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Taking most observers by surprise, the New York State Legislature on June 22, 2011, overwhelmingly passed The Power NY Act of 2011. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it on Aug. 4. The new law revives Article X of the Public Service Law after a nearly nine-year hibernation. As before, the law creates a one-stop, state-led program for permitting electric generating facilities while preempting local requirements. But the new Article X differs from its predecessor in several important ways: It covers facilities as small as 25 megawatts (down from the prior 80 megawatts threshold), it has even more generous provisions for funding intervenors, and it requires important new rules on environmental justice and carbon dioxide emissions.

Some have linked the law’s long-delayed passage to Governor Cuomo’s insistence on closing the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester County, and the need to replace its generating capacity. The new law will also ease the siting of wind farms, some of which have been inhibited by upstate towns that do not want them.


Environmental Law | Law


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law