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A03340 Summary:

COSPNSRMorinello, D'Urso, Colton, Lawrence, Crouch, Byrnes, Hawley
Amd §168, rpld & add §170, Pub Serv L
Relates to decisions by the state board on electric generation; requires approval through public referendum prior to certification for establishing a major electric generating facility.
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A03340 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to decisions by the state board on electric generation; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating thereto   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Subdivisions 1 and 7 of section 168 of the public service law, as added by chapter 388 of the laws of 2011.Section 2: Section 170 of the public service law is REPEALED and a new 23 section 170 is added to include:Before the final decision by the board may become effective, a referendum must be held upon the question of approv- ing an application for a certificate establishing a major electric generating facility in the municipality where the proposed facility intends to be located and approved by fifty-one per centum of voters.Section 3: Effective Date   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): Municipality is clearly defined in new bill as town or city.   JUSTIFICATION: Article 10 of New York State Public Service Law acts as the benchmark review process in considering applications to construct and operate electric generating facilities. Most new major electrical generating proposals will fall in this classification and are subject to the Arti- cle 10 process in order to construct a facility and distribute power regionally.The concerns regarding Article 10 and the siting process of major electrical facilities, at least thus far, do not revolve around New York State's investment in green/renewable energy or long term goals to increase our green energy capacity for a brighter economic outlook and healthier environment. There appears to be widespread consent that our state must invest in a diverse energy portfolio.While green energy and technology continue to see advancement in civic application, we must not rush the process and continue to support traditional energy in addi- tion to the innovation of tomorrow's new energy sources.The issues that are of greatest immediate concern in determining where a new electric generating facility can be placed, rests with the process and current lack of community input and control. This amendment offers a solution to the most apparent issues circling the Article 10 process.There are real- istic and achievable amendments that can be made to the Article 10 Siting Process that will still adhere to the original intent of the legislation, but will allow for more community input, protect municipal "home rule," and by doing so, prevent an Albany appointed board from ignoring the wishes of local communities. This legislation would guaran- tee that no decision regarding the placement of an electrical generating facility in New York State can be approved or denied without the consent of the host community. This proposal would institute a public referen- dum, or vote, on the approval of an electric generating project. Follow- ing the final decision made by the Siting Board, the public would have the opportunity to vote in a similar manner as they do on election propositions. If an application receives a majority of "yes" votes, then the board must grant the applicant a certificate. If the application receives less than a majority in favor, the application must be denied. This proposal literally gives the community the opportunity to decide on whether or not to host an electrical generating facility.The public would have the same involvement as in the original Article 10 process which includes access to the scoping statement and application detail, in addition to the opportunity to submit public comment. With this proposal instituted, however, the public can take that information and make a determination on what is most appropriate for their community.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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