Public Outreach Activity Tracking Report

This report describes the public outreach activities completed by NextEra Energy Transmission New York, Inc. (NEETNY) in accordance with the Empire State Line (ESL) Project.

September 2017

  • The NEETNY team held a pre-application meeting for the Project with the New York State Department of Public Service, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Agriculture and Markets on September 26, 2017, to introduce the ESL Project and ESL Project team; discuss the Article VII application process, agency requirements and recommendations; and to seek input on agency and department concerns on impact avoidance/minimization. Topics included visual impacts, tower design, field data and wetlands, agricultural lands, and the environmental management and construction plan.

October 2017

  • The NEETNY team began to compile a stakeholder list to identify local, state, and county representatives; environmental groups; recreational groups; and other stakeholders. The list will continue to be updated based on stakeholder input, meeting attendance sheets, and individual requests to be added to the mailing list.
  • The NEETNY team, supported by an ESL Project consultant, held meetings with the Town Supervisor of Alden (Rick Savage); staff for Congressman Brian Higgins (D-28); and staff for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on October 3, 2017, to introduce the Project, seek input on community and constituent concerns, and to identify additional stakeholders.
  • Meetings were held between the NEETNY team, the town attorney for Newstead/Akron (Nathan Neill, Esq.), and town board member John Jendrowski on October 4, 2017, to introduce the ESL Project, seek input on community and constituent concerns, and to identify additional stakeholders. Also on October 4, 2017, the ESL Project team held meetings with staff for Congressman Chris Collins (R-27), staff for Senator Charles Schumer, and with Erie County Commissioner of Environment and Planning, Tom Hersey, Jr., and his deputies, Chris Pawenski and Elias Reden.
  • The project website was launched on October 27, 2017. The webpage included a Project description and mapping, contact information, a mailing list sign-up form, and links to additional information about the Article VII application process.
  • A local (716 area code) telephone number was established for the ESL Project just prior to the website launch in October 2017
  • A ESL Project fact sheet was developed and posted to the website at the time of launch. The fact sheet will also be distributed at stakeholder and public meetings, via email, and/or in mailings as appropriate.
  • The NEETNY team conducted conference calls with Niagara County manager Richard Updegrove and Niagara County deputy commissioner of buildings and grounds, Jeff Gaston, on October 11, 2017, to introduce the ESL Project, seek input, and identify additional stakeholders. Conference calls were also held with the Town Supervisor of Royalton, Daniel Bragg, on October 13, 2017, and with the Town Supervisor of Elma, Dennis Powers on October 31, 2017.

November 2017

  • On November 22, 2017, the NEETNY team held a meeting with the treasurer of the Northern Erie Snoseekers (Richard E. McNamara), a Clarence/Akron-based snowmobile club that is part of a 10-club Erie County consortium and New York Snowmobile Association. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the ESL Project and seek input on the group’s concerns and priorities.
  • Also on November 22, 2017, a meeting was held with between the NEETNY team, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper deputy executive director Kerrie Gallo, and Western New York Land Conservancy board president Larry Brooks.

February 2018

  • On February 13, 2018, the NEETNY team met with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County executive director Diane Held, and Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District water quality technician Allen S. Young to introduce the ESL Project and solicit agency concerns, priorities, and input. The ESL Project team also met with Brian Smith, associate executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, on this day.
  • The NEETNY team held a meeting with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) staff on February 14, 2018, to provide a ESL Project overview and solicit agency input with respect to wetlands, avoidance/minimization, streams, threatened and endangered species, permitting considerations, and alternatives. Also on February 14, 2018, the ESL Project team met with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets representative Mike Saviola; topics discussed include matting in agricultural land, agricultural inspection, pole spotting, and restoration.

April 2018

  • The NEETNY team held meetings with Jay Toth, Seneca Nation Tribal Archeologist for the Seneca Nation Historic Preservation Office; and Bryan Printup of the Tuscarora Environment Program to introduce the ESL Project, discuss the ESL Project’s objectives, identify tribal interests and additional stakeholders, and solicit input on April 10, 2018.
  • On April 12, 2018, the NEETNY team met with Christine Abrams, Tonawanda Seneca Tribal environmental and historical officer and Tonawanda Seneca Tribal Chief Roger Hill to introduce the ESL Project, discuss tribal interests, identify additional stakeholders, and solicit input.

May 2018

  • On May 30, 2018, the NEETNY team held introductory meetings with the following: Anne Tarpinian, Director/Counsel to the Energy and Telecommunications Committee; with Keith Bryan, Chief of Staff for Senator Patrick Gallivan; with Jesse Pollard, Environmental Policy Analyst for Senator Thomas O’Mara; Steve Liss, Chief of Staff for Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steven Englebright. The team also held a meeting with Kevin Crumb, Chief of Staff for the Senate Committee of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair Robert Ortt.
  • On May 31, 2018, the NEETNY team held introductory meetings with Assembly Energy Committee Chairman Michael Cusick; Peter Olmstead, Assistant Secretary to the Governor for Energy, and with Thomas Congdon, Chief of Staff of the NYS Department of Public Service.

August 2018

  • On August 1, 2018, the NEETNY team held project update and introductory meetings with the following: Chris Snyder, Building Inspector, Town of Alden; Joanna Coleman, Town Supervisor and Ed Schiller, Director of Municipal Projects, Town of Lancaster; and Dan Bragg, Town Supervisor and Loretta Clark, Account Clerk, Town of Royalton.

September 2018 

  • On September 5, 2018, the NEETNY team held project update and introductory meetings with the following: David Cummings, Town Supervisor and David Miller, Code Enforcement Officer, Town of Newstead; Dennis Powers, Town Supervisor, Town of Elma; Elias Reden, Planner, Mark Roundtree, Senior Planner and Garrett Hacker, Senior Civil Engineer, Erie County.  
  • On September 12, 2018, the NEETNY team attended the Town of Elma Town Board Working Session to explain the ESL Project.  

October 2018 

  • On October 1, 2018, NEETNY held two Open House sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Newstead Cultural Center at 33 Main St., Akron, NY 14001. 
  • On October 2, 2018, NEETNY met with Dennis Powers, Town Supervisor, Town of Elma to provide a project update. In attendance were Town Supervisor Dennis Powers, Town Board Members and residents.
  • On October 3, 2018, NEETNY met with an interested landowner. 
  • On October 3, 2018, the NEETNY team held a ESL Project update meeting with Garett Meal, Commissioner of Public Works and Richard Updegrove, County Manager, Niagara County. 
  • On October 9, 2018, the NEETNY team had an introductory meeting with Richard Kauffman, Chair of the NYSERDA Board, to provide a ESL Project briefing. 

November 2018 

  • On November 8 and 9, 2018, the NEETNY team met with interested landowners.