Town of Somerset Press Release: Town Board authorizes the engagement of Dennis C. Vacco, Esq

September 10, 2015 | Press Releases

Daniel M. Engert
Town of Somerset
8700 Haight Road P.O. Box 368
Barker, NY 14012-0368
PHONE: (716)795-3575
FAX: (716)795-9041
CELL: (716)998-0932                                                                                    


September 9, 2015

Since the filing of Apex Clean Energy’s Public Involvement Plan, the Somerset Town Board has taken a very active approach with the proposed Lighthouse Wind Project by listening carefully to Town Residents through various avenues including Town Board meetings, a survey, extensive door to door outreach and establishing an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to review our existing local law. The Board has fully recognized that at the appropriate time, specialized outside legal counsel with extensive litigation, state agency, constitutional, environmental and energy experience would be needed to defend the Town throughout the application process in order to defend the Town’s interest and the will of the overwhelming majority of Town residents.

The Article 10 electric generation law is new and there has been no major electric generation project sited under this law in the State of New York.  This is new territory for everyone including taxpayers, Town leaders, attorneys, engineers and developers. The Town of Somerset stands at the epicenter of traversing this new terrain.

Supervisor Daniel M. Engert and Town Attorney Michael J Norris worked to identify the most qualified, most suited attorney and law firm who has a unique background to defend and fight for the Towns municipal rights and one who has a strong reputation and legal mind to confront the siting board and state agencies throughout the Article 10 process step by step.

Upon the recommendation of Supervisor Daniel M. Engert, the Somerset Town Board authorized the engagement of Dennis C. Vacco, Esq. and the law firm of Lippes, Mathias, Wexler Friedman LLP to represent the Town of Somerset regarding the proposed Lighthouse Wind Project. Mr. Vacco is the formerly elected Attorney General of the State of New York who has successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court. He is also the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Mr. Vacco’s connection with and understanding of Western New York with regards to our Great Lakes, bird migration patterns, special landscape and state regulatory matters, coupled with his extensive legal background as the former New York State Attorney General, makes him the perfect individual to advocate for the people of the Town of Somerset and fight for our interests in the battles that surely lie ahead.
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