Herkimer County’s state and local legislators today announced a unified strategy to battle the transmission line being proposed by New York Regional Interconnect (NYRI) following a briefing in Albany with the state Public Service Commision sponsored by Senator James L. Seward and Senator Raymond Meier.
County and town officials from Herkimer County attended, including Leonard Hendrix, chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature; , Legislator Peter Manno, Supervisor Joe Kinney, Administrator James Wallace and Frankfort-Schuyler Superintendent Robert Reina.
Seward says the briefing outlined the state Article VII siting process and identified where local governments, the public and legislators could have an impact.
After the briefing by the PSC, legislators and local officials announced a strategy that would include the following:
*Merging the efforts of all of the counties into a nucleus of representatives from each area that would act as an executive committee on behalf of the counties and towns involved;
*Hiring a specialty legal and technical team to provide expert legal and technical guidance on the Article VII process and to handle litigation;
*A pledge by state Senators Seward and Meier to provide state legislative funding to help our communities fight this line and quarterback the effort to defeat the line;
*Reviewing the need for a two-tier approach because federal and state reviews are in order;
*Securing the involvement of other state agencies, like the DEC, to review the line from an environmental standpoint.
"I got our local officials together with the PSC and state representatives so that we could learn more about the siting process and develop a united strategy to attack the proposal," Seward said. "We are unified in support of the people we represent in Herkimer and Chenango Counties and will do whatever we can to stop a line that will raise our costs, cut an ugly swath across our landscape and exploit our resources."
"As legislators, we are committed to standing by our local communities and residents in this fight. That means seeing to it that they have all the resources they need to go toe to toe with a big corporation and win," Senator Raymond A. Meier said.
"The meeting was very productive and we made a great deal of progress in organizing ourselves to oppose the construction of this power line. The important point that was made at the meeting is that we can not successfully fight this proposal based on an emotional reaction. We have to organize, prepare and make our points in a solid professional manner. In that respect, I believe we made tremendous progress and I thank Senator Seward for bringing us together and taking this critical step", stated Assemblyman Marc Butler.