NYSEG and Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid filed a joint application with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need under Article VII of the Public Service Law for the Auburn Transmission Project. The application, as filed on May 31, 2013, proposed the construction of a new 115- kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line over a distance of approximately 14.5 miles from the City of Auburn to the Town of Elbridge.
NYSEG and National Grid filed a supplement to the Article VII application. The supplement added three elements to the application:
In January 2014, the applicants entered into settlement negotiations with a number of participants. After extensive and cooperative negotiations, a Joint Proposal was signed by NYSEG, National Grid, the Staff of the New York State Department of Public Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Nucor Steel Auburn, Inc., Ratepayers and Community Intervenors and the Sierra Club. On June 22, 2015, the applicants filed the Joint Proposal with the PSC. The Joint Proposal contained Proposed Ordering Clauses that the parties recommended the PSC adopt, including clauses on public notice, health and safety, right-of-way restoration and protection of environmental resources.
On August 17, 2015, an evidentiary hearing was held for the purposes of examining the terms and conditions of the Joint Proposal and receiving into evidence the Joint Proposal and supporting evidence. On November 18, 2015, a Recommended Decision was issued recommending PSC issuance of an Article VII certificate to the applicants. On February 23, 2016, the PSC approved the terms and conditions of the Joint Proposal. The Order granting the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need was issued and effective February 25, 2016.
On April 15, 2016, NYSEG and National Grid filed the Environmental Management and Construction Plan (EM&CP) with PSC. The EM&CP details the precise location of project facilities and precautions to ensure environmental compatibility.
NYSEG and National Grid filed an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for authorization for construction in federal wetlands affected by the project.
During the comment period following the initial EM&CP filing, NYSEG and National Grid received comments from Department of Public Service staff and other parties. On July 20, 2016, changes to the EM&CP were filed, which addressed all the comments received.
The PSC issued an order approving the EM&CP on August 1, 2016. The order allows construction to commence once a "Notice to Proceed with Construction” letter sent by the Chief of the Environmental Certification and Compliance Section of the Office of Electric, Gas and Water is received.
The USACE issued a permit for the ATP under the nationwide permit for construction in federal wetlands affected by the project on September 9, 2016.