Town of Westerlo Planning Board Issues Conditional Negative Declaration of Environmental Significance For Proposed Costanza Solar Project.

By Jacob H. Zoghlin, Esq.

Last week, the Town of Westerlo Planning Board determined that the Costanza Solar Project will not have a significant adverse environmental impact provided specific conditions are met, including (1) updating the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (“SWPPP”) and (2) doubling the quantity of evergreen plantings in the c-100 area.

Because projects like this must be disclosed in New York State’s Environmental Notice Bulletin (the “ENB”), we now know that the proposal involves the amendment of a previously approved Site Plan.1 The new site plan would reduce the footprint at the northern most portion of the project due to the selection of more efficient panels. As in the original application, the proposed facility will produce 2Mw. The project is located at 198 County Route 405 in the Town of Westerlo, New York.

Interested businesses, groups, and individuals have thirty days from May 22, 2019 (the date of publication of the notice on the ENB) to submit comments related to this action. In our experience, many people do not fully appreciate the impact that their comments can have. Well-crafted comments can highlight community concerns, raise unforeseen issues that require further attention, demonstrate substantive or procedural impediments to approval, and otherwise prove persuasive to local agencies. We have found that those who participate in the process have a better chance of having their concerns heard and addressed.

For inquiries related to this or other solar projects, or questions about environmental reviews in New York State, please contact Jacob H. Zoghlin, Esq. or Mindy L. Zoghlin, Esq.

1 See “Conditioned Negative Declaration — Albany County,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Environmental Notice Bulletin, May 22, 2019, available at https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/20190522_not4.html.

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