Recommend strategies for municipal input, protecting farmland

The farmland protection working group was created by the 2021 budget bill and is responsible for recommending strategies to get input from municipalities in the renewable energy siting process and for approaches to siting that minimize impacts to farmland. The working group members can be found here.

Statutory Language:

Exec. Law. § 94(c)(8): "Farmland protection working group.

(a) There is hereby created in the executive department a farmland protection working group consisting of appropriate stakeholders, including but not limited to:(i) the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets; (ii) the commissioner of the department of environmental conservation; (iii) the executive director of the office; (iv) the commissioner of the department of public service; (v) the president of the New York state energy research and development authority;  (vi) local government officials or representatives from municipal organizations representing towns, villages, and counties; (vii) representatives from at least two county agricultural and farmland protection boards.

(b) The working group shall, no later than one year after the effective date of this subdivision, recommend strategies to encourage and facilitate input from municipalities in the siting process and to develop recommendations that include approaches to recognize the value of viable agricultural land and methods to minimize adverse impacts to any such land resulting from the siting of major renewable energy facilities.

(c) The working group, on call of the commissioner of the department of agriculture and markets, shall meet at least three times each year and at such other times as may be necessary."