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Q. What is Article 10?
A. "Article 10" was enacted in 2011 to be a portion of the New York State Public Service Law. It is a general state law that is applicable in all of New York State. Article 10 empowers the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) to issue Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (certificate) authorizing the construction and operation of major electric generating facilities.
Q. What is meant by the term "siting"?
Q. What is meant by the term "major"?
Q. What is meant by the term "electric generating"?
Q. What is meant by the term "facility"?
Q. What is meant by the term "certificate"?
THE SITING BOARD
Q. What is the "Siting Board"?
Q. Who are the permanent members of the Siting Board?
Q. What is meant by the term "ad hoc"?
Q. Do ad hoc public members receive any compensation for their service on the Siting Board?
Q. What are the qualifications to be an ad hoc public member?
Q. How are the two ad hoc public members designated to serve on the Siting Board?
Q. How is the list of ad hoc public member candidates established?
Q. How is the list of candidates established in the City of New York?
Q. How is the list of candidates established in a town outside of any villages or in a city other than the City of New York?
Q. How is the list of candidates established in a village?
Q. How is the list of candidates established if the facility is to be built on parcels of land located in more than one municipality?
Q. What resources are available to assist the Siting Board?
TYPES OF GENERATING FACILITIES
Q. What types of electric generating facilities are likely to be proposed pursuant to the Article 10 process?
Q. Are electric generating facilities to be built by a power authority exempt from the Article 10 process?
Q. Are any electric generating facilities exempt from the Article 10 process?
Q. If a facility is exempt from the Article 10 process, can the developer of the facility opt-in to the Article 10 process?
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
Q. What is meant by the term "public involvement"?
A. "Public involvement" is the process of enabling the public to participate in decisions that may affect public health, safety and the environment.
Q. In what stages of the Article 10 process is it appropriate to conduct public involvement activities?
Q. How is public involvement conducted?
A. At the earliest stage of the Article 10 process, applicants are required to prepare and begin implementing a Public Involvement Program. In addition, to ensure that the public and interested parties are fully assisted and advised in participating in the Article 10 process,
an Office of Public Information Coordinator has been created within the New York State Department of Public Service.
Q. Is the public required to participate in the applicant's public involvement activities?
Q. What are the purposes of a Public Involvement Program?
A. The purposes of a Public Involvement Plan include: (a) providing for an open exchange of information and ideas between the public and the applicant; (b) providing complete information on the application to the public; (c) providing timely notice to the public of important events; (d) providing meaningful public input to key decisions; (e) fostering the active, early and continuing involvement of interested or affected persons; (f) the solicitation of public comments, ideas, and local expertise; and (g) the identification of circumstances and impacts which may not have been known or anticipated by the applicant or government agencies.
Q. What are the elements of a Public Involvement Program plan?
A. The Public Involvement Program plan must include: (a) consultation with the affected agencies and other stakeholders; (b) pre-application activities to encourage stakeholders to participate at the earliest opportunity; (c) activities designed to educate the public as to the specific proposal and the Article 10 review process, including the availability of funding for municipal and local parties; (d) the establishment of a website to disseminate information to the public; (e) notifications; and (f) activities designed to encourage participation by stakeholders in the certification and compliance process. In addition, an applicant is expected to communicate with the public early in the pre-application process through the use of various means such as media coverage, direct mailings, fliers or newsletters. This should be done before any agreements on project stipulations have been made between the applicant and interested parties. In addition, the applicant is expected to hold public meetings, offer presentations to individual groups and organizations, and establish a community presence. Establishing a local office, a toll-free telephone number, Internet website, or a community advisory group are among the actions an applicant may take to establish its presence in the community. An applicant should disseminate information about its proposed project at meetings, in mass mailings and through local media.
Q. When does the Public Involvement Program plan have to be prepared?
Q. What happens if the Department of Public Service (DPS) finds the Public Involvement Program plan to be inadequate?
A. DPS has 30 days after the date of the applicant's submittal to make written comments on the adequacy of the Public Involvement Program plan. If deemed inadequate, DPS will make specific written recommendations as to what measures are necessary to make the Public Involvement Program plan adequate. Thereafter, the applicant has 30 days to consider the measures recommended by DPS and, in a final written Public Involvement Program plan filed with the Secretary, shall as to each specific measure either revise the Public Involvement Program plan to incorporate the DPS recommendation, or provide a written explanation as to why the applicant is not incorporating the DPS recommendation.
What happens if the applicant refuses to incorporate a DPS recommendation without an adequate explanation, or has an inadequate Public Involvement Program plan?
Q. How do people who do not speak English participate in public involvement?
A. Applicants are required to identify significant non-English speaking populations and to address the need for non-English communication and participation in their Public Involvement Program plan.
Q. What is the function of the Office of Public Information Coordinator created within the Department of Public Service?
Q. What is the Department of Public Service?
Q. How can I contact the Office of Public Information Coordinator?
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - PRELIMINARY SCOPING STATEMENT
Q. What is a Preliminary Scoping Statement?
Q. When does the Preliminary Scoping Statement have to be filed?
Q. What kind of information must be included in a Preliminary Scoping Statement?
A. The information that must be included falls into two major categories. The first category is a description of the proposed facility and its environmental setting. Among other things, the information provided must include the description of potential environmental and health impacts resulting from the construction and operation of the proposed facility; measures proposed to minimize environmental impacts; reasonable alternatives to the facility; and the identification of all other state and federal permits, certifications, or other authorizations needed for construction, operation or maintenance of the proposed facility. The second category is a description of the proposed studies or program of studies designed to evaluate potential environmental and health impacts that the applicant intends to include in its application for an Article 10 certificate. The description of the studies must include the extent and quality of information needed for the application to adequately address and evaluate each potentially significant adverse environmental and health impact, including existing and new information where required, and the methodologies and procedures for obtaining the new information. The preliminary scoping statement must also include an identification of any other material issues raised by the public and affected agencies during any consultation and the response of the applicant to those issues.
Q. What happens after the Preliminary Scoping Statement is filed?
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - Fund for Municipal & LOCAL PARTIES
Q. What is the fund for municipal and local parties?
A. Applicants are required at several stages in the Article 10 process to provide funds to be used to defray certain expenses incurred by municipal and local parties when participating in an Article 10 proceeding. These funds are known as "intervenor" funds collected by assessing an "intervenor" fee on the applicant.
Q: How does an applicant set up the fund?
Q. What is an "intervenor"?
A. "Intervenor" is the name used to refer to a party other than the applicant or the staff of the reviewing public agency that joins a case or proceeding as a third party for the protection of an interest.
Q. What is the amount of the intervenor fee assessed during the pre-application stage?
A. Applicants submitting a preliminary scoping statement are assessed an intervenor fee equal to $350 for each 1,000 kilowatts (1 megawatt) of generating capacity of the subject facility, but no more than $200,000. For example, for a 100 megawatt facility, the pre-application intervenor fee would be $35,000 (100 x $350).
Q. What happens if after the pre-application intervenor fees have been used up, the applicant amends its preliminary scoping statement and more review is required?
Q. How does a qualified intervenor make a request for intervenor funds?
Q. When are pre-application intervenor funds awarded?
Q. Who is eligible for intervenor funds?
Q. What can pre-application intervenor funds be used for?
A. The pre-application intervenor funds awarded can be used
to defray pre-application expenses incurred by municipal and local parties for expert witnesses, consultants, administrative costs (document preparation and duplications costs) and legal fees.
No intervenor funds may be used to pay for judicial review or litigation costs.
Q. On what basis will the funds be awarded?
A. The presiding examiner will award funds on an equitable basis to participants during the pre-application phase to be used to make an effective contribution to review of the preliminary scoping statement, and thereby provide early and effective public involvement.
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - STIPULATIONS
Q. What are stipulations?
A. "Stipulations" are agreements among parties that concern matters before the Siting Board and are designed to simplify or shorten litigation and save costs. Any parties to the proceeding can enter into a stipulation setting forth an agreement on any aspect of the preliminary scoping statement and the scope of studies or program of studies to be conducted. It is often in the interests of applicants and other parties to agree in advance to the content and methodology for conducting studies that will be submitted as part of the application.
Q. How is the stipulations process initiated?
Q. Do other parties and the public get an opportunity to participate in the stipulations process?
Q. What happens if a party does not agree that a stipulation entered into between the applicant and another party is adequate?
APPLICATION PROCEDURES - SUBMISSION OF AN APPLICATION
Q. What happens when an Article 10 application is submitted?
Q. What happens if the documents submitted are insufficient to comply with the requirements of the law, regulations and stipulations?
A. If the documents submitted are insufficient to comply with the requirements of the law, regulations and stipulations, the Chairperson of the Siting Board will issue a letter to the applicant advising of the deficiencies that must be corrected before the documents can be deemed a complying application.
The Chairperson of the Siting Board may also require the filing of any additional information needed to supplement an application before or during the hearings.
Q. What happens if the documents submitted are sufficient to comply with the requirements of the law, regulations and stipulations?
APPLICATION PROCEDURES - DESIGNATION OF PARTIES
Q. Who are the parties to an Article 10 proceeding?
Q. Who are the automatic statutory parties to an Article 10 proceeding?
Q. Who are the parties that have a right to be a party to an Article 10 proceeding merely by giving notice?
Q. Who are the parties that may be permitted to join?
Q. Where does a party file a notice of intent to be a party?
APPLICATION PROCEDURES - Fund for Municipal & LOCAL PARTIES
Q. What is the amount of the intervenor fee assessed when an application is filed?
Q. How does an applicant set up the fund?
A. Applicants supplying the requisite fee to set up the intervenor funding account for the application phase of the case must provide a check, made out to the NYS Department of Public Service, simultaneously with the filing of their Application.
The case number must be printed on the face of the check. The check must be delivered to the Director of the DPS Office of Finance and Budget, under cover of a letter stating the amount of the check and the Article 10 case name and number. The letter must be copied to the Secretary of the Siting Board for filing in the Article 10 case.
Q. What happens if after the application phase intervenor fees have been used up, the applicant amends its application and more review is required?
Q. How does a qualified intervenor make a request for intervenor funds?
Q. Who is eligible for intervenor funds?
Q. What can application phase intervenor funds be used for?
Q. On what basis will the funds be awarded?
A. The presiding examiner will award funds on an equitable basis to municipal and local parties who will use them to contribute to a complete record leading to an informed decision as to the appropriateness of the site and the facility and will facilitate broad participation in the proceeding.
HEARING PROCEDURES - CONDUCT OF THE HEARING
Q. Who conducts the hearings?
Q. What kinds of hearings will be held?
A. It is expected that both public statement hearings and trial-type evidentiary hearings will be held. In addition, persons are permitted to make a limited appearance.
Q. What are "public statement" hearings?
Q. What is a "limited appearance"?
Q. What are "trial-type evidentiary" hearings?
A. Trial-type evidentiary hearings are designed to obtain sworn testimony from witnesses (usually expert witnesses) that are subject to cross examination by the parties to the proceeding. The format is designed like a trial and it is recommended that the participants be assisted by legal counsel, although the assistance of legal counsel is not mandatory. The usual practice is for written direct and rebuttal testimony and discovery to be circulated to the parties in advance so that the hearings can focus on the cross examination of witnesses.
Q. What is "discovery"?
Q. If the Siting Board does not personally conduct the hearings, how does it become informed of the proceedings?
SITING BOARD DECISIONS - TIMING OF THE DECISION
Q. Is there a deadline by which the Siting Board must make a final decision on an Article 10 application?
Q. What happens to the deadline if the application is amended during the Article 10 proceeding?
A. If during the proceeding there is a material and substantial amendment to the application, the deadlines may be extended by no more than 6 months to consider such amendment, unless the deadline is waived by the applicant.
Q. Are there any other exceptions to the deadlines described above?
SITING BOARD DECISIONS - SUBSTANCE OF THE DECISION
Q. What options does the Siting Board have in making a decision on an Article 10 application?
A. The Siting Board can grant a certificate in the manner requested by the applicant, it can grant a certificate subject to modifications and or conditions, or it may deny the application. In rendering a decision on an application for a certificate, the Siting Board must issue a written opinion stating its reasons for the action taken.
Q. What substantive matters must be addressed in any Siting Board decision to grant an Article 10 certificate?
A. The Siting Board is required to make certain statutory findings and determinations, and the required determinations can only be made after considering certain required factors.
Q. What are the required statutory findings that must be made by the Siting Board?
Q. What are the required statutory determinations that must be made by the Siting Board?
A. The Siting Board must make explicit determinations that: (a) the facility is a beneficial addition to or substitution for the electric generation capacity of the state; (b) the construction and operation of the facility will serve the public interest; (c) the adverse environmental effects of the construction and operation of the facility will be minimized or avoided to the maximum extent practicable; (d) if the board finds that the facility results in or contributes to a significant and adverse disproportionate environmental impact in the community in which the facility would be located, the applicant will avoid, offset or minimize the impacts caused by the facility upon the local community for the duration that the certificate is issued to the maximum extent practicable using verifiable measures; (e) the facility is designed to operate in compliance with applicable state and local laws and regulations issued thereunder concerning, among other matters, the environment, public health and safety, all of which shall be binding upon the applicant, except that the Siting Board may elect not to apply, in whole or in part, any local ordinance, law, resolution or other action or any regulation issued thereunder or any local standard or requirement, including, but not limited to, those relating to the interconnection to and use of water, electric, sewer, telecommunication, fuel and steam lines in public rights of way, which would be otherwise applicable if it finds that, as applied to the proposed facility, such is unreasonably burdensome in view of the existing technology or the needs of or costs to ratepayers whether located inside or outside of such municipality. The Siting Board shall provide the municipality an opportunity to present evidence in support of such ordinance, law, resolution, regulation or other local action issued thereunder.
Q. What are the required statutory factors that must be considered by the Siting Board in making the required determinations?
A. The Siting Board must consider: (a) the state of available technology; (b) the nature and economics of reasonable alternatives; (c) environmental impacts found pursuant to subdivision two of this section; (d) the impact of construction and operation of related facilities, such as electric lines, gas lines, water supply lines, waste water or other sewage treatment facilities, communications and relay facilities, access roads, rail facilities, or steam lines; (e) the consistency of the construction and operation of the facility with the energy policies and long-range energy planning objectives and strategies contained in the most recent state energy plan; (f) the impact on community character and whether the facility would affect communities that are disproportionately impacted by cumulative levels of pollutants; and (g) such additional social, economic, visual or other aesthetic, environmental and other considerations deemed pertinent by the Siting Board.
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
Q. Who is in charge of compliance and enforcement matters regarding a Certificate that has been issued?