State commission says RGE unable to back claim
Updated: Thursday, October 10 2013, 08:24 PM EDT
Chili, N.Y. – RG&E does not have the evidence to support its assertion local farmers endorsed a proposed project that would plant a substation in a cornfield, according to the New York Public Service Commission.
The PSC requested that evidence after the Krenzers objected to the PSC’s recent approval of the project.
The Krenzers claimed no one consulted them nor alerted them to the public hearing at which they could have voiced their concerns before the PSC made a decision.
Thursday, the PSC withdrew its approval saying it had been led to believe the project had the backing of the Krenzers.
RG&E and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets had submitted the proposal together.
The proposal called for the employment of eminent domain to use part of the Krenzer farm for a substation and transmission lines.
RG&E says this infrastructure would be part of a larger $250 million project that will strengthen the electric delivery system in the Rochester area.
After the PSC approved the proposal, the Krenzers complained saying the project would destroy dozens of acres of arable land.
“Once you develop prime soils, they’re gone,” said Marie Krenzer.
In Thursday’s decision, the PSC approached Ag & Markets to ask why it supported a proposal that alleged the Krenzers were in full support.
The PSC said, “Ag & Markets states that it had no direct contact with the Krenzers, but rather relied on RG&E’s representations regarding the family’s position.”
RG&E was then asked for an explanation.
The PSC said, “While the affidavits and letters submitted by RG&E show that there was communication between RG&E and the Krenzers, there is ambiguity regarding the results of that communication.”
Given these determinations, the PSC pulled its approval and demanded RG&E work with the Krenzers on an alternative.
In a written statement, RG&E said, “Although the PSC reiterated the necessity of completing this project, they did ask for some further examination. After reviewing the written order, RG&E will be ready to work with all parties over the next 30 days to move this critical project forward.”
A late-night email was sent Thursday to RG&E’s spokesperson requesting comment on the PSC’s concerns about the consultation, or lack thereof, with the Krenzers.
A response had yet to be received.