WARSAW – The Wyoming County Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution opposing the Power NY Act.
The bill gives the state increased authority to site power plants and streamlines the siting process. It was signed into law two months ago.
Supervisors approved the resolution expressing “deep disappointment and concern” over the law during their Oct. 11 meeting.
“This is in opposition to the state of New York being the last approving agency to decide which green energy projects go where in New York state, particularly in the towns and counties,” said Chairman Douglas Berwanger.
The Power NY Act includes a section re-authorizing Article X of the state’s Public Service law. The original Article X had expired about a decade ago, allowing local governments to assume jurisdiction over power plant siting issues.
Albany now has the authority to site electricity-generating projects of 25 megawatts or more. Construction and operating certifications can also be issued more-quickly.
Large-scale commercial wind farms fall under the new rules.
Wyoming County’s resolution argues the Power NY Act puts the authority into the hands of a bureaucratic state board with only nominal input from affected communities.
It also maintains the new legislation is part of a disturbing trend removing powers from local jurisdictions and transferring them to a faceless bureaucracy with no jurisdiction.
The Power NY Act was approved overwhelmingly this past June. Tallies included 117-13 in the State Assembly and 59-3 in the State Senate.
But the law met resistance from some local legislators. Assemblyman Daniel Burling, R-Warsaw and State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Clarence were among those voting no.
“We needed to take a stand and let people know where we are as far as Article X is,” Berwanger said after the meeting. “We’ve got some enthusiastic supporters and detractors as far as any kind of energy development systems in the county.”
In other action:
— Berwanger was authorized to sign a contract with Clark Patterson Lee of Rochester on behalf of the Countywide Water District Research Subcommittee.
The county is considering a water plan to help ensure residents’ access to a healthy supply. The Rochester-based firm will assess existing and future conditions; quantity and quality of water supplies; public water system regulations; and developing recommendations.
The contract is effective through Sept. 30, 2012. Cost is not to exceed $20,000.
— Janis Cook of Warsaw was re-appointed to a two-year term as county budget officer, effective Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2013.
— Denise Morley of Bliss was appointed to the Genesee Livingston Orleans Wyoming Workforce Investment Board as a private sector representative. The appointment is effective immediately.
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