(click on the blue arrows
to expand a question and see the answer)
Expand all sections - Printer Friendly Page
Collapse all sections
Q. What is Article 10?
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"?
A. A "facility" includes all the components of a power plant located on the site and may also include new interconnecting electric power lines and natural gas fuel pipelines. For example, a natural gas-fired facility would include a natural gas pipeline to bring fuel to the facility; a boiler to create steam; a turbine to be rotated by the steam; an electric generator to be turned by the turbine; a cooling system; exhaust stacks; various buildings to house the components; employee areas; back-up fuel storage tanks; ancillary equipment, parking and storage areas; an electric substation including transformers; and a transmission line to carry the electricity out to the grid. A wind-power facility would include wind turbines on towers with integrated electric generators; electric collection lines; access roads; an electric switchyard and substation including transformers; meteorological towers; and a transmission line to carry the electricity out to the grid.
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"?
A. The Siting Board is a governmental entity of New York State organized within the New York State Department of Public Service. The Siting Board was established primarily to review applications and to issue or deny certificates authorizing the construction and operation of major electric generating facilities. When the Siting Board is reviewing an original application for a certificate, it consists of five permanent members and two ad hoc
public members. The five permanent members of the Siting Board also have additional responsibilities to promulgate regulations for the implementation of Article 10, and they have jurisdiction with respect to the amendment, suspension or revocation of a certificate.
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?
A. One is appointed by the President Pro Tem (Majority Leader) of the New York State Senate and one is appointed by the Speaker of the New York State Assembly from a list of candidates submitted to them. The list of candidates is to be submitted
within fifteen days of receipt of notification of the pre-application preliminary scoping statement.
In the event that the President Pro Tem of the Senate or the Speaker of the Assembly does not appoint one of the candidates within thirty days of receiving the list, the Governor shall appoint the ad hoc member(s) from the list of candidates. In the event that one or both of the ad hoc public members have not been appointed within forty-five days, a majority of persons named to the Siting Board shall constitute a quorum.
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?
A. If such facility is proposed to be located in a village, the chief executive officer representing the town shall nominate four candidates, the chief executive officer representing the county shall nominate four candidates, and the chief executive officer representing the village shall nominate four candidates for consideration. The list of candidates is to be submitted to the President Pro Tem of the Senate or the Speaker of the Assembly within fifteen days of receipt of notification of the pre-application preliminary scoping statement.
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?
A. No. There are three power authorities in New York State: the Power Authority of the State of New York (NYPA); the Green Island Power Authority; and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The statute expressly provides that all three authorities are subject to the provisions of the Article 10 siting process for major electric generating facilities which they build or cause to be built.
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?
A. Yes, if the facility is excluded because of exemptions (d), (e), (f) or (g) set forth above in the answer to the preceding question, the person intending to construct the major electric generating facility may elect to become subject to the provisions of 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?
A. Public involvement is intended to be a proactive process that begins during the planning of a preliminary scoping statement before it is filed, and continues throughout the planning, pre-application, certification, compliance, construction, and operation processes.
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?
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?
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?
A. The New York State Department of Public Service is one of 20 major departments in New York State government. The Siting Board is a decision-making body organized within the Department of Public Service. The Public Service Commission is another decision-making body organized within the Department of Public Service. The Chairman of the Public Service Commission also serves as chief executive of the Department of Public Service and Chairperson of the Siting Board. The staff of the Department of Public Service represent the public interest in all Siting Board proceedings, under the direction of the Chairperson.
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?
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?
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?
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?
A. All municipal and local parties are eligible. The presiding examiner shall reserve at least 50% of the pre-application funds for potential awards to municipalities.
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?
PRE-APPLICATION PROCEDURES - STIPULATIONS
Q. What are stipulations?
Q. How is the stipulations process initiated?
A. So that all parties will have an opportunity to participate, the applicant may not commence consultations or seek agreements on proposed stipulations until the pre-application intervenor funds have been allocated by the presiding examiner. Within sixty days of the filing of a preliminary scoping statement, the presiding examiner will convene a meeting of interested parties in order to initiate the stipulation process.
The presiding examiner will also oversee the pre-application process and mediate any issue relating to any aspect of the preliminary scoping statement and the methodology and scope of any such studies or programs of study in order to attempt to resolve any questions that may arise.
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?
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?
A. Such other persons or entities as the Siting Board may at any time deem appropriate, who may participate in all subsequent stages of the proceeding.
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?
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"?
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?
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?
A. Yes. All proceedings on an application including a final decision by the Siting Board must be completed within 12 months from the date of a determination by the Chairperson that an application complies, except that the Siting Board may extend the deadline in extraordinary circumstances by no more than 6 months in order to give consideration to specific issues necessary to develop an adequate record. The board must render a final decision on the application by the aforementioned deadlines unless the deadlines are waived by the applicant.
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?
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?
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
Q. Who is in charge of compliance and enforcement matters regarding a Certificate that has been issued?
A. Following any rehearing and any judicial review of the decision, the Siting Board's jurisdiction over an application shall cease, provided, however, that the permanent board shall retain jurisdiction with respect to the amendment, suspension or revocation of a certificate. The Department of Public Service or the Public Service Commission shall monitor, enforce and administer compliance with any terms and conditions set forth in the Siting Board's order granting a certificate.