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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Manager of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.191 (Maziarz)

  Support

SUBJECT:

Siting Law for Electric Generating Facilities and Repowering

 

S. 191 (Maziarz)

DATE:

May 2, 2011

 

The Business Council supports this legislation that would establish a new, centralized process for reviewing and approving major electric generation facilities and repowering projects.

Even with the state’s commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy, the state will require reinvestment in its base load electric generating capacity to assure adequate and reliable electric power supplies.

This legislation in effect reinstates the state's former Article X siting law, with several significant improvements.  In doing so, it provides an efficient process for evaluating these projects, and strikes a workable blending of need for thorough environmental evaluations and a predicable, workable timeframe for review necessary to encourage necessary private sector investments.

Importantly, this bill establishes the procedural requirements for reviewing major electric power projects, without imposing new or more stringent environmental standards.  As a result of numerous new environmental requirements adopted over the past decade, the state already has among the most stringent emission control requirements applicable to major combustion sources.

Importantly, the bill also provides an expedited review process for repowering projects that result in significant reductions in air and water discharges and significant increases in energy efficiency.
The bill also expands public participation opportunities and resources, and requires a consideration of any disproportional, adverse impacts on minority and/or low income communities.

In order to foster growth and encourage economic well being, New York needs to send the proper signals to the marketplace. A reauthorization of the state’s siting law that insures a clear process and definite time frames, while maintaining public participation and environmental safeguards, is needed in order to encourage development in this crucial area of New York's economy.

For these reasons, The Business Council supports adoption of S.191.