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PSC general counsel hosts land use training session at JCC  

Jefferson County Legislator Michael A. Montigelli said the most surprising thing he learned from the training session was that the required five-mile radius of impact study for wind projects could be extended beyond five miles. He added this could be important for Apex Energy’s proposed Galloo Island wind farm, which would likely be most visible from the town of Henderson. However, the project’s taxing jurisdiction is in the town of Hounsfield. The town of Henderson will not receive potential tax revenue or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes revenue due to its location in relation to the project.

Credit:  By Brian Molongoski | Watertown Daily Times | November 15, 2016 | www.watertowndailytimes.com ~~

WATERTOWN – Dozens of people gathered in Jefferson Community College’s Sturtz Theater Monday night to see a thorough breakdown of the Article 10 siting review process regarding major electric generating facilities .

Paul Agresta, general counsel of the New York State Public Service Commission, detailed the numerous steps in the process, from nominating members to the siting board to the evidentiary hearing process, which involves testimonies before a judge from those in favor or opposed to a project.

Mr. Agresta also explained that, regarding home rule, the Article 10 process cannot be affected by special laws implemented in individual municipalities. He said that Article 10 is classified as a “general law” under the state’s constitution, meaning it applies to every municipality in New York state with no exceptions. Therefore, municipal home rule laws do not have the power to flat out block the Article 10 process, and it is up to an energy project’s Article 10 Siting Board to make the final decision based on compiled studies and testimonies from the public.

Each siting board includes two members who live within a project’s perimeter. The members are nominated by the concerning municipalities and appointed by the Assembly speaker and State Senate president pro tem.

Clayton Town Supervisor David M. Storandt Jr., who attended the session, said that he hopes the public can take advantage of every opportunity throughout the Article 10 process to let their voices be heard.

“It’s really about making sure the issues really are tackled for future steps in the process,” Mr. Storandt said. “It’s also about making sure all of the participation periods are known in advance so we can participate in them. We don’t want to be boxed out of a particular part of the process.”

Clayton has been going through its own wind saga throughout the year. Atlantic Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, is developing a major wind energy generating project that will be called the Horse Creek Wind Farm. The project, which would produce about 96 megawatts of electricity, would be in the towns of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme, with a significant portion potentially in Clayton.

Under a recent agreement, the Clayton Town Council and the Planning Board agreed to have the Planning Board review Atlantic Wind’s applications under the town’s current wind and zoning laws and to let the six-month moratorium on wind energy facility applications expire. The Town Council established the moratorium April 28 when board members passed Local Law No. 2, prohibiting the Planning Board from making a decision on the developer’s applications in May.

Jefferson County Legislator Michael A. Montigelli said the most surprising thing he learned from the training session was that the required five-mile radius of impact study for wind projects could be extended beyond five miles. He added this could be important for Apex Energy’s proposed Galloo Island wind farm, which would likely be most visible from the town of Henderson. However, the project’s taxing jurisdiction is in the town of Hounsfield. The town of Henderson will not receive potential tax revenue or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes revenue due to its location in relation to the project.

Because the project’s visibility does extend to Henderson, it’s possible that the municipality could potentially be more involved in the Galloo Island proposal process. Mr. Agresta said evidence would have to go before a judge.

[rest of article available at source]

Source:  By Brian Molongoski | Watertown Daily Times | November 15, 2016 | www.watertowndailytimes.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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