Assemblyman Hevesi Supports Plan to Deliver Clean, Reliable and Affordable Energy to New York

May 30, 2007

Assemblyman Hevesi (D-Queens) voted in support of legislation to reform and renews the state’s Article X power plant siting law – helping meet the growing demand for electricity while protecting New Yorkers’ health and environment (A.8697).

“This legislation will help New York meet the demand for clean, reliable and affordable energy – making our state more attractive to high-tech industries and good-paying jobs,” Hevesi said. “It also recognizes the need for taking a close look at alternative and renewable energy sources, more protections for communities and the need for lower energy prices.”

The bill establishes a reasonable, fair and practicable procedure for the construction and siting of new plants – critical to meeting the growing consumption of electricity and the need to replace the current polluting plants with new energy-producing facilities. The previous power plant siting law lapsed on January 1, 2003.

“Our power plant siting bill will establish a clear, balanced process for bringing new power plants online,” Hevesi said. “The high-tech world we live in is driving up the demand for electricity. Clean, reliable energy from modern power plants is one way to meet the demand.”

The state would be required to thoroughly review a proposed power plant’s impact on air and water pollutants, greenhouse gases, coastal areas, parks and open space, as well as on environmental justice issues. In addition, the state Energy Research and Development Authority would be required to analyze each facility in comparison to alternative energy sources and efficiency measures. And power generators must devise a security plan before a plant can be built, in consultation with the state Office of Homeland Security.

The power plant siting bill would increase public participation by:

  • strengthening the community outreach process;
  • increasing the amount of the intervenor funding from a maximum of $300,000 to $650,000 – giving communities and other interested parties more help to study the impact of power plants; and
  • expanding the number of projects subject to Article X by lowering the threshold from 80 megawatt facilities to 30 megawatt plants.

“This measure allows members of the community to better voice their opinions about power plants that may be built in their towns and how it will affect them,” Hevesi said.

The measure would require that proposed nuclear power plants, dirty coal plants and waste-to-energy incineration plants be subject to review through the state Environmental Quality Review Act.