New Renewable Siting Law Passed To Fix A Broken Process
To The Reader’s Forum:
Readers of your May 12 article “Legislators Opposed to Fast Tracking Energy Projects” were undoubtedly left with the impression that the new renewable energy siting law cuts out local government input, which simply isn’t the case. The new law is designed to improve a siting process that was expensive, took years to navigate, and was costly and often frustrating to both developers and local governments. It does not exclude local governments from the process, as Senator Borrello and Assemblyman Goodell contend. It requires draft permits to be provided to local governments early in the permitting process and provides multiple opportunities for input, including a mandatory public or adjudicatory hearing. It also requires project developers to provide funding to local government to hire experts to review applications and raise concerns. It’s also noteworthy that the Legislature gave the Department of State, the most local government friendly agency in the state bureaucracy, the responsibility to implement the new siting law.
The Legislature passed the new renewable siting law to fix a broken process that did not serve anyone well. If implemented properly, it will improve and accelerate the decision-making process, provide all stakeholders a voice and give the State a fighting chance to achieve the renewable energy and climate standards that were enacted into law just last year.
Anne Reynolds, Executive Director
The Alliance for Clean Energy New York