Substitute House Bill No. 6365

Public Act No. 99-141

An Act Concerning Municipal Input with Siting of Certain Facilities.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (d) of section 16-50x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: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 [made within thirty days of any application and 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 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.

Sec. 2. Section 16-50l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) To initiate a certification proceeding, an applicant for a certificate shall file with the council an application, in such form as the council may prescribe, accompanied by a fee of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars, which fee shall be established in accordance with section 16-50t, containing such information as the applicant may consider relevant and the council or any department or agency of the state exercising environmental controls may by regulation require, including the following information: (1) In the case of facilities described in subdivisions (1), (2) and (4) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i: (A) A description, including estimated costs, of the proposed transmission line, substation or switchyard, covering, where applicable underground cable sizes and specifications, overhead tower design and appearance and heights, if any, conductor sizes, and initial and ultimate voltages and capacities; (B) a statement and full explanation of why the proposed transmission line, substation or switchyard is necessary and how the facility conforms to a long-range plan for expansion of the electric power grid serving the state and interconnected utility systems, that will serve the public need for adequate, reliable and economic service; (C) a map of suitable scale of the proposed routing or site, showing details of the rights-of-way or site in the vicinity of settled areas, parks, recreational areas and scenic areas, and showing existing transmission lines within one mile of the proposed route or site; (D) justification for adoption of the route or site selected, including comparison with alternative routes or sites which are environmentally, technically and economically practical; (E) a description of the effect of the proposed transmission line, substation or switchyard on the environment, ecology, and scenic, historic and recreational values; (F) a justification for overhead portions, if any, including life-cycle cost studies comparing overhead alternatives with underground alternatives, and effects described in subdivision (E) of undergrounding; (G) a schedule of dates showing the proposed program of right-of-way or property acquisition, construction, completion and operation; and (H) identification of each federal, state, regional, district and municipal agency with which proposed route or site reviews have been undertaken, including a copy of each written agency position on such route or site; and (2) in the case of facilities described in subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i: (A) A description of the proposed electric generating or storage facility; (B) a statement and full explanation of why the proposed facility is necessary; (C) a statement of loads and resources as described in section 16-50r; (D) safety and reliability information, including planned provisions for emergency operations and shutdowns; (E) estimated cost information, including plant costs, fuel costs, plant service life and capacity factor, and total generating cost per kilowatt-hour, both at the plant and related transmission, and comparative costs of alternatives considered; (F) a schedule showing the program for design, material acquisition, construction and testing, and operating dates; (G) available site information, including maps and description and present and proposed development, and geological, scenic, ecological, seismic, biological, water supply, population and load center data; (H) justification for adoption of the site selected, including comparison with alternative sites; (I) design information, including description of facilities, plant efficiencies, electrical connections to system, and control systems; (J) description of provisions, including devices and operations, for mitigation of the effect of the operation of the facility on air and water quality, for waste disposal, and for noise abatement, and information on other environmental aspects; (K) a listing of federal, state, regional, district and municipal agencies from which approvals either have been obtained or will be sought covering the proposed facility, copies of approvals received and the planned schedule for obtaining those approvals not yet received.

(b) Each application shall be accompanied by proof of service of a copy of such application on: (1) Each municipality in which any portion of such facility is to be located, both as primarily proposed and in the alternative locations listed, and any adjoining municipality having a boundary not more than two thousand five hundred feet from such facility, which copy shall be served on the chief executive officer of [the] each such municipality and shall include notice of the date on or about which the application is to be filed, and the zoning commissions, planning commissions, planning and zoning commissions, conservation commissions and inland wetlands agencies of each such municipality, and the regional planning agencies which encompass each such municipality; (2) the Attorney General; (3) each member of the legislature in whose assembly or senate district the facility or any alternative location listed in the application is to be located; (4) any agency, department or instrumentality of the federal government that has jurisdiction, whether concurrent with the state or otherwise, over any matter that would be affected by such facility; (5) each state department, agency and commission named in subsection (h) of section 16-50j; and (6) such other state and municipal bodies as the council may by regulation designate. A notice of such application shall be given to the general public, in municipalities entitled to receive notice under subdivision (1) of this subsection, by the publication of a summary of such application and the date on or about which it will be filed. Such notice shall be published under the regulations to be promulgated by the council, in such form and in such newspapers as will serve substantially to inform the public of such application and to afford interested persons sufficient time to prepare for and to be heard at the hearing prescribed in section 16-50m. Such notice shall be published in not less than ten-point type. A notice of such an application for a certificate for a facility described in subdivision (3), (4), (5) or (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i shall also be sent, by certified or registered mail, to each person appearing of record as an owner of property which abuts the proposed primary or alternative sites on which the facility would be located. Such notice shall be sent at the same time that notice of such application is given to the general public. Notice of an application for a certificate for a facility described in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i shall also be provided to each electric company or electric distribution company customer in the municipality where the facility is proposed to be placed. Such notice shall (A) be provided on a separate enclosure with each customer's monthly bill for one or more months, (B) be provided by the electric company or electric distribution company not earlier than sixty days prior to filing the application with the council, but not later than the date that the application is filed with the council, and (C) include: A brief description of the project, including its location relative to the affected municipality and adjacent streets; a brief technical description of the project including its proposed length, voltage, and type and range of heights of support structures or underground configuration; the reason for the project; the address and a toll-free telephone number of the applicant by which additional information about the project can be obtained; and a statement in print no smaller than twenty-four-point type size stating "NOTICE OF PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF A HIGH VOLTAGE ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINE".

(c) An application for a certificate shall contain information on the extent to which the proposed facility has been identified in, and is consistent with, the annual forecast reports and life-cycle cost analysis required by section 16-50r and other advance planning that has been carried out, and shall include an explanation for any failure of the facility to conform with such information.

(d) An amendment proceeding may be initiated by an application for amendment of a certificate filed with the council by the holder of the certificate or by a resolution of the council. An amendment application by a certificate holder shall be in such form and contain such information as the council shall prescribe. A resolution for amendment by the council shall identify the design, location or route of the portion of a certificated facility described in subdivisions (1) or (2) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i which is subject to modification on the basis of stated conditions or events which could not reasonably have been known or foreseen prior to the issuance of the certificate. No such resolution for amendment of a certificate shall be adopted after the commencement of site preparation or construction of the certificated facility or, in the case of a facility for which approval by the council of a right-of-way development and management plan or other detailed construction plan is a condition of the certificate, after approval of that part of the plan which includes the portion of the facility proposed for modification. A copy and notice of each amendment application shall be given by the holder of the certificate in the manner set forth in subsection (b) of this section. A copy and notice of each resolution for amendment shall be given by the council in the manner set forth in subsection (b) of this section. The council shall also provide the certificate holder with a copy of such resolution. The certificate holder and the council shall not be required to give such copy and notice to municipalities and the commissions and agencies of such municipalities other than those in which the modified portion of the facility would be located.

(e) At least sixty days prior to the filing of any application with the council, the applicant shall consult with the municipality in which the facility may be located and with any other municipality required to be served with a copy of the application under subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of this section concerning the proposed and alternative sites of the facility. Such consultation with the municipality shall include, but not be limited to good faith efforts to meet with the chief elected official of the municipality. At the time of the consultation, the applicant shall provide the chief elected official with any technical reports concerning the public need, the site selection process and the environmental effects of the proposed facility. The municipality may conduct public hearings and meetings as it deems necessary for it to advise the applicant of its recommendations concerning the proposed facility. Within sixty days of the initial consultation, the municipality shall issue its recommendations to the applicant. No later than fifteen days after submitting the application to the council, the applicant shall provide to the council all materials provided to the municipality and a summary of the consultations with the municipality including all recommendations issued by the municipality.

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 16-50x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu 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 made within thirty days of any application and 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. 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, as amended by this act, 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.

Sec. 4. Sections 2 and 3 shall take effect from their passage and shall apply to any applications pending before the Connecticut Siting Council on or after such effective date.

Approved June 8, 1999

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