WASHINGTON – Legislation that would have stopped power line companies from using federal authority to take private property died Saturday on the Assembly floor.
The amendment, introduced by Congressmen Michael Arcuri (D-Utica), John Hall (D- Dover Plains) and Maurice Hinchey (D-Hurley) within the New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security and Consumer Protection Act, would have denied Washington-approved power line projects access to federal eminent domain authority.
“We understand that there are serious energy needs facing this country that must be addressed swiftly and judiciously. All this amendment does is prevent an already approved company from using federal eminent domain to drag a property owner into federal court and take his land,” Arcuri said Saturday. “That is a supreme power of the federal government, and one which I believe a majority of the members would agree should not be delegated to a private company.”
New York Regional Interconnect Inc., a private subsidiary of Canadian energy developers, is seeking to build a 190-mile-long high voltage power line from Utica to Orange County. The facility would transfer power from the Marcy substation to downstate, www.evesun.com/topics/news/NYRI/">NYRI officials say, and relieve energy constraints in metropolitan New York. The project, which could undergo a federal review even if it is denied at the state level, would impact roughly a thousand property owners in Chenango County.