Town supervisors in Somerset and Yates, where five years of local opposition seemingly blocked a major wind power project, blasted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to speed up approvals for renewable energy projects.
Jeffrey M. Dewart of Somerset and James J. Simon of Yates said Thursday that Cuomo’s proposal takes away what little voice localities had in solar and wind projects.
Cuomo’s announcement said the plan would “dramatically speed up the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects, combat climate change and grow the state’s green economy.”
“It eliminates the role of local zoning laws, allows for eminent domain takings of land, guts critical environmental review, and limits a town’s taxation and assessment powers and ability to negotiate host community agreements,” Simon and Dewart said in a prepared statement.
But the “most egregious proposed change,” they said, is the provision that automatically approves a project if Cuomo’s new Office of Renewable Energy Permitting doesn’t act on it in one year.
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