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Facility Siting

Cullen and Dykman’s attorneys have extensive experience in siting large energy facilities in a number of east coast U.S. states, principally New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Much of this experience is in the context of New York’s statutory framework for the siting of major utility transmission facilities, Article VII of the New York Public Service Law, and involves preparation, submission and prosecution of applications for Certificates of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need. In this context, we believe that the role of counsel for an Article VII applicant includes much more than just working closely with client personnel in prosecution of the application. Counsel must ensure that extensive application documentation is prepared consistent with the Article VII statutes, regulations and precedent.

In our experience, siting representation also often encompasses numerous ancillary matters in addition to the specific Article VII application and proceeding. These include obtaining the necessary real estate interests, including the acquisition of fee parcels, licenses, permits and easements; title, appraisal, and survey clearance; condemnation and valuation work, real property assessment and tax advice; construction contracting (and related labor, insurance, and claims work); and a broad range of permitting activity beyond the Article VII Certificate. The latter can include state and local land use regulations, federal and state environmental matters, air and water quality, discharge, solid waste, significant wildlife and habitat concerns, and cultural resource matters. We have extensive experience in all of these areas.

Similarly, in conjunction with siting representation, we have participated in the preparation and prosecution of, or assisted clients in processing, applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York Department of State, the New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Department of General Services, the City of New York and its agencies.

The firm has served as outside siting counsel to a major New York utility on electric transmission siting matters. We have worked closely with the client on a number of simultaneous projects in developing the application documentation, overseeing proper filing and service, prosecution of the applications, assisting closely in discovery and other elements of litigated and settled proceedings, representation on right-of-way acquisitions and other real estate issues, and similar activities.

The firm also has served for many years as counsel for a high pressure gas transmission pipeline system running from the New York - Canadian border through New York State and Connecticut to its terminus on Long Island. This involved a fully litigated Article VII certificate proceeding before the PSC, as well as extensive real estate, condemnation, construction, related commercial transactions, and administrative and appellate litigation. We provided a wide range of services which included negotiating with attorneys representing private landowners, municipalities and the State; obtaining and reviewing title work; providing daily advice to client personnel on a multitude of regulatory, right-of-way and other real estate issues; drafting form instruments (e.g., easements, options, licenses, work space agreements, etc.); and preparing a handbook and conducting a seminar for right-of-way personnel.

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