New York state regulators on July 9 told Iberdrola USA and National Grid USA that their application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the proposed 115-kV Elbridge to State Street transmission project needed more information. NYSEG responded the next day in disagreement.
The state Public Service Commission (PSC) said that upon a preliminary review, the documents submitted to date by Iberdrola subsidiary New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Niagara Mohawk, d/b/a National Grid, involving the construction of about 14.5 miles of 115-kV electric transmission facilities from the State Street substation in Cayuga County, N.Y., to the Elbridge substation in Onondaga County, N.Y., are not filed or otherwise in compliance with Sections 122 of the Public Service Law (Case 13-T-0235).
Specifically, the application does not satisfy the requirements involving proof of publication of notice in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in all the areas through which the facility would pass. That deficiency, the PSC added, must be remedied before the documents can be deemed to comply and the public hearing can begin.
The PSC also said that while not required for the applicants’ documents to be considered final, or otherwise be in compliance, certain additional information should be provided so that the review process can be expedited.
For instance, given that the PSC strongly encourages applicants to voluntarily communicate with the public early in the project’s planning phase, as well as during all subsequent phases of the Article VII process, the companies should describe what public involvement activities they have undertaken, or plan to undertake, to keep the public informed about the project and to give the public an opportunity to share concerns.
Also, it is not clear from the text portion of the application whether there are potential land use conflicts or if changes to manmade structures will be required, the PSC said. It asked the companies to provide additional information requiring potential land use conflicts and any proposed changes to manmade structures.
Among other things, the PSC asked the companies to inform state Department of Public Service staff if they have done any field reconnaissance since October 2012 and, if any of the conditions shown in aerial photographs have changed, to supplement the application accordingly.
In a July 10 letter, NYSEG said it “respectfully disagrees” with the assertion that proofs of publication must be provided with the filing of the application, noting that the cited regulation requires only that the application be accompanied by a statement saying the required notice was published in appropriate newspapers on a timely basis.
“NYSEG fully met that requirement,” the company said. “Nonetheless, in the interest of cooperation with the commission in furthering the progress on this important project, NYSEG provides the enclosed proofs of publication of notices in newspapers of general circulation in the project area.”
Among other things, the company said that it and National Grid are working to respond promptly to the requests for additional information.
According to TransmissionHub data, construction on the project, if approved, is scheduled for completion in 2016.
Iberdrola USA is a subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A. National Grid is a subsidiary of National Grid plc.