CASE 12-T-0248 - Application of New York State Electric & Gas
Corporation for a Certificate of Environmental
Compatibility and Public Need for the
Construction of the "Columbia County
Transmission Project," Approximately 11.1 Miles
of 115 Kilovolt Transmission Lines and related
facilities in the Towns of Chatham, Ghent, and
Stockport, in Columbia County.

(Issued January 4, 2016)

ELIZABETH LIEBSCHUTZ, Chief Administrative Law Judge:
On October 21, 2015, New York State Electric & Gas
Corporation (NYSEG) filed a motion requesting that the
Commission hold this proceeding -- an Article VII proceeding to
consider the construction of 11.1 miles of new 115 kV
transmission line through Columbia County -- in abeyance,
pending the success or failure of a proposed alternative to the
original proposal.

The alternative proposal, a 34.5 kV

transmission line project, is fully described in a Joint
Stipulation filed in this proceeding on July 30, 2015, and
executed by NYSEG; 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 &
Markets; the Town of Ghent; Protect Ghent; Columbia Land
Conservancy, Inc., and Mr. Benjamin Swett (collectively referred
to as the “Stipulating Parties”).
Pursuant the Joint Stipulation, should NYSEG
successfully and satisfactorily obtain final governmental
approval necessary to construct the alternative line (identified
as "Permitting Completion" in the Joint Stipulation), it will
withdraw the Article VII application which is the subject of
this proceeding (Joint Stipulation, p. 13, ¶ 25).

However, in

CASE 12-T-0248

the event NYSEG determines that it cannot satisfactorily obtain
such permits (identified in the Joint Stipulation as "Permitting
Failure"), it will request that the Commission resume
consideration of the Article VII application (id.).

In its

motion, NYSEG asserts that all the Stipulating Parties support
the motion to hold this proceeding in abeyance until the
permitting issues are resolved and that granting the motion will
save resources by permitting parties to focus solely on the
alternative 34.5 kV proposal.

No party has filed in opposition

to the motion.
By the terms of the Joint Stipulation, the Stipulating
Parties agreed that this proceeding should be held in abeyance
(Joint Stipulation, p. 13, ¶ 25).

Given this support of the

motion, the apparent lack of any opposition, and the fact that
the alternative proposal reflects a promising compromise between
parties of diverse interests, NYSEG's motion to hold this
proceeding in abeyance is granted.

NYSEG should be on notice

that, should it seek to resume this proceeding, it will likely
be required to supplement, update or supplant its application
materials as necessary in light of the passage of time to
provide the Commission with an adequate record for decision.