Recap: the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed that it act as co-lead agency with the NY Thruway Authority (NYSTA) to perform the required SEQRA environmental review of the Pilgrim proposal. Having NYSTA participate in leading the SEQRA review is bad for several reasons, including …
- The NYSTA has no expertise in performing an environmental review. That is the DEC’s job.
- The NYSTA has a conflict of interest: it would stand to benefit financially if the project is approved. Pilgrim would pay land use fees to the NYSTA.
Now, the Town of New Paltz has formally requested that the DEC Commissioner resolve this dispute over the co-lead agency proposal by removing the NYSTA from the proposed co-lead agency role, and deciding that the DEC shall act as the sole lead agency.
This action by New Paltz triggers a 10-day comment period for this request. It is vitally important that other affected towns, villages, counties, and cities send a letter in support of New Paltz’ action within 10 days of receipt of the Certified Mail letter sent by New Paltz to the DEC and each town. (New Paltz mailed its letter on January 26 – so the 10 days for each town will start a day or two after that.) The DEC Commissioner has 20 days to resolve the dispute after the end of the 10-day comment period.
If you live in a town along the route, urge your governing body to send a letter concurring with New Paltz’ request. You can use the sample letter here. Your letter should be sent to DEC Commissioner Seggos, with CCs to the NYSTA, the Town of New Paltz, and to Governor Cuomo. Also CC as many of the Involved Agencies (municipalities on the direct route, and federal and state agencies involved in decision making about the proposed Pilgrim Pipelines) as the sender would like to include.
The Comments during the 10-day comment period may be sent by email to be counted. If municipalities prefer to send hard copy or Certified Mail, they can do that.
Thanks for your support!