Chenango County’s state 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, Senator Thomas Libous and Senator Raymond Meier.
County and town officials from Herkimer and Chenango Counties attended.
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, Libous and Meier to provide state legislative funding to help their 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 gotour 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."
"It is important for my constituents to know that I am heavily involved in supporting their interests on this critical matter," said Assemblyman Cliff Crouch. "The purpose of briefings such as these is to put the necessary information together to be certain I can make the most informed decision possible for my constituents. I am currently writing letters to the Federal Department of Energy opposing the NYRI plan and their fight to receive a designation from the agency. Another one of my major concerns is this proposed line stops 50 or more miles outside of New York City. While NYRI plans to build a massive power line structure, so far as I can tell they have yet to solve the bottleneck problem which would cover the remaining transfer of electricity from outside the city to its eventual destination. My constituents are opposed to this project, and I will continue to support their interests as their elected representative in the New York State Assembly."
"The biggest issue for my constituents at this moment is how they will be negatively impacted from this proposed power line," said Assemblyman Gary Finch. "My constituents would see no benefit of energy from this power line, just an eye sore of large towers through their backyards. I will stand with my colleagues in the New York State Legislature in supporting our constituents and their interest in not having NYRI build their proposed power line. My constituents are concerned they will see no benefit from the power lines in their respective area. From the information I have received, they are correct. There is no plan for the electricity to reach homes along its path. To me and my constituents, this seems merely just another attempt by New York City officials to undertake another massive project behind the backs of residents in upstate New York."
Other legislators supporting the effort include Assemblyman Marc Butler and Senators Libous and Meier.