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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"?
A. An electric generating facility is deemed to be "major" if it has the capacity to generate 25,000 kilowatts (25 megawatts) or more of electricity. The 25 megawatt threshold is roughly equivalent to the average electric power needs of 30,000 households in New York State.
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?
A. To be eligible to be an ad hoc public member, the person must:
(a) be eighteen years of age or older,
(b) be a citizen of the United States;
(c) be a resident of New York State;
(d) be a resident of the municipality in which the facility is proposed to be located (if such facility is proposed to be located within the City of New York, the person must also be a resident of the community district in which the facility is proposed to be located);
(e) not hold another state or local office; and
(f) not retain or hold any official relation to, or any securities of an electric utility corporation operating in the state or proposed for operation in the state, any affiliate thereof or any other company, firm, partnership, corporation, association or joint-stock association that may appear before the Siting Board, nor shall the person have been a director, officer or, within the previous ten years, an employee thereof.
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?
A. If such facility is proposed to be located in the City of New York, the chairperson of the community board, the borough president, and the mayor shall each 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 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"?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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"?
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?
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?
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?
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?
A. A notice of intent to be a party must be filed with the Secretary to the Siting Board.
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?
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?
A. A notice of availability of the funds will be issued providing a schedule and related information. The notice will describe how municipal and local parties may apply for intervenor funds. Requests must be submitted to the presiding examiner within 30 days after the issuance of the notice by filing the request with the Secretary and submitting a copy to the presiding examiner and to the other parties to the proceeding. At any pre-hearing conference that may be held to consider fund requests, the parties should be prepared to discuss their funding applications and the award of funds. Parties are encouraged to consider consolidating their requests with similar funding proposals made by other parties.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?