NYS Towns resolution calls for continued local wind siting oversight

From the 2010 Legislative Resolutions of the Association of Towns of the State of New York:

Resolution No. 9: Preserve and Strengthen Local Government’s Role in the Siting of Energy Generation Facilities

Whereas, Governor Paterson signed Executive Order 24 of the year 2009, setting forth a goal to reduce current greenhouse gas emissions from all sources within the state 80 percent below levels emitted in the year 1990 by the year 2050; and

Whereas, the wind energy facilities (WEFs) will likely play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and

Whereas, the proper regulation of the siting and installation of WEFs is necessary for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of neighboring property owners and the general public; and

Whereas, local governments have successfully developed, implemented and administered local WEF siting laws and policies with the input and guidance of local taxpayers, residents, business and agricultural representatives, environmentalists, energy generators, planners and lawyers; and

Whereas, the Wind Code of Conduct negotiated by the New York State Attorney General’s Office and agreed to by the predominate players in the Wind Energy Market has addressed potential conflicts of interests in the siting of wind energy facilities; and

Whereas, Article X of the Public Service Law (PSL), which set forth the siting procedure to construct and operate major power generation facilities with a capacity of 80 megawatts or more, expired Dec. 31, 2002, thereby requiring electric generating project developers to undergo local zoning review and environmental review pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law);

Now Therefore Be It

Resolved, that the Association of Towns calls upon the Governor, State Legislature and State Agencies to develop new laws and regulations that will preserve local authority over the siting of WEFs; and Be It Further

Resolved, that legislation authorizing the renewal of the state siting procedure for power generation facilities (PSL, article X) should include measures to enhance local government participation in the siting process such as, but not limited to: ad hoc membership on the state siting board, adherence to local siting polices, required community host agreements, and/or access to intervener funds.

Source: Association of Towns.

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