Opponents of power line proposals granted more time

In apparent response to local opponents, the state’s Public Service Commission has extended the deadline for comments on the power line proposals currently under review.

The initial deadline was Dec. 20 with responses required by Jan. 24. The deadline has been extended to Feb. 21, with responses required by March 21.

In a statement, the PSC said that the extension was in response to requests by the Town of Milan, Clinton Concerned Citizens, Scenic Hudson, and Farmers and Families for Livingston for more time to prepare their comments on the high-voltage power-line corridor that is planned to run through Milan and Clinton. “For public participation in the scoping phase of this proceeding to be effective, a reasonable time must be allowed for those organizational efforts,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the requests for more time were supported by Dutchess County, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and staff at the PSC. One project applicant, New York Transmission Owners, or Transco, supported the deadline extension, but the others opposed it, except for Boundless Energy which is not mentioned in the statement.

The statement also notes that of the 13 counties and 38 towns affected by the proposals, only five towns and two citizens groups have requested party status with the PSC, which indicates that many municipalities and groups may not be aware of the opportunity for public involvement.

“We do not believe this is due to a lack of interest or desire. We agree with Dutchess County that local governments are normally fully engaged in their operational responsibilities. They, as well as local citizens groups, need time to organize a response to newly emerging initiatives that may require their attention,” the statement said.

For documents related to the case, go to www.dps.ny.gov, click on Alternating Current Transmission Upgrades, then click on Case 13-E-0488 under Comparative and Initial Proceedings.

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