PUBLIC STATEMENT HEARING JUNE 14!!!!!
On Friday, JUNE 14, 2013, there will be a PUBLIC STATEMENT HEARING before the Administrative Law Judge, Eleanor Stein, at the West Ghent Fire Co. Station (74 Bender Blvd, Gerald Simons Commerce Park, just off 9H) with respect to NYSEG’s Article VII application for the Columbia County Transmission Line. The PSC will provide an information session at 4 pm, and we will have the opportunity to make public statements at 5 pm.
This meeting will provide an opportunity for any and all members of the public to express their views on the power line directly to the Judge. It is crucial for us to show how much we value our community and help her understand how much we oppose the power line. We need as many people to attend as possible! If you are coming from out-of-town, now is the time to take a half day off and come to Ghent early!
The format of the public hearing is simple: there will be a microphone and we will get in line to tell the Judge why we don’t want a high voltage power line in our community. Make it personal! Tell them about your farm, your view, your family’s long-time connection to the land, your concerns about the environment, property values, health, access road traffic, invasive species, pesticides, NYSEG’s profit motive–anything that’s important to you! Bring photos, newspaper articles, or health studies if you’d like.
The Judge will determine if there will be any additional Public Statement Hearings later in the proceedings, so it is possible that this will be your only opportunity to speak to the Judge in person.
If you absolutely can’t make it, but would like to submit a written statement, please let us know. But it will be most effective to appear in person.
WHAT TO EXPECT GOING FORWARD
Before the public hearing, there will be a procedural conference (originally scheduled for June 11, but currently being rescheduled), during which the parties (including NYSEG, the PSC, the Town of Ghent and Protect Ghent) will meet to determine the schedule for the rest of the proceedings. Roughly speaking, we can expect the process to take at least a year and to include discovery, evidentiary hearings, site visits, identification of alternative routes, briefs, post-hearing briefs, and ultimately a decision by the Judge.
As many of you know, Protect Ghent has engaged Bill Hurst from Greenberg Traurig to represent us in this matter, as well as numerous experts, including environmental consultants, engineers, landscape architects (to prepare a visual impact study), historical preservation consultants and financial experts. We need your help to fund this litigation. Please send donations of any amount to (checks payable to Protect Ghent, Inc.):
Protect Ghent, Inc.
c/o Peter Coan
2 Main Street
Chatham, NY 12037
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AT ALL, PLEASE EMAIL US AT PROTECTGHENT@GMAIL.COM.