Thursday, October 22, 2009

AG Cuomo's Code of Conduct for Wind Energy Companies

Listed below are the rules wind energy companies must comply with in NYS. Please note that all easements and leases must now be in writing and filed with the county clerk. Since wind companies have low or no ethics and normally operate under the radar and covertly - here's your opportunity to make an attempt to find out if they are active in your county and town. Simply present yourself at the county clerk's office and file a F.O.I.L. (freedom of information law) request to look at all leases and easements for your county from wind companies. There's no charge to do this just to look at them and obtaining copies is cheap.

Noble Environmental Power and First Wind first to sign Wind Industry Ethics Code
New Task Force to monitor and ensure compliance includes: District Attorneys Gerald Stout, Michael Green, and Derek Champagne, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Counties Stephen Acquario, Executive Director of the NYS Association of Towns G. Jeffrey Haber, and NYPIRG’s Legislative Director Blair Horner
ALBANY, N.Y. (October 30, 2008) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new Wind Industry Ethics Code that establishes guidelines to facilitate the development of alternative energy in New York while assuring the public the wind power industry is acting properly and within the law. The Code calls for new oversight through a multi-agency Task Force, and establishes unprecedented transparency that will deter any improper relationships between wind development companies and local government officials.
The first companies to sign the Attorney General’s Wind Industry Ethics Code are Essex, Connecticut-based Noble Environmental Power, LLC and Newton, Massachusetts-based First Wind (formerly known as UPC Wind). Both companies currently operate wind farms in New York and have several others in development.
“Wind power is an exciting industry for the state that will be a cornerstone of our energy future. But it is important to make sure that this alternative energy sector develops in a way that maintains the public’s confidence, and that is what this new Code of Conduct does,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “I commend Noble and First Wind for taking the lead by adopting this Code, and we fully expect other companies that want to develop wind farms in New York to follow suit.”
The Wind Industry Ethics Code is a result of the Attorney General’s investigation into, among other things, whether companies developing wind farms improperly sought land-use agreements with citizens and public officials, and whether improper benefits were given to public officials to influence their official actions relating to wind farm development. Both Noble and First Wind fully cooperated in the inquiry and their assistance was instrumental in developing the Code of Conduct that is being announced today.
The Attorney General's Wind Industry Ethics Code prohibits conflicts of interest between municipal officials and wind companies and establishes vast new public disclosure requirements. The Code:
· Bans wind companies from hiring municipal employees or their relatives, giving gifts of more than $10 during a one-year period, or providing any other form of compensation that is contingent on any action before a municipal agency
· Prevents wind companies from soliciting, using, or knowingly receiving confidential information acquired by a municipal officer in the course of his or her officials duties
· Requires wind companies to establish and maintain a public Web site to disclose the names of all municipal officers or their relatives who have a financial stake in wind farm development
· Requires wind companies to submit in writing to the municipal clerk for public inspection and to publish in the local newspaper the nature and scope of the municipal officer’s financial interest
· Mandates that all wind easements and leases be in writing and filed with the County Clerk
· Dictates that within thirty days of signing the Wind Industry Ethics Code, companies must conduct a seminar for employees about identifying and preventing conflicts of interest when working with municipal employees

No comments:

Post a Comment