The Permitting & Article VII Process
Article VII of the New York State Public Service Law governs the siting of major utility transmission facilities in the state. Article VII requires a full review of the need for and environmental impact of the siting, design, construction, and operation of major transmission facilities in New York State, and establishes the forum in which community residents can participate with members of state and local agencies in the review process.
Steps in the Article VII Process
An application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) is submitted to the Public Service Commission.
Once the application is deemed complete, a Public Statement Hearing(s) will be scheduled to solicit feedback on the record, and a Procedural Conference will be held to determine the procedural path of the application. Note that the PSC will accept comments at any time while the docket is open.
A Certificate is issued via a PSC Order, which will contain conditions on how the project will be build.
An Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) document is developed, detailing how the project will be built. The plan is filed with the PSC and will be subject to comment.
Once the EM&CP is approved by the PSC, public notifications will be required and a Notice to Proceed will need to be issued before construction may begin.
During construction, the project will be monitored by regulators until restoration is complete. Post-construction monitoring may also be required.
How to Subscribe to the PSC Service List or Become a Party
Once the project’s Article VII application is filed, a new docket will be opened and interested persons can choose to subscribe to a service list, become a party to the case, or monitor the case via the PSC website. More information and links to the service list and party status forms will be found here once the docket is established. Requests to be added to the service list or for party status can be filed anytime while the docket remains open with the PSC.
As part of the Article VII review process, projects such as NYES are required to provide funds to be used by eligible third parties to defray certain expenses associated with evaluating the application, including, but not limited to, retaining independent experts to provide technical assistance. Though NYES will supply the funds, applications for funding are submitted directly to the PSC for evaluation and determination. More information about the Intervenor Funding process, including eligibility, can be found here.
Beyond the Article VII process, the project is required to obtain reviews and/or approvals from the following:
NYS DOT: Utility Work Permit
NYS DEC: SPDES General Permit
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Section 404 Permit
NYS PSC: Section 401 Water Quality Permit, PSL §68, PSL §70
U.S. FAA: Notice of Proposed Construction or Alteration
Local Highway Permits for construction entrances