Public comments taken on energy plan

RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency is accepting public comments on its draft plan for renewable energy consumption and supply until the beginning of December.

The APA board approved the comment period – which runs through Monday, Dec. 3 – at its regular monthly meeting earlier this month.

“The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance for the review and approval of renewable energy projects inside the Adirondack Park with regards to the Adirondack Park Agency Act, the Freshwater Wetlands Act and the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act,” a press release says. “The policy is envisioned to advance renewable energy sources, promote energy conservation efforts and expand public awareness to mitigate the negative effects of fossil fuels and climate change. Wise use of energy resources and the integration of renewable energy resources offers opportunities at a state and Park level to reduce global atmospheric carbon levels and slow climate change.”

In addition to ensuring the agency balances the New York Energy Plan and APA Act, the plan also calls for the APA to improve energy efficiency at its own facilities and within its vehicle fleet.

The four page policy, which is available at www.apa.ny.gov, also says the APA should include renewable energy issues in its overall planning and approval process.

The policy “integrates opportunities and concerns for renewable energy production and energy conservation into its Park planning, public education, and project review functions,” the document says, adding that it also aims to “Protect and enhances Park resources while recognizing that renewable energy production and energy conservation is critical to viable, sustainable human communities within the Park and in a state and global context.”

The policy lists a multitude of considerations and project types.

“The APA will assess need, siting, and other considerations when reviewing applications for: new or expanded energy generating facilities, including residential solar, residential wind; alternative power generating sources; and new or relocated energy transmission or distribution systems,” the policy says.

The policy also calls on the APA to use its position to educate the public on renewable energy.

Comments can be sent by mail to Terry Martino, Executive Director, NYS Adirondack Park Agency, P.O. Box 99, Ray Brook, NY 12977; by fax to 518-891-3938 or by email to PublicComments@apa.ny.gov.