Description: Challenge to regulations establishing procedural and substantive requirements for permit applications for major renewable energy facilities.
Town of Copake v. New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 10/07/2021 Decision Download Petition/complaint dismissed. 09/21/2021 Decision Download Motion for a preliminary injunction denied. New York Court Denied Preliminary Injunction in Challenge to Renewable Energy Siting Regulations. A New York State Supreme Court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction barring the New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) from implementing regulations that set forth procedural and substantive requirements for permit applications for major renewable energy facilities. Under the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act, such facilities are exempt from the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and ORES has authority to waive local laws. The court found that there was little likelihood that the petitioners challenging the regulations—which included a number of towns and bird conservation organizations—would succeed on the merits of their claims that adoption of the regulations violated SEQRA. The court also found that the record did not support a finding of irreparable harm in the absence of specific project approvals and that the equities did not balance in the petitioners’ favor, “for it is manifest that development of major renewable energy facilities based on wind and solar resources to provide electrical generation is a reasoned means to combat climate change, and wholly compatible with the public interest to ‘protect the environment for the use and enjoyment of this and all future generations.’” 06/28/2021 Complaint Download First verified petition and complaint filed.