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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"?
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?
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?
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?
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?
A. It is the Siting Board’s policy to encourage public participation in the review of the applicant’s proposal at the earliest opportunity so that public input can be considered.
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?
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?
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?
A. If the pre-application preliminary scoping statement
is substantially modified or revised, the Siting Board may require an additional pre-application intervenor fee in an amount not to exceed $25,000.
Q. How does a qualified intervenor make a request for intervenor funds?
A. A notice of availability of the funds will be issued providing a schedule and related information describing how interested members of the public may apply for pre-application funds. Requests for pre-application funds shall be submitted to the presiding examiner not later than 30 days after the issuance of the notice of availability by filing the request with the Secretary and submitting a copy to the presiding examiner and to the other parties to the proceeding. An initial pre-application meeting to consider fund requests shall be convened within no less than 45 days but no more than 60 days of the filing of a preliminary scoping statement. At any pre-application meeting that may be held to consider fund requests, intervenors should be prepared to discuss their funding applications and the award of funds. Intervenors are encouraged to consider the consolidation of requests with similar funding proposals of other intervenors.
Q. When are pre-application intervenor funds awarded?
A. The presiding examiner will provide for an expedited pre-application funding disbursement schedule to assure early and meaningful public involvement. Following receipt of initial requests for pre-application funds, the presiding examiner shall expeditiously make an initial award of pre-application funds. Subject to the availability of funds, the presiding examiner may fix additional dates for submission of fund requests. Thereafter the presiding examiner may make additional awards of pre-application funds, in relation to the potential for such awards to make an effective contribution to review of the preliminary scoping statement.
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?
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?
A. There are three kinds of parties: (a) automatic statutory parties; (b) parties that have a right to be a party merely by giving notice; and (c) parties that may be permitted to join.
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?
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?
A. All municipal and local parties to the proceeding are eligible for application phase intervenor funds. The presiding examiner shall reserve at least 50% of the application phase funds for potential awards to municipalities.
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?
A. The hearings will be conducted by a presiding examiner designated by the Department of Public Service. An associate examiner shall be designated by the Department of Environmental Conservation. The associate examiner will assist the presiding examiner in inquiring into and calling for testimony concerning relevant and material matters, and the conclusions and recommendations of the associate examiner will be incorporated in the recommended decision of the presiding examiner.
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"?
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?
Q. Are there any other exceptions to the deadlines described above?
A. Yes, but only in an unusual circumstance. If the proceeding is on certain qualifying applications by an owner of an existing major electric generating facility to modify that facility or site a new major electric generating facility adjacent or contiguous to the existing facility, the deadlines are different such that the final decision by the Siting Board must be completed within 6 months, the extension permitted in extraordinary circumstances is 3 months, and the extension permitted to consider a material and substantial amendment to the application is 3 months, unless the deadlines are waived by the applicant.
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?
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?