NYRI petitions state power line authority to rule on eminent domain law

ALBANY – New York Regional Interconnect Inc. announced Monday that it has petitioned the state’s top power line authority to make a judgment on the constitutionality of a law that squashes the company’s ability to condemn and take private property, according to a NYRI press release.

NYRI also wants the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to interpret whether or not the law – an amendment to what’s known as the “Transportation Corporation Laws,” which govern utilities – negates the commission’s right to review it.

“NYRI believes in New York State’s regulatory process and only asks that its project be judged by the PSC on its merits,” said NYRI Attorney Len Singer Monday in a prepared statement. “However, we are seeking to determine if the 2006 (Transportation Corporation) law has effectively taken away the PSC’s authority to site this transmission line.”

NYRI is questioning if the PSC can legally and fundamentally approve a power line that can’t be built, or will have difficulty being built, because it doesn’t have access to eminent domain to secure required land rights.

A PSC spokeswoman could not comment Tuesday specifically on the commission’s response to the petition.

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