Wyoming County Board of Supervisors passes resolution opposing the Power Act of 2011
Credit: Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, via: COAX NY, coaxny.org 11 October 2011 ~~
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WYOMING COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RESOLUTION NO. 11 (October 11, 2011)
By Mr. Davis, Chairman of the Green Energy Committee / Mr. Fleischman, Chairman of the Planning Committee:
RESOLUTION OPPOSING THE POWER NY ACT OF 2011
WHEREAS, New York State recently enacted legislation known as the Power of NY Act of 2011; and
WHEREAS, Said legislation amended the public service law by adding a new Article X, which establishes a New York State Board on Electrical Generation Siting and the Environment; and
WHEREAS, Said Board will have the authority to permit the siting of electrical generating facilities in the State which have a nameplate generating capacity of twenty-five thousand kilowatts or more; and
WHEREAS, Previously, while various state agencies had regulatory oversight for such facilities, as a home rule state, New York’s local municipalities, by virtue of decisions made by locally elected representatives, could ultimately decide whether such development was in their residents’ best interests; and
WHEREAS, The Power of NY Act of 2011 removes said decision-making from local municipalities, and puts that authority into the hands of a bureaucratic State board which will have nominal representation from affected communities, and even that representation cannot be from elected representatives of those communities; and
WHEREAS, The new board will have the authority to ignore “any local ordinance, law…or any local standard or requirement…if it finds that…such is unreasonably burdensome…on ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality”; and
WHEREAS, The new law further states that “no…municipality…may require any approval, consent, permit, certificate or other condition for the construction or operation” of such a facility; and
WHEREAS, While the law provides for the set-aside of funds for pre-hearing research on behalf of the affected communities, said funds are controlled by the Board and will be allocated as it sees fit; and
WHEREAS, The large majority of the Board’s membership will have no connection to the affected communities and will not be directly affected by their decisions; and
WHEREAS, While municipalities may be a party to the siting hearings, so may any individual within 5 miles of the proposed facility’s site, and therefore the municipality itself, which purpose, by law, is to represent the residents who elect its officials, is diminished to the level of each individual within the 5 mile radius, whether or not he/she lives in the affected municipality; and
WHEREAS, Said law follows a disturbing trend in New York State to remove powers from the local jurisdictions and therefore from the affected electorate and transfer such powers to a faceless State of New York bureaucracy which has no constituency; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, That the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors opposes, protests, and expresses its deep disappointment and concern over the establishment of said siting Board and of the enactment of the Power NY Act of 2011; and be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That certified copies of this resolution be sent by the Clerk of this Board to New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan, New York State Assemblyman Daniel Burling, and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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