The first step of this process requires the developer to file a document called a Public involvement Program or (PIP) for community outreach. September 17, 2012 BP Alternative energy submitted a PIP for their Cape Vincent Wind project to the Public service commission
The Public service Commission's answer to BP's PIP made specific recommendations to BP regarding the inadequacy of their PIP. The Public Service Commission also noted that the project area includes a part of the Town of Cape Vincent that was recently identified by the N.Y.S DEC as a potential Environmental Justice (E.J) area.
A condition of environmental justice exists when environmental risks and hazards and investments and benefits are equally distributed without direct or indirect discrimination at all jurisdictional levels and when access to environmental investments, benefits, and natural resources are equally distributed; and when access to information, participation in decision making, and access to justice in environment-related matters are enjoyed by all."
• Increased funding for local communities to hire legal and technical consultants that will enable them to participate effectively in power plant siting decisions;• Requiring proposed power plants to avoid or minimize any cumulative impacts on air quality in the vicinity of the proposed power plant; and,
• Requiring proposed power plants that would result in or contribute to disproportionate impacts in an affected community to avoid, offset or mitigate these impacts within that community.
The purpose of Article 10 is to both limit C02 emissions from power plants and to create further protections for low income, minority and environmentally burdened communities from new or expanding power plants that generate at least 25 MWs in or near residential areas. Article 10 requires applicants of power plant permits to conduct an E.J analysis, which will include demographic variables as well as existing environmental variables.
In New York State Environmental discrimination is not only based on one’s ethnicity it is based on socioeconomic status as well. Over the last few years poorer communities in New York State have been systematically targeted for wind development. The people in these communities have less resources and time to learn about wind facilities and the environmental risks and hazards. Consequently, these communities have been targeted by big wind.
Additionally,the DEC Environmental Justice Policy CP-29 amends the DEC environmental permit review process by identifying Potential Environmental Justice Areas and establishing requirements for proposed projects affecting those communities.
Environmental justice areas require enhanced Public Participation Plans.Link here to DEC website, information regarding the E J Public Participation Plan
Link here to view more environmental Justice areas in Jefferson County