Description: Challenge to denial of site plan approval for cogeneration plant.
Laidlaw Energy & Environmental, Inc. v. Town of Ellicottville
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 02/06/2009 Opinion Opinion issued. A company that sought to convert a cogeneration facility from natural gas to biomass commenced an action after the Town planning board denied site plan approval for the facility. The board based its denial largely on the company’s claim that the biomass plant would be carbon neutral. The board found that biomass plants can only be carbon neutral if the plan provides for sustainable fuel source management. However, the company stated that it would not be operating a companion wood growth management plan. In addition, the board found that the company failed to consider the impacts of transporting the fuel source over the 100 mile harvest area. The board found these impacts to be unacceptable. On appeal, the court found that under New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the board had taken the requisite “hard look” at the evidence and made a reasonable elaboration for its determination.