Policy and Planning

Sound policy development and landuse planning are the cornerstones to natural resource protection.  Through a scientific approach, OCCA helps local citizens and municipal officials determine the best course of action to protect Otsego County natural resources and preserve its rural character, while promoting economic development within our borders.

 

Butternut Creek Watershed

OCCA, in partnership with local stakeholders, the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Butternut Valley Alliance, and the Otsego Land Trust is carrying out the first stakeholder based watershed management plan in Otsego County.

Considering the geographic scope and diverse array of stakeholders living in the Butternut Creek Watershed, it is critical to develop a coordinated, inclusive Engagement Plan. An effective Engagement Plan can ensure that an adequate cross section of the population in the watershed is engaged, and can allow for public feedback to be tracked, analyzed, and incorporated into future planning documents. At the same time, Engagement Plans can be utilized to empower local citizens to participate in decision-making efforts related to the management of the Butternut Creek Watershed. https://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PEP-FINAL.pdf

Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Coming Soon!

Environmental Policy Guidance

In order to provide effective guidance to our area residence and municipalities, we have provided guidance documents and information on the issues listed below.  Expand categories and click through as needed to learn more!

The Otsego County Conservation Association opposes the widespread use of pesticides and herbicides due to their potential harm to the environment. Improper use of these chemicals can result in elevated levels of harmful substances in the environment, leading to detrimental effects on humans and other life. OCCA supports a pest management policy which is free of pesticides whenever possible and is guided by the principles integrated pest management (IPM).

Click Here to Learn More about the Impacts of Chemical Pesticides

We have compiled local laws from several towns in New York State to help illustrate a range of regulatory options available to municipalities.  These complement OCCA’s Article 10 discussion paper. Included are laws from towns with and without zoning, as well as a moratorium and a visual resources map.

Click Here to View Samples of Local Laws Regulating Wind Generating Facilities

Effective on October 14, 2009, burning trash is now prohibited statewide in all cases by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Click Here for Details on the DEC Regulations on Open Burning

As New York State and the United States move towards a renewable energy future, whereby solar begins to replace fossil fuels as an energy source, it is important that municipalities are ready to approach and respond to solar development. Solar can be a possible alternative and a financially wise decision, however there are downsides that should be considered. The process for implementing solar is not an easy one, but can be made easier through preparedness. This guide is aimed at helping municipal governments, particularly in Otsego and Delaware Counties, in developing sound and clear policy related to solar, and how to be better prepared for solar development. 

 VIEW THE GUIDE HERE

According to the PSC Trial Staff’s final recommendations regarding proposed projects, the Edic to Fraser route through Otsego County has been recommended to be eliminated due to its high ranking for environmental impacts, pending order of the PSC. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this review.

AC Transmission Trial Staff Final Report 9-22-15

AC Transmission Motion 9-22-15

OCCA’s comment materials were submitted to the Public Service Commission pursuant to the proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line. Thanks to all who contributed to this document!

We have put together a lot of really good information as to the potential impacts of this project, collaborating with the Otsego Land Trust, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, Otsego 2000, Butternut Valley Alliance, and with the seven municipalities along the route. We also worked closely with the Otsego County Planning Department.

Click Here to View the Comments Report 

OCCA was actively involved in actions regarding horizontal drilling for natural gas. OCCA crafted a position statement, commented on the DEC’s scoping document, created an informational flier, and wrote opinion pieces which were  disseminated to the local media and featured articles in our newsletter.

Click Here to Read Comments


Click Here to View Natural Gas Well Locations and Leased Properties. (Requires Disclaimer)

 

Planning Resources

OCCA has a long-standing practice of providing communities with planning support. All municipalities in Otsego County and surrounding jurisdictions are entitled to assistance on occasional planning-related questions and projects from OCCA’s Environmental Planner at no charge. A modest amount of free support can be provided to each municipality. 

Circuit Rider Planner Program
Many Otsego County municipalities have often expressed a need for more dedicated, in-depth support with land use issues, sustainability initiatives, grant opportunities, and development challenges. To meet this need, OCCA’s Circuit Rider Planner Program provides both continuous and project-specific land use planning support for municipalities at minimal cost.

Click Here to Learn More about OCCA’s Circuit Rider Planner Program

Sound policy development and land use planning are the cornerstones to natural resource protection.  Through a scientific approach, OCCA helps local citizens and municipal officials determine the best course of action to protect Otsego County natural resources and preserve its rural character, while promoting economic development within our borders.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

TownPlanning This resource provides planning related resources for Local, Regional and State Agencies, both private and public for identifying additional information and support for your planning process.

 

Click Here to View the List

Information about the Article 10 Process, stormwater management, SEQR, planning boards, comprehensive planning and more.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

As New York State and the United States move towards a renewable energy future, whereby solar begins to replace fossil fuels as an energy source, it is important that municipalities are ready to approach and respond to solar development. Solar can be a possible alternative and a financially wise decision, however there are downsides that should be considered. The process for implementing solar is not an easy one, but can be made easier through preparedness. This guide is aimed at helping municipal governments, particularly in Otsego and Delaware Counties, in developing sound and clear policy related to solar, and how to be better prepared for solar development. 

 VIEW THE GUIDE HERE

Position Statements

In order to give the public a clear understanding of environmental issues considered to be of major import ance to Otsego County or to a segment of the county, OCCA devises position statements specific to these concerns which outline OCCA’s stance on the issues. To read OCCA’s official organizational position on the following, click on the links below.

Sustainable Development

Focusing on economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.

The Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA), in partnership with the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Otsego County Planning Department, has assumed the lead in updating the county’s 1999 Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, a process that began in 2014. The updated plan examines the current status of agriculture in Otsego County and establishes a comprehensive strategy on farm and farmland protection that takes into consideration needs and trends specific to Otsego County.

The plan was approved by the Otsego County Board of Supervisors at its September, 2017 meeting.

Click Here to View the Plan

As a first step, OCCA invited farmers, agricultural producers, ag-related businesses, and the public to share their thoughts on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing agriculture and land protection in Otsego County. 

Click Here to View the Information for Public Input

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How You Can Help Protect Our Local Environment

Donations provide the foundation for our work throughout Otsego County. By becoming a supporter of OCCA, you become a part of a unique countywide environmental organization whose mission is to protect local natural resources for the benefit of all. 

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7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931 • Cooperstown, NY  13326
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