Article 10 Update: A troubling new practice
March 6, 2019
Our researchers are finding that a new practice is systematically depriving communities of yet more decision-making powers with regard to solar—but not wind—projects.
Here’s where we are in the Article 10 process and how this change works.
Hecate Energy filed its Preliminary Scoping Statement last summer. This document provided a first look at the project and was open to comments, which Saving Greene and many others submitted. Currently the project is in the stipulation phase, during which environmental and other studies are negotiated between the developers and stakeholders.
The next step in the Article 10 process is for Hecate Energy to file its Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need. Looking ahead, projects usually have one year after filing the Application to resolve issues and hold a public hearing before the Siting Board votes to approve or reject the siting.
The Siting Board normally includes two ad hoc members from the community, giving the community at least nominal voting rights on projects. Solar projects are being treated differently from previous Article 10 proceedings, though, with only one ad hoc member being appointed to represent the community—meaning the community loses an essential second vote.
The decisions not to appoint a second ad hoc member are being made by Governor Cuomo and represents a disturbing new trend. Saving Greene objects strongly to this practice. We feel that it expands the subversion of municipal home rule inherent in the Article 10 process. Assemblyman Chris Tague has been pursuing the issue on Coxsackie’s behalf. As always, we appreciate his support for our community.