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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"?
A. "Siting" is a process consisting of a series of steps conducted by a regulatory agency in determining whether to allow a facility to be located and operated on a site.
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"?
A. A "certificate" is a legal document issued by the Siting Board to an applicant if the Siting Board determines that the applicant's proposal to construct and operate a major electric generating facility satisfies the statutory standards set forth in Article 10 of the Public Service Law. The certificate authorizes the applicant to construct and operate the proposed facility. The certificate must be in the form of a written decision and opinion, must include explicit findings and determinations required by the statute, and must state the reasons of the Siting Board for the action taken.
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?
A. There is a different procedure depending on whether the facility is proposed to be located (a) in the City of New York; (b) in a town outside of any villages or in a city other than the City of New York; or (c) in a village.
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?
A. The Department of Public Service provides a presiding examiner and whatever legal, technological, scientific, engineering and other services that may be required. The Department of Environmental Conservation provides an associate examiner. The Secretary and the General Counsel to the Public Service Commission serve as Secretary and the General Counsel to 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?
A. Based on recent market trends in New York State, the types of electric generating facilities most likely to be proposed pursuant to the Article 10 process are natural gas-fired facilities and wind-power facilities. But it is possible that other types of generating facilities will be proposed. The Summer 2012 installed generating capacity of power plants in the New York Control Area is 38,902 MWs, type classified as follows: Gas with Oil Back-up 36.9%; Gas 15.7%; Nuclear 13.5%; Hydro 11.0%; Oil 8.5%; Coal 6.1%; Pumped Storage Hydro 3.6%, Wind 3.5%; Refuse 0.7%; Biomass (Wood) 0.1%; Solar 0.1%, and Other 0.2%.
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?
A. Yes. The statute provides exemption for:
(a) electric generating facilities with a generating capacity of less than 25 megawatts;
(b) electric generating facilities for which the federal government has exclusive siting jurisdiction;
(c) electric generating facilities for which the federal government has concurrent siting jurisdiction and has exercised such jurisdiction to the exclusion of state regulation;
(d) normal repairs, replacements, modifications and improvements of a major electric generating facility, whenever built, which do not constitute a violation of any Article 10 certificate and which do not result in an increase in capacity of the facility of more than 25 megawatts;
(e) electric generating facilities of 200 megawatts or less constructed on lands dedicated to industrial uses where the electricity generated is used solely for industrial purposes on the premises;
(f) electric generating facilities for which an application was made on or before July 12, 2012 for a license, permit, certificate, consent or approval from any federal, state or local commission, agency, board or regulatory body; and.
(g) electric generating facilities under construction on July 12, 2012.
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"?
Q. In what stages of the Article 10 process is it appropriate to conduct public involvement activities?
Q. How is public involvement conducted?
Q. Is the public required to participate in the applicant's public involvement activities?
Q. What are the purposes of a Public Involvement Program?
Q. What are the elements of a Public Involvement Program plan?
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?
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?
A. A preliminary scoping statement is a written document to inform the Siting Board, other public agencies and the public that the applicant is contemplating making an Article 10 application. It is prepared by an applicant after consulting with the public, affected agencies, and other stakeholders. The term "consulting" in this context means providing information to and effective opportunities for input from the public, affected agencies, and other stakeholders, concerning the proposal.
Q. When does the Preliminary Scoping Statement have to be filed?
A. The preliminary scoping statement must be filed no less than 90 days before the date on which the applicant files its application for an Article 10 certificate. In addition, at least three days before the preliminary scoping statement is filed, the applicant must publish a public notice and summary of the preliminary scoping statement in local newspapers in the affected area and serve a copy of the notice and summary upon public officials and all persons who requested to receive such notices.
Q. What kind of information must be included in a Preliminary Scoping Statement?
Q. What happens after the Preliminary Scoping Statement is filed?
A. Within 21 days after the filing of the preliminary scoping statement, any person, agency or municipality may submit comments on the preliminary scoping statement by serving such comments on the applicant and filing a copy with the secretary. Within 21 days after the closing of the comment period, the applicant shall prepare a summary of the material comments and its reply thereto, and file and serve its summary of comments and its reply in the same manner as it files and serves the preliminary scoping statement. Thereafter, it is expected that the applicant will work with interested parties to resolve any disagreements they may have about the sufficiency of the planned scope and methodology of studies to be included in the application.
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?
A. Applicants supplying the requisite fee to set up the intervenor funding account for the preliminary scoping phase of the case must provide a check, made out to the NYS Department of Public Service, simultaneously with the filing of their Preliminary Scoping Statement. 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 is an "intervenor"?
Q. What is the amount of the intervenor fee assessed during the pre-application stage?
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?
Q. On what basis will the funds be awarded?
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - STIPULATIONS
Q. What are stipulations?
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?
A. Within sixty days of receipt, the Chairperson of the Siting Board determines whether the documents submitted comply with the requirements of the law, regulations and stipulations. The Department of Environmental Conservation also advises the Siting Board within the sixty day period whether the documents submitted contain sufficient information.
Q. What happens if the documents submitted are insufficient to comply with the requirements of the law, regulations and stipulations?
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?
A. The applicant, staff of the Department of Public Service, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Department of State, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and in certain instances, the Adirondack Park Agency.
Q. Who are the parties that have a right to be a party to an Article 10 proceeding merely by giving notice?
A. Provided they file with the Siting Board a notice of intent to be a party, within 45 days after the date given in the published notice as the date for the filing of the application, the following parties have a right to be a party to an Article 10 proceeding merely by giving the required notice: (a) the affected municipality; (b) any individual resident of an affected municipality; (c) any non-profit corporation or association, formed in whole or in part to promote conservation or natural beauty, to protect the environment, personal health or other biological values, to preserve historical sites, to promote consumer interests, to represent commercial and industrial groups or to promote the orderly development of any area in which the facility is to be located; and (d) any other municipality or resident of such municipality located within a five mile radius of such proposed facility
(their notice of intent must include an explanation of the potential environmental effects on such municipality or person). In addition, the presiding officer may for good cause shown permit a municipality or other person to become a party and to participate in all subsequent stages of the proceeding.
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?
A. Applicants are assessed an intervenor fee equal to $1,000 for each 1,000 kilowatts (1 megawatt) of generating capacity of the subject facility, but no more than $400,000. For example, for a 100 megawatt facility, the application phase intervenor fee would be $100,000 (100 x $1000). In addition, for facilities that will require storage or disposal of fuel waste byproduct, an additional intervenor fee will be assessed at the application phase of $500.00 for each 1,000 kilowatts (1 megawatt) of capacity, but no more than an additional $50,000.00.
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?
A. If the application amendment is deemed a revision requiring substantial additional scrutiny, the applicant will be assessed an additional intervenor fee equal to $1,000 for each 1,000 kilowatts of capacity of the proposed project, as amended, but no more than $75,000.00. The presiding examiner may increase the level of the additional intervenor fee up to the maximum level of $75,000 if the presiding examiner finds circumstances require a higher level of intervenor funding in order to ensure an adequate record.
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?
HEARING PROCEDURES - CONDUCT OF THE HEARING
Q. Who conducts the hearings?
Q. What kinds of hearings will be held?
Q. What are "public statement" hearings?
Q. What is a "limited appearance"?
Any person may make a limited appearance in the proceeding by filing a statement of his or her intent to limit his or her appearance in writing at any time prior to the commencement of the hearing. All papers and matters filed by a person making a limited appearance shall become part of the record. No person making a limited appearance shall be a party or shall have the right to present testimony or cross-examine witnesses or parties.
Q. What are "trial-type evidentiary" hearings?
Q. What is "discovery"?
A. "Discovery" is a pre-trial process used by parties to obtain facts and information about the case from other parties. The most common discovery device is the written interrogatory, but oral depositions and other devices are also available. Any party to a proceeding is subject to the discovery process.
Q. If the Siting Board does not personally conduct the hearings, how does it become informed of the proceedings?
A. A written transcript record is made of the hearings and of all testimony taken and the cross-examinations thereon. In addition, the presiding examiner will provide a summary of the proceedings in a recommended decision that will be presented to the Siting Board. The parties will also present legal briefs to the Siting Board with citations to the portions of the record they deem relevant to their positions.
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?
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?
Q. What substantive matters must be addressed in any Siting Board decision to grant an Article 10 certificate?
Q. What are the required statutory findings that must be made by the Siting Board?
A. The Siting Board must make explicit findings regarding the nature of the probable environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the facility, including the cumulative environmental impacts of the 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, including impacts on: (a) ecology, air, ground and surface water, wildlife, and habitat;
(b) public health and safety; (c) cultural, historic, and recreational resources, including aesthetics and scenic values; and (d) transportation, communication, utilities and other infrastructure. Such findings shall include the cumulative impact of emissions on the local community including whether the construction and operation of the facility results in a significant and adverse disproportionate environmental impact, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding environmental justice issues.
Q. What are the required statutory determinations that must be made by the Siting Board?
Q. What are the required statutory factors that must be considered by the Siting Board in making the required determinations?
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
Q. Who is in charge of compliance and enforcement matters regarding a Certificate that has been issued?