Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Who is NYRI?

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has found NYRI's powerline application deficient. According to DEC, it inadequately addressed visual assessment, alternatives (more burial in more places, different routes), details, and endangered species. (For more info, read DEC's letter posted by Ralph at UAD)

Here is another deficiency: The NYRI application does not tell us WHO NYRI IS, a fact that was not missed by an astute observer (who makes some other good points). Who controls the NYRI corporation? Who are its major shareholders? What is their track record for other endeavors?

It is necessary for the Public Service Commission to obtain this information in order to ensure that persons who are unsuitable to carry out responsibilities under the State's permits, certificates or licenses are not authorized to do so. The courts have acknowledged that the environmental compliance history of a permit applicant is relevant to the granting of a permit. Matter of Bio-Tech Mills Inc. v. Williams, 105 A.D. 2d 301 (3d Dept., 1985), aff'd, 65 N.Y. 2d 855 (1985). Logically, compliance with any rule or regulation (not just environmental) would be relevant. Will the applicant be a good citizen or be a troublemaker that will cost tax dollars to monitor? DEC has a long standing policy of obtaining detailed information on applicants. It is not clear that the PSC has anything similar, but it should.

The public has a right to know who is NYRI.

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