Local officials will seek residents to participate in the process for reviewing an application from Atlantic Wind LLC for its Mad River Wind Farm should the developer submit one.
State Department of Public Service Secretary Kathleen H. Burgess sent letters to Redfield Town Supervisor Tanya M. Yerdon, Worth Town Supervisor Judith A. Nichols, Oswego County Administrator Philip R. Church and Jefferson County Administrator Robert F. Hagemann III March 3 saying each one will have to nominate four candidates for two ad hoc member positions on the state Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment to review the developer’s potential application.
“Anytime one of these projects becomes more serious in nature, one of these letters get sent out,” said Mr. Hagemann.
Ms. Burgess said in her letter that all four officials must make their nominations within 15 days after Atlantic Wind submits a preliminary scoping statement for its 350-megawatt project proposed in Redfield and Worth. The developer has not yet submitted an application or said when it will make its submission.
In order to qualify, nominees must reside in the area of the project’s proposed location, cannot hold any public or state office, or work for an electric utility corporation. Once the four officials submit their nominations, the state Senate’s temporary president, John J. Flanagan, and state Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie will each select one nominee to fill an ad hoc position.
“While no action is required of you at this time, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the nomination process and begin considering candidates,” Ms. Burgess said in her letter.
Mr. Hagemann said he and the Jefferson County Board of Legislators will start searching for candidates at a later date.
“We do have a little bit of time before we start submitting nominations,” Mr. Hagemann said.
When he and the County Legislature begin their search, Mr. Hagemann said he will look for candidates who live near the project and show general interest in it. He hopes those nominees will consider the project’s potential impacts on the county’s recently updated 911 emergency dispatch center, radar systems at Fort Drum, the environment, the viewshed and any other concerns from stakeholders if and when they review the developer’s application.
“We want to be alert to what comments might be from folks who live at that location,” Mr. Hagemann said. “It’s very important from a public policy standpoint.” Mr. Church, Mrs. Yerdon and Mrs. Nichols could not be reached for comment.
In addition to two ad hoc members, the siting board, which reviews all applications for proposed major electric generation facilities through the state Article 10 law review process, consist of five permanent members from state agencies.
The five permanent siting board members include DPS Chair Audrey Zibelman, state Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO John B. Rhodes, Empire State Development President & CEO Howard Zemsky, state Department of Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker and state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.
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