ROMULUS, N.Y. (WENY) -- The firm behind a $365 million proposal to build a "waste-to-energy" plant in Seneca County is changing its application approach after receiving direction from the state.
Circular EnerG's attorney informed the Town of Romulus Planning Board on Friday it is withdrawing its Special Use Permit application proposing to build a trash incinerator facility inside the former Seneca Army Depot, which would turn garbage into electricity.
The proposal has drawn controversy over the potential environmental impacts.
The change comes after Circular EnerG was advised by the state DEC that the company must comply with Article 10 of the state's Public Service Law.
"Well we got confirmation, information, late Friday afternoon, of the company's intention to to withdraw their application to a Special Use Permit in favor of what's known as an Article 10," says Tom Bouchard, Chairperson of the Town of Romulus Planning Board.
Article 10 is governed by the State's Public Service Commission and would be made up of a 7-member board. Five of those members are from state agencies, and two members would be local residents.
"Well the state advised us that we really needed to go through the Article 10 process under the Public Service Law. We had hoped to go to the towns for approvals but the state advised us their opinion was that the town process is preempted by the Article 10 process so that's what we need to do," says Alan Knauf, Attorney for Circular EnerG.
"It was set up by the state to permit large powered facilities, things like waste-energy, or windmills or huge solar farms - that sort of thing," Knauf explains.
Circular EnerG officials were invited to speak during Monday's Planning Board meeting, where board members would have chance to ask additional questions regarding the project.
Though it was not a public hearing, many people in the audience voiced disapproval of the proposal, citing environmental concerns.
"It's a good idea for everyone to stay involved and to stay educated and I think the focus now is probably going to be directed more towards the state level than the local level," Bouchard says.
Knauf tells WENY News Circular EnerG has not formally submitted an application for the project under the Article 10 Law at this point. He added that the process is lengthy and would require public hearings.
More discussion about the project and application process is expected to happen during the next Town Board meeting, which is set for January 17th at 7:00 p.m.
More information about the Article 10 Law can be found here: http://www3.dps.ny.gov/W/PSCWeb.nsf/W/PSCWeb.nsf/All/D12E078BF7A746FF85257A70004EF402?OpenDocument