Statement by Senator Borrello on Lawsuit Challenging Accelerated Renewable Energy Siting Regulations

ALBANY – Senator George Borrello issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit that was filed this week by a coalition of municipalities, community organizations and conservation groups against the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES). The lawsuit seeks to overturn ORES 94-C regulations which are aimed at fast-tracking approvals for renewable energy projects by bypassing local zoning and approval processes and environmental reviews.  

“I strongly support the lawsuit that has been lodged by concerned municipalities and public interest groups against the Governor’s Office of Renewable Energy Siting and its politically-driven regulatory process. ORES’ siting regulations are a gross violation of the State Constitution’s home rule provisions as well as the tenets of  New York State’s Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

“It is the ultimate irony that in their rush to ‘save the environment,’ ORES and the Cuomo administration are violating a state law that is the cornerstone of New York’s environmental protection efforts. That contradiction speaks volumes about the true motives behind this so-called ‘green energy’ agenda.

“In addition to bypassing DEC due diligence and allowing for the destruction of farmland, natural habitats and the slaughter of protected and endangered animals,  ORES’ regulations bypass and silence local governments and the people who have to live with fallout of this industrialization of our beautiful rural areas. This unlawful and unethical government overreach must be stricken down. This lawsuit is an important step toward that goal.”