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H.186

Introduced by   Representative Obuchowski of Rockingham

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; Act 250; aesthetics; public service; certificate of public good; projects located above 2,500 feet

Statement of purpose:  This bill pertains to electric generation or transmission projects that need a certificate of public good under 30 V.S.A. § 248 and that involve site preparation or construction at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more.  In these situations, the bill proposes that the public service board will not initiate its own review with respect to water purity, wildlife habitat, aesthetics, and historic sites; rather, review of those general issues will be conducted by the district environmental commission in proceedings that will develop findings with respect to criterion (8) of Act 250 and with respect to water pollution only under criterion (1)(A).  The public service board will give due consideration to these findings when determining whether to issue a certificate finding that the project in question serves the general good of the state.

AN ACT RELATING TO PROVIDING THAT ORIGINAL AESTHETICS, WATER PURITY, AND WILDLIFE HABITAT REVIEW FOR REGULATED ELECTRICITY PROJECTS LOCATED ABOVE 2,500 FEET IN ELEVATION SHALL TAKE PLACE BEFORE A DISTRICT ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION INSTEAD OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  10 V.S.A. § 6025(f) is added to read:

(f)  The board shall adopt procedural rules to apply in situations identified under 30 V.S.A. § 248(m) in which a district commission is required to issue findings with respect to criterion 6086(a)(8) of this title and with respect to water purity only under criterion 6086(a)(1)(A), concerning any portion of an application for a certificate of public good under 30 V.S.A. § 248 which is located at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more. 

Sec. 2.  10 V.S.A. § 6027(l) is added to read:

(l)  A district commission, or the environmental court on appeal, shall have authority to issue findings with respect to criterion 6086(a)(8) of this title and with respect to water pollution only under criterion 6086(a)(1)(A), regarding an application for a certificate of public good under 30 V.S.A. § 248 for a project that involves the site preparation for or construction of an electric generation facility or electric transmission facility within the state, any portion of which is located at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more.  This authority shall include only those portions of the project that are located at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more.

Sec. 3.  30 V.S.A. § 248(m) is added to read:

(m)(1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this section or the provisions of 10 V.S.A. chapter 151 to the contrary, the public service board shall not initiate its own review under subdivision (b)(5) of this section with respect to water purity, wildlife habitat, aesthetics, and historic sites, concerning any portion of a project that is the subject of an application for a certificate of public good under this section, if that portion:

(A)  entails the site preparation for or construction of an electric generation facility or electric transmission facility within the state; and

(B)  is located at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more.

(2)  Any portion of such a project that is located at an elevation of 2,500 feet or more shall be subject to review by the pertinent district environmental commission, or the environmental court on appeal, but only with respect to the criteria established in 10 V.S.A. § 6086(a)(8) and with respect to water pollution only under subdivision 6086(a)(1)(A).

(3)  When the board is making its overall determination under this section as to whether to issue a certificate finding that a project will promote the general good of the state, the board shall give due consideration to the findings issued under this subsection by a district commission or the environmental court on appeal.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us