X.
Citizens’ Regulatory Review Board (House Committee). The Home Committee requested that the Governor provide a funding recommendation for expenses incurred by Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) to carry out newly-created regulatory oversight duties for review during Omnibus.
Executive Order 11-02 charged CURB with the additional function of serving as the Citizens’ Regulatory Review Board to provide citizen oversight for administrative rules and regulations.
CPA urges Governor Cuomo to create an Omnibus function within the Article X staffing that involves input to “meet stringent standards” for siting and for determining what constitutes “unreasonably burdensome” as stated in Section 12.
Authorizing a working relationship within the staff that administers Article X would be a major step forward. As Governor Cuomo knows from his tenure as Attorney General, questionable ethnical practices were never resolved under the “Wind Task Force”. As noted by the Research and Policy Analysis by Citizens Union Foundation: “Over the past four years, New York has been embarrassed by the number of high-profile scandals that have also plagued too many of our statewide officeholders.”
A constructive dialogue can develop the details on how to integrate the tasks and boundaries that will assist the Article X Board. Adopting the principle of citizen involvement in the energy siting process will forge a tolerable balance that fosters public support, reduces litigation costs and project delays. As the opposition grows from Counties and Towns that Article X erodes if not overrides Home Rule, this Omnibus approach serves as a practical alternative for New York State. Hopefully, all parties can build upon this initiative.