Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NYS PSC scheduled to make decision Thursday, August 15th:

When you, lone citizens, are in the midst of a battle with a large corporation and several governmental entities – it’s hard to stay focused and know the effort will make a difference.

I am optimistic about our cause.  But, I have to say, this is the most exhausting assignment life has handed David and me and our family.

My days are spent talking with our attorney and the myriad of other professionals, advisors and friends on the ‘save our farm’ team.  We are blessed and grateful for the support. 

But we do have a farm to run.  My husband needs my time spent on carrying out the day to day stuff.  Every day is a struggle to discern the priorities.  On the good days, half of my time goes for the regular farm work.

OK, enough of my whining.  Here’s where we are today:

The NYS Public Service Commission has published the agenda for Thursday’s (August 15th) meeting.  We are on the rather long agenda as item # 367, Case #: 11-T-0534:
ROCHESTER GAS AND ELECTRIC CORPORATION - Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Construction of the "Rochester Area Reliability Project," Approximately 23.6 Miles of 115 Kilovolt Transmission Lines and 1.9 Miles of 345 Kilovolt Line in the City of Rochester and the Towns of Chili, Gates and Henrietta in Monroe County. Petitions for Rehearing.

This item is currently found in the “Consent” portion of the agenda, which is neatly defined in the Explanation of Agenda section:

The agenda is divided into two sections. The Consent Agenda consists of items that because of their nature, can be decided by the Commission on the basis of written reviews and analyses previously made available to the Commission and do not require discussion. Any item on the Consent Agenda can be transferred to the Regular Agenda if discussion is required.

I am not sure what this means exactly.  Does this mean the decision has already been made?  There may, or not be any open, public discussion of our petition and the commission’s decision to grant or deny.  This makes it difficult to access where we stand. 

To the individuals who serve on the Commission, this is just one item in a long list.  To us, this is our farm.  Land tilled and toiled over by generations of Krenzers is at stake here.

We need the Commission to grant a Rehearing.  Without the rehearing, we are stuck with an approved plan that literally breaks apart our home farm.

We are stuck with the future electrical substation being planted in the heart of our home farm and taking more than three football fields worth of fertile soil out of production – forever.

We are stuck with a new access road that cuts right through the farm.

We are stuck with three transmission lines and nearly 90 brand new utility poles being stuck in the land for us to maneuver our equipment around.

If we are granted the Rehearing, we will have the opportunity to present a better plan.  A plan that still allows RGE to meet its goals for this project but doesn’t gash a scar in our farmland and bust a hole in our future.

There is a way for our farm and this project to co-exist. We’re happy to lay it out. But now the Public Service Commission has to vote so that we can.

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