BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Town of Cape Vincent concludes its portion of the public record concerning the Article 10 process with a simple thank you

Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess - Secretary 
New York State Department of Public Service 
3 Empire State Plaza 
Albany, NY 12223 

Re: Case No. 12-F-0410: 

Dear Secretary Burgess:

Now that BP has officially withdrawn its application for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm project proposal the Town of Cape Vincent would like to conclude its portion of the public record on this matter with a simple thank you.

For over a decade the cloud of industrial wind development hung over Cape Vincent with seemingly less regard for our community than our wind resource.  We did not believe Article 10 was as big a threat to  municipal sovereignty as many others saw the law.  Rather, it was welcome relief that a process was finally in place that proved to be fair as applied to us in Cape Vincent.  The process that unfolded under Article 10 was not tainted by local conflicts of interest, as happened under pre-Article 10 local siting with SEQRA.

We conclude our long ordeal with our observation that may serve to guide the decisions of any other municipality that may be faced with a similar set of circumstances that we have experienced.  The staff of the Public Service Commission are not the foe of a municipality, as some in our community feared.  The Article 10 law provides a number of protections for local plans and zoning laws, and in our experience, PSC staff were courteous, professional and conscientious 

It is in the interest of every community that may be involved in the Article 10 process in the future to enlist  local human resources necessary to understand the rules and to participate in a way that preserves their community's vision, values and outline for its future growth.  

It would appear to us that Article 10 can be a success if both the community and developer cooperate, but that cooperation must be based on a general local receptivity to the developer’s plans.  Local governments also need to be a forceful advocate for their community, they do have a role to play in the Article 10 process, contrary to what some believe.  If they choose not to fully participate, then they effectively relinquish home rule.

Finally, we urge that Article 10 never be allowed to be used as a device to force a project on a community when a developer reaches too widely and too deeply into that community, demanding too much. 

Again, please thank Public Service Commission staff for their professionalism and fairness, in particular we would like to thank ALJ Paul Agresta and Mr. Andrew Davis.

Respectfully yours,

Urban Hirschey, Supervisor
Dick Macsherry, Deputy Supervisor 
Brooks Bragdon, Councilman
Clif Schneider, Councilman
John Byrne III, Councilman
Paul Aubertine, Councilman