Deadline Nears for Boards to Comment on Article X

By Mary Kay Barton, Letter to the Editor, The Daily News Online

Thanks to the New York State Association of Counties going to bat on behalf of all New York citizens to the state Public Service Commission (PSC), the comment period for municipalities on Article 10 of the Power NY Act — regarding the siting of all energy facilities in New York State — has been extended to June 15.

All New York town boards should take this opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations on behalf of their respective municipalities. While the citizen comment period ended May 29, citizens can still get involved by encouraging their respective town boards to comment on the proposed Article 10 regulations.

What’s at stake is our long-held, Constitutional right to “home rule” — the right to decide for ourselves what we want our communities to look like 20, 40, and 60 years down the road.

Article 10, as currently written, has put the decision-making regarding the siting of all energy facilities in New York State into the hands of five (5) distant, unelected Albany bureaucrats. Neither we, nor our duly-elected local officials, will have a vote on these very important matters.

Make no mistake, Big Corporate has been lobbying the state hard to make changes to this law that best suits them and their bottom line, and completely removes our right to self-determination through Municipal Home Rule.

Comments submitted by industries who wish to exploit our resources whenever, wherever, and however they feel like, are alarming. Many industry-submitted comments argue that the PSC should allow: expedited processes, hiding real data, allowing eminent domain, and disregarding pertinent health, safety and sound studies meant to protect residents.

The first draft of the law did include C-weighting requirements for sound, which industries successfully petitioned the PSC to remove from the current draft. Professional sound engineer, Charles Ebbing’s, and the Abraham/James posted comments, discuss the importance of the C-weighting and requiring industries to abide by these requirements to protect citizens. (See all comments at: 12-F-0036)

This sad scenario — of private interests working to usurp public rights — is a serious issue that should concern all New York citizens!

Stand up — speak out! Encourage your town boards to file comments with the PSC before the June 15 deadline. Remember, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Towns who would like to comment before the June 15 deadline can send their comments via e-mail to: Hon. Jacylyn A. Brilling at secretary@dps.ny.gov.