The Business Council opposes this bill which would require applications to the Public Service Commission for proposed electric transmission projects be accompanied by new fees, ranging from $50,000 for projects using an existing right-of-way and extending up to 50 miles, to $450,000 for projects extending a distance of over 100 miles. Additionally, this proposal would provide for an additional fee of up to $125,000 if the application is amended and the commission deems further scrutiny is warranted. The purpose of the additional fees would be to establish an intervenor account which would be used to fund municipalities, citizens, and community groups who wish to intervene in the transmission siting process.
Community input and involvement is essential to the success of any major infrastructure project. This is why most successful projects voluntarily engage affected communities extensively and early on. In addition, Article VII of the Public Service Law, which regulates the process of siting energy transmission facilities, provides extensive opportunities for public input.
Considering these existing opportunities for public input into transmission siting decisions, as well as already high energy costs in New York, exacerbated by the $651 million increase in 18-A assessments on utilities in the enacted 2009-2010 FY budget, we oppose this legislation that would further add new costs on our power system and further discourage investment in New York State.
For these reasons, the Business Council is opposed to A.1122/ S.1599-A.