Lawsuit against anti-NYRI law thrown out

ALBANY – A federal judge ruled Friday that New York Regional Interconnect Inc. has no case against the legislators who changed a state law last year to prohibit the power line company from legally taking private property needed for its $1.6 billion project.

NYRI filed a lawsuit last February in U.S. District Court in Albany against a dozen current and former lawmakers who crafted a revision to state utility law that blocks the company’s right to use eminent domain, saying the amendment – signed into law by former Governor George Pataki in October 2006 – violates the constitution and its right to equal protection under the law.

“It’s unconstitutional for the legislature to pass a law that targets one person or company or singles them out for different treatment,” said NYRI attorney Leonard Singer back in February.

Over 19 months after announcing the project, Albany-based NYRI has yet to undergo a state review or provide a complete power line permit application.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo sees U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy’s decision to throw out the case Friday as “a win” for homeowners across New York.

“The judge’s decision is a win for home owners in Central New York and across the state,” said Cuomo in a prepared statement Friday. “As Attorney General, I will continue to fight for New York’s right to make decisions on projects like NYRI based on our state’s environmental and energy needs, not on the desires of private companies or the federal government.”

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