CHAPTER 277a
PUBLIC UTILITY ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS ACT

Table of Contents

Sec. 16-50i. Definitions.
Sec. 16-50k. Certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. Transfer. Amendment. Excepted matters. Waiver.
Sec. 16-50p. Certification proceeding decisions: Timing, opinion, factors considered. Telecommunications and community antenna television facilities: Additional factors considered, conditions. Modification of location. Amendment proceeding decisions. Service and notice. "Public need" defined.
Sec. 16-50x. Exclusive jurisdiction of council; exception. Eminent domain after certification. Municipal regulation of proposed location.

      Sec. 16-50i. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

      (a) "Facility" means: (1) An electric transmission line of a design capacity of sixty-nine kilovolts or more, including associated equipment but not including a transmission line tap, as defined in subsection (e) of this section; (2) a fuel transmission facility, except a gas transmission line having a design capability of less than two hundred pounds per square inch gauge pressure or having a design capacity of less than twenty per cent of its specified minimum yield strength; (3) any electric generating or storage facility using any fuel, including nuclear materials, including associated equipment for furnishing electricity but not including an emergency generating device, as defined in subsection (f) of this section or a facility (i) owned and operated by a private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b, (ii) which is a qualifying small power production facility or a qualifying cogeneration facility under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended, or a facility determined by the council to be primarily for a producer's own use, and (iii) which has, in the case of a facility utilizing renewable energy sources, a generating capacity of one megawatt of electricity or less and, in the case of a facility utilizing cogeneration technology, a generating capacity of twenty-five megawatts of electricity or less; (4) any electric substation or switchyard designed to change or regulate the voltage of electricity at sixty-nine kilovolts or more or to connect two or more electric circuits at such voltage, which substation or switchyard may have a substantial adverse environmental effect, as determined by the council established under section 16-50j, and other facilities which may have a substantial adverse environmental effect as the council may, by regulation, prescribe; (5) such community antenna television towers and head-end structures, including associated equipment, which may have a substantial adverse environmental effect, as said council shall, by regulation, prescribe; (6) such telecommunication towers, including associated telecommunications equipment, owned or operated by the state, a public service company or a certified telecommunications provider or used in a cellular system, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47, Part 22, as amended, which may have a substantial adverse environmental effect, as said council shall, by regulation, prescribe; and (7) any component of a proposal submitted pursuant to the request-for-proposal process;

      (b) "Municipality" means a city, town or borough of the state and "municipal" has a correlative meaning;

      (c) "Person" means any individual, corporation, limited liability company, joint venture, public benefit corporation, political subdivision, governmental agency or authority, municipality, partnership, association, trust or estate and any other entity, public or private, however organized;

      (d) "Modification" means a significant change or alteration in the general physical characteristics of a facility;

      (e) "Transmission line tap" means an electrical transmission line not requested by an applicant to be treated as a facility that has the primary function, as determined by the council, of interconnecting a private power producing or cogeneration facility to the electrical power grid serving the state, and does not have a substantial adverse environmental effect, as determined by the council based on a review of the line's proposed purpose, the line's proposed length, the number and type of support structures, the number of manholes required for the proposed line, the necessity of entering a right-of-way including any easements or land acquisition for any construction or maintenance on the proposed line, and any other environmental, health or public safety factor considered relevant by the council;

      (f) "Emergency generating device" means an electric generating device with a generating capacity of five megawatts or less, installed primarily for the purpose of producing emergency backup electrical power for not more than five hundred hours per year, and that (1) does not have a substantial adverse environmental effect, as determined by the council, or (2) is owned and operated by an entity other than an electric, electric distribution or gas company or (3) is under construction or in operation prior to May 2, 1989; and

      (g) "Request-for-proposal process" or "request-for-proposal" means the process set forth in section 16a-7c.

      (1971, P.A. 575, S. 3; P.A. 73-41, S. 1, 2; 73-458, S. 1; P.A. 76-317, S. 1, 2; P.A. 77-218, S. 2; P.A. 79-214, S. 3; 79-470; P.A. 80-81; P.A. 81-439, S. 4, 14; P.A. 83-569, S. 2, 17; P.A. 84-249, S. 1, 3; P.A. 86-336, S. 7, 19; P.A. 89-61, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-74, S. 6, 11; P.A. 95-79, S. 50, 189; P.A. 98-28, S. 99, 117; P.A. 99-286, S. 8, 19; P.A. 03-140, S. 2, 3; P.A. 05-288, S. 236; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1, S. 24.)

      History: P.A. 73-41 included gas transmission lines with design capability of two hundred pounds per square inch gauge pressure or more in definition of "facility"; P.A. 73-458 added "which may have a substantial adverse environmental effect" in Subdiv. (4) of definition of "facility" and defined "modification"; P.A. 76-317 deleted references to length of lines in Subdivs. (1) and (2) of "facility" definition and rewording provision re pressure of gas transmission lines; P.A. 77-218 added Subdivs. (5) and (6) re community antenna television and telecommunications towers in definition of "facility"; P.A. 79-214 excluded facilities producing one or less megawatt of electricity by cogeneration technology from definition of "facility"; P.A. 79-470 changed height limit for telecommunications towers from one hundred to fifty feet in Subdiv. (6) of "facility" definition; P.A. 80-81 deleted reference to tower height in Subdiv. (6) of "facility" definition altogether and included reference to associated equipment; P.A. 81-439 excluded cogeneration facility having capacity of ten megawatts, rather than one megawatt, from definition of facility and limited exclusion to cogeneration and renewable energy facilities owned and operated by private power producers and qualifying under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978; P.A. 83-569 redefined "facility" to include certain substations and switchyards; P.A. 84-249 amended Subdiv. (6) of Subsec. (a) to include telecommunication towers used in a cellular system in the definition of "facility"; P.A. 86-336 amended Subpara. (iii) of Subdiv. (3) of Subsec. (a) to increase, from ten to twenty-five megawatts of electricity, the maximum generating capacity which a facility utilizing cogeneration technology must have in order to be excluded from definition of "facility"; P.A. 89-61 added provisions in Subsec. (a) eliminating transmissions line taps and emergency generating devices from the jurisdiction of the council and added new Subsecs. (e) and (f) defining a transmission line tap and an emergency generating device; P.A. 94-74 redefined "facility" to include provision re persons, firms or corporations certified to provide intrastate telecommunication services, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 95-79 redefined "person" to include a limited liability company, effective May 31, 1995; P.A. 98-28 amended Subsec. (f) by adding electric distribution companies, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 99-286 amended Subsec. (a)(6) by changing reference to person, firm or corporation certified by the department to "certified telecommunications provider", effective July 19, 1999; P.A. 03-140 amended Subsec. (a) to make a technical change and to add Subdiv. (7) re any component of a proposal submitted pursuant to the request-for-proposal process, and added new Subsec. (g) defining "request-for-proposal process", effective October 1, 2004; P.A. 05-288, effective July 13, 2005, and June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1, effective July 21, 2005, both amended Subsec. (a)(2) by adding "or having a design capacity of less than twenty per cent of its specified minimum yield strength".

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      Sec. 16-50k. Certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. Transfer. Amendment. Excepted matters. Waiver. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of section 16-50z, no person shall exercise any right of eminent domain in contemplation of, commence the preparation of the site for, or commence the construction or supplying of a facility, or commence any modification of a facility, that may, as determined by the council, have a substantial adverse environmental effect in the state without having first obtained a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need, hereinafter referred to as a "certificate", issued with respect to such facility or modification by the council, except fuel cells with a generating capacity of ten kilowatts or less which shall not require such certificate. Any facility with respect to which a certificate is required shall thereafter be built, maintained and operated in conformity with such certificate and any terms, limitations or conditions contained therein. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or title 16a, the council shall, in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the siting of generating facilities, approve by declaratory ruling (1) the construction of a facility solely for the purpose of generating electricity, other than an electric generating facility that uses nuclear materials or coal as fuel, at a site where an electric generating facility operated prior to July 1, 2004, (2) the construction or location of any fuel cell, unless the council finds a substantial adverse environmental effect, or of any customer-side distributed resources project or facility or grid-side distributed resources project or facility with a capacity of not more than sixty-five megawatts, so long as such project meets air quality standards of the Department of Environmental Protection, and (3) the siting of temporary generation solicited by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to section 16-19ss.

      (b) A certificate may be transferred, subject to the approval of the council, to a person who agrees to comply with the terms, limitations and conditions contained therein. The council shall not approve any such transfer if it finds that such transfer was contemplated at or prior to the time the certificate was issued and such fact was not adequately disclosed during the certification proceeding.

      (c) A certificate issued pursuant to this chapter may be amended as provided in this chapter.

      (d) This chapter shall apply to any facility described in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, the construction of which is commenced on or after April 1, 1972, and to any such facility the construction of which is approved by a municipality that has commenced the sale of bonds or bond anticipation notes on or after April 1, 1972, the proceeds or part of the proceeds of which are to finance such construction. This chapter shall apply to any facility described in subdivision (4) of said subsection (a) of section 16-50i, the construction of which is commenced on or after July 1, 1983, and to any such facility the construction of which is approved by a municipality that has commenced the sale of bonds or bond anticipation notes on or after July 1, 1983, the proceeds or part of the proceeds of which are to finance such construction. This chapter shall apply to any facility described in subdivisions (5) and (6) of said subsection, the construction of which is commenced on or after October 1, 1977, and to any such facility the construction of which is approved by a municipality that has commenced the sale of bonds or bond anticipation notes on or after October 1, 1977, the proceeds or part of the proceeds of which are to finance such construction. This chapter shall apply to the modification of a facility described in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of said subsection (a) for which construction is commenced on or after April 1, 1972, modifications of a facility described in subdivision (4) of said subsection (a) for which construction is commenced on or after July 1, 1983, and modifications of a facility described in subdivisions (5) and (6) of said subsection (a) of section 16-50i, for which construction is commenced on or after October 1, 1977, whenever such modification either alone or in combination with existing or other proposed facility modifications may, as determined by the council, have a substantial adverse environmental effect. This chapter shall not apply to any matter over which any agency, department or instrumentality of the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction, or has jurisdiction concurrent with that of the state and has exercised such jurisdiction, to the exclusion of regulation of such matter by the state.

      (e) Any person intending to construct a facility excluded from one or more provisions of this chapter may, to the extent permitted by law, elect to waive such exclusion by delivering notice of such waiver to the council. Such provisions shall thereafter apply to each facility identified in such notice from the date of its receipt by the council.

      (1971, P.A. 575, S. 5; P.A. 73-458, S. 3; P.A. 76-359, S. 4, 7; P.A. 77-218, S. 3; P.A. 83-569, S. 15, 17; P.A. 98-28, S. 49, 117; P.A. 00-93; P.A. 01-49, S. 7; P.A. 03-140, S. 6; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1, S. 18.)

      History: P.A. 73-458 added exception re Sec. 16-50y in Subsec. (a) and qualified applicability of chapter in Subsec. (d) with regard to modification of facilities; P.A. 76-359 replaced reference to Sec. 16-50y in Subsec. (a) with reference to Subsec. (b) of Sec. 16-50z; P.A. 77-218 clarified applicability provisions of Subsec. (d); P.A. 83-569 amended Subsec. (d) to limit application of chapter to facilities described in Subdiv. (4) of Subsec. (a) of Sec. 16-50i (substations and switchyards) to those constructed on or after July 1, 1983; P.A. 98-28 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring the council to approve by declaratory ruling the siting of electric generation facilities that do not use nuclear materials or coal as fuel, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 00-93 amended Subsec. (a) by excepting fuel cells with a generating capacity of ten kilowatts or less and by adding provision re approval by declaratory ruling of the construction or location of fuel cells; P.A. 01-49 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes; P.A. 03-140 amended Subsec. (a) to replace "this subsection" with "this chapter or title 16a" and to add Subdiv. (3) re siting of temporary generation, effective June 26, 2003; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1 amended Subsec. (a) to replace "1998" with "2004" in Subdiv. (1) and allow the council to approve by declaratory ruling customer-side distributed resources and certain grid-side distributed resources in Subdiv. (2), effective July 21, 2005.

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      Sec. 16-50p. Certification proceeding decisions: Timing, opinion, factors considered. Telecommunications and community antenna television facilities: Additional factors considered, conditions. Modification of location. Amendment proceeding decisions. Service and notice. "Public need" defined. (a)(1) In a certification proceeding, the council shall render a decision upon the record either granting or denying the application as filed, or granting it upon such terms, conditions, limitations or modifications of the construction or operation of the facility as the council may deem appropriate.

      (2) The council's decision shall be rendered in accordance with the following:

      (A) Not later than twelve months after the deadline for filing an application following the request-for-proposal process for a facility described in subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i or subdivision (4) of said subsection (a) if the application was incorporated in an application concerning a facility described in subdivision (1) of said subsection (a);

      (B) Not later than one hundred eighty days after the deadline for filing an application following the request-for-proposal process for a facility described in subdivision (4) of said subsection (a), and an application concerning a facility described in subdivision (3) of said subsection (a), provided such time periods may be extended by the council by not more than one hundred eighty days with the consent of the applicant; and

      (C) Not later than one hundred eighty days after the filing of an application for a facility described in subdivision (5) or (6) of said subsection (a), provided such time period may be extended by the council by not more than one hundred eighty days with the consent of the applicant.

      (3) The council shall file, with its order, an opinion stating in full its reasons for the decision. The council shall not grant a certificate, either as proposed or as modified by the council, unless it shall find and determine:

      (A) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a public need for the facility and the basis of the need;

      (B) The nature of the probable environmental impact of the facility alone and cumulatively with other existing facilities, including a specification of every significant adverse effect, including, but not limited to, electromagnetic fields that, whether alone or cumulatively with other effects, on, and conflict with the policies of the state concerning, the natural environment, ecological balance, public health and safety, scenic, historic and recreational values, forests and parks, air and water purity and fish, aquaculture and wildlife;

      (C) Why the adverse effects or conflicts referred to in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision are not sufficient reason to deny the application;

      (D) In the case of an electric transmission line, (i) what part, if any, of the facility shall be located overhead, (ii) that the facility conforms to a long-range plan for expansion of the electric power grid of the electric systems serving the state and interconnected utility systems and will serve the interests of electric system economy and reliability, and (iii) that the overhead portions, if any, of the facility are cost effective and the most appropriate alternative based on a life-cycle cost analysis of the facility and underground alternatives to such facility, are consistent with the purposes of this chapter, with such regulations or standards as the council may adopt pursuant to section 16-50t, including, but limited to, the council's best management practices for electric and magnetic fields for electric transmission lines and with the Federal Power Commission "Guidelines for the Protection of Natural Historic Scenic and Recreational Values in the Design and Location of Rights-of-Way and Transmission Facilities" or any successor guidelines and any other applicable federal guidelines and are to be contained within an area that provides a buffer zone that protects the public health and safety, as determined by the council. In establishing such buffer zone, the council shall take into consideration, among other things, residential areas, private or public schools, licensed child day care facilities, licensed youth camps or public playgrounds adjacent to the proposed route of the overhead portions and the level of the voltage of the overhead portions and any existing overhead transmission lines on the proposed route. At a minimum, the existing right-of-way shall serve as the buffer zone;

      (E) In the case of an electric or fuel transmission line, that the location of the line will not pose an undue hazard to persons or property along the area traversed by the line;

      (F) In the case of an application that was heard under a consolidated hearing process with other applications that were common to a request-for-proposal, that the facility proposed in the subject application represents the most appropriate alternative among such applications based on the findings and determinations pursuant to this subsection; and

      (G) In the case of a facility described in subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i that is proposed to be installed on land under agricultural restriction, as provided in section 22-26cc, that the facility will not result in a material decrease of acreage and productivity of the arable land.

      (b) (1) Prior to granting an applicant's certificate for a facility described in subdivision (5) or (6) of section 16-50i, the council shall examine, in addition to its consideration of subdivisions (1) to (5), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section: (A) The feasibility of requiring an applicant to share an existing facility, as defined in subsection (b) of section 16-50aa, within a technically derived search area of the site of the proposed facility, provided such shared use is technically, legally, environmentally and economically feasible and meets public safety concerns, (B) whether such facility, if constructed, may be shared with any public or private entity which provides telecommunications or community antenna television service to the public, provided such shared use is technically, legally, environmentally and economically feasible at fair market rates, meets public safety concerns, and the parties' interests have been considered and (C) whether the proposed facility would be located in an area of the state which the council, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection and any affected municipalities, finds to be a relatively undisturbed area that possesses scenic quality of local, regional or state-wide significance. The council may deny an application for a certificate if it determines that (i) shared use under the provisions of subparagraph (A) of this subdivision is feasible, (ii) the applicant would not cooperate relative to the future shared use of the proposed facility, or (iii) the proposed facility would substantially affect the scenic quality of its location and no public safety concerns require that the proposed facility be constructed in such a location.

      (2) When issuing a certificate for a facility described in subdivision (5) or (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, the council may impose such reasonable conditions as it deems necessary to promote immediate and future shared use of such facilities and avoid the unnecessary proliferation of such facilities in the state. The council shall, prior to issuing a certificate, provide notice of the proposed facility to the municipality in which the facility is to be located. Upon motion of the council, written request by a public or private entity which provides telecommunications or community antenna television service to the public or upon written request by an interested party, the council may conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether the holder of a certificate for such a facility is in compliance with the certificate. Following its investigation, the council may initiate a certificate review proceeding, which shall include a hearing, to determine whether the holder of a certificate for such a facility is in compliance with the certificate. In such proceeding, the council shall render a decision and may issue orders which it deems necessary to compel compliance with the certificate, which orders may include, but not be limited to, revocation of the certificate. Such orders may be enforced in accordance with the provisions of section 16-50u.

      (c) (1) The council shall not grant a certificate for a facility described in subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, either as proposed or as modified by the council, unless it finds and determines a public benefit for the facility.

      (2) The council shall not grant a certificate for a facility described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i which is substantially underground or underwater except where such facilities interconnect with existing overhead facilities, either as proposed or as modified by the council, unless it finds and determines a public benefit for the facility, in the case of such facility that is substantially underground, and a public need for such facility, in the case of such facility that is substantially underwater.

      (3) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, a public benefit exists if such a facility is necessary for the reliability of the electric power supply of the state or for the development of a competitive market for electricity and a public need exists if such facility is necessary for the reliability of the electric power supply of the state.

      (4) Any application for an electric transmission line with a capacity of three hundred forty-five kilovolts or more that is filed on or after May 1, 2003, and that proposes the underground burial of such line in all residential areas and overhead installation of such line in industrial and open space areas affected by such proposal shall have a rebuttable presumption of meeting a public benefit for such facility if the facility is substantially underground, and meeting a public need for such facility if the facility is substantially above ground. Such presumption may be overcome by evidence submitted by a party or intervenor to the satisfaction of the council.

      (d) If the council determines that the location of all or a part of the proposed facility should be modified, it may condition the certificate upon such modification, provided the municipalities, and persons residing or located in such municipalities, affected by the modification shall have had notice of the application as provided in subsection (b) of section 16-50l.

      (e) In an amendment proceeding, the council shall render a decision within ninety days of the filing of the application or adoption of the resolution initiating the proceeding. The council shall file an opinion with its order stating its reasons for the decision. The council's decision shall include the findings and determinations enumerated in subsection (a) of this section which are relevant to the proposed amendment.

      (f) A copy of the order and opinion issued therewith shall be served upon each party and a notice of the issuance of the order and opinion shall be published in such newspapers as will serve substantially to inform the public of the issuance of such order and opinion. The name and address of each party shall be set forth in the order.

      (g) In making its decision as to whether or not to issue a certificate, the council shall in no way be limited by the fact that the applicant may already have acquired land or an interest therein for the purpose of constructing the facility which is the subject of its application.

      (h) For purposes of this section, a public need exists for an energy facility if such facility is necessary for the reliability of the electric power supply of the state.

      (i) For a facility described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, with a capacity of three hundred forty-five kilovolts or greater, there shall be a presumption that a proposal to place the overhead portions, if any, of such facility adjacent to residential areas, private or public schools, licensed child day care facilities, licensed youth camps or public playgrounds is inconsistent with the purposes of this chapter. An applicant may rebut this presumption by demonstrating to the council that it will be technologically infeasible to bury the facility. In determining such infeasibility, the council shall consider the effect of burying the facility on the reliability of the electric transmission system of the state.

      (1971, P.A. 575, S. 10; P.A. 73-340, S. 1, 2; 73-458, S. 8; P.A. 75-375, S. 7, 12; P.A. 76-320, S. 1, 2; 76-359, S. 3, 7; P.A. 77-218, S. 4; P.A. 79-537, S. 4; P.A. 80-483, S. 66, 186; P.A. 83-569, S. 5, 17; P.A. 88-121, S. 1, 3; P.A. 93-268, S. 1; P.A. 94-176, S. 3; P.A. 98-28, S. 50, 117; P.A. 01-120, S. 2, 3; P.A. 03-140, S. 10-13; 03-221, S. 6; 03-248, S. 1; 03-263, S. 6; 03-278, S. 120; P.A. 04-236, S. 6, 7; 04-246, S. 3-7; P.A. 05-288, S. 219.)

      History: P.A. 73-340 added Subsec. (d) re irrelevance of applicant's prior acquisition of land; P.A. 73-458 amended Subsec. (a) to clarify Subdiv. (2) by specifying "significant" adverse effects "whether alone or cumulatively ...", to add "that will provide, in accordance with the need for adequate and reliable electric service" in Subdiv. (4)(B) and to delete Subdiv. (6) re conformity of facility location to state and local laws; P.A. 75-375 amended Subsec. (a) to require decision within ten months rather than one year, to delete reference in Subdiv. (4)(B) to elimination of overhead lines in accordance with need for adequate and reliable service and to require consistency with purposes of Ch. 277a and adopted regulations as well as with federal guidelines under Subdiv. (4)(C); P.A. 76-320 made technical change in Subsec. (b) and amended Subsec. (c) to require publication of notice of issuance of order and opinion rather than publication of copy of order and opinion; P.A. 76-359 rephrased Subsec. (d); P.A. 77-218 made ten-month deadline applicable to applications for facilities in Subdivs. (1) to (4), inclusive, of Sec. 16-50i(a), imposed one-hundred-twenty-day deadline for those in Subdivs. (5) and (6) and made provision for extensions under Subsec. (a); P.A. 79-537 made clear that provisions apply to certification proceedings, inserted new Subsec. (c) re amendment proceedings and redesignated former Subsecs. (c) and (d) accordingly; P.A. 80-483 made technical changes; P.A. 83-569 amended Subsec. (a) to establish a time limit for council decisions affecting substations and switchyards; P.A. 88-121 amended Subsec. (a) increasing the council's time to render decisions on applications; P.A. 93-268 inserted new Subsec. (b) regarding factors considered in granting and conditions of a certificate for a facility described in Subdiv. (5) or (6) of Subsec. (a) of Sec. 16-50i and relettered former Subsecs. (b) to (e) as (c) to (f); P.A. 94-176 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision in Subpara. (C) of Subdiv. (4) re life-cycle cost analysis of the facility and underground alternatives; P.A. 98-28 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), added new Subsec. (c) re siting of electric generating and storage facilities and electric transmission lines which are substantially underground or underwater, and redesignated former Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (d) to (g), effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 01-120 amended Subsec. (a) by adding aquaculture to items in Subdiv. (2) that council must determine the probable environmental impact upon for any facility and adding provisions making the terms of any agreement between the applicant and any party to the proceeding or third party part of the record of the proceeding, effective July 1, 2001; P.A. 03-140 amended Subsec. (a) to add provisions re feasible and prudent alternatives, effective July 1, 2003, and applicable to applications for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need filed after that date, and further amended said Subsec. to add subdiv. designators, to add "not later than" and "after the deadline for filing an application following the request-for-proposal process for" in Subdivs. (2)(A) and (2)(B), to delete reference to community antenna television and telecommunication towers in Subdiv. (2)(B), to add Subdiv. (2)(C) re deadline for issuing a decision on an application for community antenna television and telecommunication towers, to delete provisions re feasible and prudent alternatives, to add Subdiv. (3)(F) re applications heard under a consolidated hearing process, to delete provisions re terms of agreements as part of the record of the proceedings, and to make conforming changes, effective October 1, 2004, and amended Subsec. (c) to add provisions re public need for a facility that is substantially underwater in Subdiv. (2)(A), to add provisions re feasible and prudent alternatives, and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 2003, and applicable to applications for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need filed after that date, and further amended said subsec. to add Subdiv. (1)(D) re applications heard under a consolidated hearing process, to delete provisions re feasible and prudent alternatives, and to add Subdiv. (2)(F) re applications heard under a consolidated hearing process, effective October 1, 2004; P.A. 03-221 added Subsec. (a)(6) re telecommunication towers proposed on land under agricultural restriction; P.A. 03-248 added Subsec. (c)(3) re rebuttable resumption for an application for certain electric transmission lines, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 03-263 added new Subsec. (h) re definition of public need for an energy facility, effective July 9, 2003; P.A. 03-278 amended Subsec. (a) by adding Subdiv. (6) re facility proposed to be installed on land under agricultural restriction; P.A. 04-236 made a technical change in former version of Subsecs. (a)(4)(C) and (c)(2)(B), effective June 8, 2004; P.A. 04-246 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes, to add "including, but not limited to, electromagnetic fields that," to include references to standards and best management practices for electric and magnetic fields for electric transmission lines, and to add buffer zone requirement, amended Subsec. (c) to make technical changes and to eliminate provisions re rebuttable presumption for certain electric transmission line applications, and added Subsec. (i) re presumption re proposal for an overhead electric transmission facility with a capacity of three hundred forty-five kilovolts or greater, effective June 3, 2004, and applicable to applications for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need that was originally filed on or after October 1, 2003, for which the Connecticut Siting Council has not rendered a decision upon the record prior to June 3, 2004 (Revisor's note: In 2005, the Revisors editorially redesignated Subsec. (c)(3) as Subsec. (c)(4) to conform with technical changes made by P.A. 04-246); P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a)(3)(A) and (D), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 16-50x. Exclusive jurisdiction of council; exception. Eminent domain after certification. Municipal regulation of proposed location. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes to the contrary, except as provided in section 16-243, the council shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the location and type of facilities and over the location and type of modifications of facilities subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section. In ruling on applications for certificates or petitions for a declaratory ruling for facilities and on requests for shared use of facilities, the council shall give such consideration to other state laws and municipal regulations as it shall deem appropriate. Whenever the council certifies a facility pursuant to this chapter, such certification shall satisfy and be in lieu of all certifications, approvals and other requirements of state and municipal agencies in regard to any questions of public need, convenience and necessity for such facility.

      (b) Whenever the council has certified a facility pursuant to this chapter, any person joining in the application for such certification shall be empowered to exercise its powers of eminent domain, granted by the general statutes or any special act, to acquire property for such facility for the benefit of all persons receiving such certificates.

      (c) Whenever the council has certified a facility pursuant to this chapter and the applicant for such certificate thereafter initiates condemnation proceedings to acquire property for such facility, and it shall appear to the court or judge before whom such proceedings are pending that the public interest will be prejudiced by delay, said court or judge may direct that said applicant be permitted to enter immediately upon the property to be taken and devote it temporarily to the public use specified in the application instituting such proceeding upon the deposit with said court of a sum to be fixed by said court or judge, upon notice to the parties of not less than ten days, and such sum when fixed and paid shall be applied to the payment of any assessment of damages which may be made, with interest thereon from the date of such entry upon said property, and the remainder, if any, returned to said applicant. If such application is dismissed, no assessment of damages is made, or the proceedings are abandoned by said applicant, said court or judge shall direct that the money so deposited, so far as it may be necessary, shall be applied to the payment of any damages that the owner of said property or other parties in interest may have sustained by such entry upon and use of such property, including reasonable attorneys', engineers' and appraisers' fees and other reasonable expenses incurred by such owner or other parties in interest in connection with such proceedings, and the costs and expenses of such proceedings. Such damages shall be ascertained by said court or judge or a committee to be appointed for that purpose, and if the sum so deposited shall be insufficient to pay such damages and all costs and expenses so assessed, judgment shall be entered against said applicant for the deficiency to be enforced and collected in the same manner as a judgment in the Superior Court, and the possession of such property shall be restored to the owner or owners thereof.

      (d) Any town, city or borough zoning commission and inland wetland agency may regulate and restrict the proposed location of a facility, as defined in subdivisions (3) and (4) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i. Such local bodies may make all orders necessary to the exercise of such power to regulate and restrict, which orders shall be in writing and recorded in the records of their respective communities, and written notice of any order shall be given to each party affected thereby. Such a local body shall make any such order (1) not more than sixty-five days after an application has been filed with the council for the siting of a facility described in subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, or (2) not more than thirty days after an application has been filed with the council for the siting of a facility described in subdivision (4) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i. Each such order shall be subject to the right of appeal within thirty days after the giving of such notice by any municipality required to be served with a copy of the application under subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 16-50l or by any party aggrieved to the council, which shall have jurisdiction, in the course of any proceeding on an application for a certificate or otherwise, to affirm, modify or revoke such order or make any order in substitution thereof by a vote of six members of the council.

      (P.A. 73-458, S. 4; P.A. 75-375, S. 9, 11, 12; P.A. 94-242, S. 7, 9; P.A. 99-141, S. 1, 3, 4; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1, S. 23.)

      History: P.A. 75-375 clarified extent of council's jurisdiction in Subsec. (a) and clarified agencies included under applicability provision in Subsec. (d); P.A. 94-242 added reference to rulings on requests for shared use of facilities, effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 99-141 amended Subsec. (d) by adding reference to any municipality required to be served under Sec. 16-50l (b)(1), effective June 8, 1999, and applicable to applications pending before the Connecticut Siting Council on or after that date, and amended Subsec. (d) by deleting provision requiring orders to be made within thirty days of any application and by adding Subdivs. (1) and (2) re time periods in which a local body shall make an order, effective October 1, 1999; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-1 amended Subsec. (a) to add "or petitions for a declaratory ruling", effective July 1, 2005.

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