The Article X Process
The Decision Making Process
Permitting for the project falls primarily under Article X of the New York Public Service Law. Article X is specifically designed to handle such projects, gain public input, review scientific fact and make timely decisions on the siting of new energy generation facilities.
The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board), comprised of five State agency heads and two private citizens appointed by the Governor, is the decision-making body under Article X.
The initial document generated by the applicant under Article X was the Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS). The PSS is distributed to all interested government agencies and throughout the community. Feedback from interested agencies and the community is utilized in the development of the application. GEP distributed its PSS to over 150 interested and local parties in December of 1999.
Interested parties, including the Town of Glenville and Village of Scotia, are now participating in "the stipulation process." During this phase, various parties (the developer, state agency staffs, interested municipalities and others) agree on which scientific studies need to be conducted as part of the application. Once these negotiations are complete, the applicant must ensure that scientifically-objective studies are conducted and included in the final application.
Local Municipality Involvement
Local municipalities play an integral role under Article X. In addition to their input throughout the process, local municipalities often apply for intervenor status to allow them to conduct their own studies on the proposed project. As part of the Article X process, a $300,000 pool of money is funded by the developer - and distributed by the Siting Board -- to pay for these studies. Half of that money is reserved for municipalities.
Meaningful public involvement is a critical component of the Article X process. At every step of the way, it is mandated that the public be involved. There are mandatory public hearings throughout the process, two private citizens sit on the Siting Board, and the public is required to receive a number of important documents prior to their adoption. Non-municipal groups (e.g., environmental groups, etc.) can also qualify for intervenor funding to enable them to conduct their own studies. GEP is committed to ensuring that the public is well-educated about this proposal and the engineering and science is understood about every aspect of concern.
The key triggering event in the Article X process is the submission of a formal application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. When the application is submitted, the Siting Board Chair has 60 days to determine whether or not it is complete. When it is deemed complete, the Siting Board undertakes a lengthy review process, including adjudicatory hearings. Under Article X, the Siting Board has 12 months to make a determination after an application is deemed complete.
It is anticipated that GEP will submit its application to the Siting Board around the beginning of 2001.