A Romulus siting board has rejected letters by a town zoning officer that designated a proposed trash incinerator as a “renewable energy” project.
The decision, made during a meeting Thursday night, is significant because officials say the letters would have been used by the project’s developers for their Article 10 application.
The Article 10 application would allow the project to be approved at the state level, bypassing local approvals. For the proposal, Circular EnerG wants to build a trash incinerator on the old Seneca Army Depot.
The project has faced scrutiny from Romulus residents who feel the project could have environmental impacts to the Finger Lakes Region. However, the developers say the “clean operation” will meet air quality standards from the DEC.
The Article 10 law allows projects that meet certain requirements for generating energy to be approved at the state level — avoiding the need for local permits. The process is often used by people adding wind turbines.
By pulling the letters, the developers of the incinerator will have less evidence to support their application. However, attorney Alan Knauf, who represents Circular EnerG in the battle, says the town is trying to ‘change the rules in the middle of the game.’
He tells News 8 the removal of the letters won’t impact the Article 10 process, but if they do, he plans to file damage claims against the town.
Knauf says the developers met with the town supervisor before proposing the incinerator and “everyone was on board.” Now, after Circular EnerG investing money into the project, Knauf says the town has started fighting the proposal.
Aside from the Article 10 battle, there is legislation in the state Senate that would remove incinerators from consideration for the Article 10. At this time, the legislation sits in committee. It would need to pass through committee, be approved by both houses of the legislature and be signed by Governor Cuomo before becoming law.