CAMBRIA TOWN SUPERVISOR: Friday’s Special Meeting Will Increase Environmental and Safety Regulations for Industrial Sized Renewable Energy Projects

“It was recommended by NYSERDA, (The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), I think, that we update the solar law and comprehensive plan,” said Town of Cambria Supervisor Wright H. Ellis, concerning a special meeting set for Friday morning.

The meeting, according to Supervisor Ellis, will pass resolutions aimed at updating local solar law and Cambria’s Comprehensive Plan.  “The recommendations that are put in are tightening things up for the Town,” Ellis said during a phone call with a reporter at the WNYO.  He added, “So what we’ve done is tighten up the regulations on the large utility scale.  The slightly smaller ones, we are opening that up a little bit.  It’s sort of a balance.”

Ellis hopes some of these changes will help correct what appears to be an imbalanced SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) process.  He explained, “If you’re going to put in a waterline, you have to do a SEQR.  A very, very involved SEQR.  For some reason, when projects are pushed through using State authority, the SEQR doesn’t always reflect all of the environmental issues.”

Apart from legislating changes to local solar law; targeting environmental concerns connected to industrial sized renewable energy projects, Ellis said that Friday’s upcoming changes within the comprehensive plan will target issues of safety and practicality.  For instance, distances between setbacks, residences, and roadways concerns the Supervisor and is set for alterations tomorrow. “It will directly impact the Bear Ridge Solar Project,” the Supervisor said.

Lastly, Ellis announced that Friday’s special meeting at 9:30 a.m. is indeed open to the public.  Any changes made at the meeting to local solar law, or the comprehensive plan, will be posted after the meeting is finished.