Senate Bill No. 1269

Public Act No. 01-49

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO UTILITY LAWS.

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

Section 1. Subdivisions (15) and (16) of section 16-1 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(15) "Community antenna television service" means [(1)] (A) the one-way transmission to subscribers of video programming or information that a community antenna television company makes available to all subscribers generally, and subscriber interaction, if any, which is required for the selection of such video programming or information, and [(2)] (B) noncable communications service;

(16) "Community antenna television system" means a facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception and control equipment that is designed to provide community antenna television service which includes video programming and which is provided in, under or over any public street or highway, for hire, to multiple subscribers within a franchise, but such term does not include [(1)] (A) a facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations; [(2)] (B) a facility that serves only subscribers in one or more multiple unit dwellings under common ownership, control or management, unless such facility is located in, under or over a public street or highway; [(3)] (C) a facility of a common carrier which is subject, in whole or in part, to the provisions of Subchapter II of Chapter 5 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC 201 et seq., as amended, except that such facility shall be considered a community antenna television system and the carrier shall be considered a public service company to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers; or [(4)] (D) a facility of an electric company which is used solely for operating its electric company systems.

Sec. 2. Subsection (f) of section 16-2a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(f) As used in this section, "consumer" means any person, city, borough or town [,] that receives service from any public service company, electric supplier or from any certified telecommunications provider in this state whether or not such person, city, borough or town is financially responsible for such service.

Sec. 3. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 16-11a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There is established a Nuclear Energy Advisory Council which shall (1) hold regular public meetings for the purpose of discussing issues relating to the safety and operation of the nuclear power generating facilities located in this state and to advise the Governor, the General Assembly and municipalities within a five-mile radius of any nuclear power generating facility in this state of such issues, (2) work in conjunction with agencies of the federal, state and local governments and with any electric company operating a nuclear power generating facility to ensure the public health and safety, (3) discuss proposed changes in or problems arising from the operation of a nuclear power generating facility, (4) communicate with any electric company operating a nuclear power generating facility [,] about safety or operational concerns at the facility, which communications may include, but not be limited to, receipt of written reports and presentations to the council, and (5) review the current status of facilities with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

(b) The advisory council shall consist of: (1) Two members appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and two members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (2) the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or [his] said commissioner's designee; (3) one representative of an operator of a nuclear power generating facility located in the state, appointed by the Governor; (4) two electors from each municipality in which a nuclear power generating facility is located, appointed by the chief executive officers of said municipalities; and (5) four electors each of whom is from a municipality which is adjacent to a municipality in which a nuclear power generating facility is located, one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, and one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

Sec. 4. Subsection (g) of section 16-19 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(g) The department shall hold either a special public hearing or combine an investigation with an ongoing four-year review conducted in accordance with section 16-19a or with a general rate hearing conducted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section on the need for an interim rate decrease (1) when a public service company has, for six consecutive months, earned a return on equity which exceeds the return authorized by the department by at least one percentage point, (2) if it finds that any change in municipal, state or federal tax law creates a significant increase in a company's rate of return, or (3) if it finds that a public service company may be collecting rates which are more than just, reasonable and adequate, as determined by the department, provided the department shall require appropriate notice of hearing to the company and its customers who would be affected by an interim rate decrease in such form as the department deems reasonable. The company shall be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the department that earning such a return on equity or collecting rates which are more than just, reasonable and adequate is directly beneficial to its customers. At the completion of the proceeding, the department may order an interim rate decrease if it finds that such return on equity or rates [exceed] exceeds a reasonable rate of return or [are] is more than just, reasonable and adequate as determined by the department. Any such interim rate decrease shall be subject to a customer surcharge if the interim rates collected by the company are less than the rates finally approved by the department or fixed at the conclusion of any appeal taken as a result of any finding by the department. Such surcharge shall be assessed against customers in such amounts and by such procedure as ordered by the department.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 16-43 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) A public service company shall obtain the approval of the Department of Public Utility Control to directly or indirectly (1) merge, consolidate or make common stock with any other company, or (2) sell, lease, assign, mortgage, except by supplemental indenture in accord with the terms of a mortgage outstanding May 29, 1935, or otherwise dispose of any essential part of its franchise, plant, equipment or other property necessary or useful in the performance of its duty to the public, provided (A) a public service company other than a water company may sell, lease, assign, mortgage or otherwise dispose of real property with an appraised value of fifty thousand dollars or less without such approval, and (B) a water company supplying water to more than five hundred consumers may sell, lease, assign, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of real property, other than public watershed or water supply lands, with an appraised value of fifty thousand dollars or less without such approval. The department shall not accept an application to sell watershed or water supply lands until the Commissioner of Public Health issues a permit pursuant to section 25-32. The condemnation by a state department, institution or agency of any land owned by a public service company shall be subject to the provisions of this subsection. On February 1, 1996, and annually thereafter, each public service company shall submit a report to the Department of Public Utility Control of all real property sold, leased, assigned, mortgaged, or otherwise disposed of without the approval of said department during the previous calendar year. Such report shall include for each transaction involving such property, without limitation, the appraised value of the real property, the actual value of the transaction and the accounting journal entry which recorded the transaction.

Sec. 6. Subsection (b) of section 16-50c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) On or before January 1, 1998, and on or before January first of each year thereafter, any private, nonprofit land-holding organization may provide in writing to the Department of Public Utility Control its mailing address and a list of the municipalities in this state in which such organization may own land or any municipality adjacent to such municipalities which address is suitable for the purpose of receiving notice of the sale, lease or other disposition of water company land as provided in this section. On or before February 1, 1998, and on or before February first of each year thereafter, said department shall publish and make available to every water company, as defined in section 16-1, a list setting forth for the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Land Trust Service Bureau and each private, nonprofit land-holding organization which has provided such information, such organization's mailing address and the municipalities in which such organization may own land and the adjacent municipalities. Such list shall be valid until January thirty-first of the following calendar year. Information contained on such list shall be carried forward on each succeeding year's list unless a change in such information, or the discontinuation of such information on such list, is requested by the entity which submitted it and any changes in, or discontinuation of, information to be incorporated in the following year's list shall be submitted to the Department of Public Utility Control on or before January first for inclusion on the list to be published on February first. Whenever, one hundred twenty days after July 1, 1998, any water company, as defined in section 16-1, owning any contiguous area of real property containing three acres or more, intends to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land, or a portion thereof, such company shall, not later than ninety days prior to offering such land for sale or otherwise negotiating with or notifying any other potential purchaser, or any agent of a potential purchaser, (1) notify in writing, by certified mail, return receipt requested, the Department of Public Utility Control, the Commissioner of Public Health, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, any water company, as defined in section 25-32a, with an existing or potential source of supply or service area in any municipality in which such land is situated, any water company, as defined in said section 25-32a, with an existing or potential source of supply or service area in a contiguous municipality, the chief executive officer or officers of the municipality in which such land is situated, the Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, the Land Trust Service Bureau and any private, nonprofit land-holding organization set forth on the list published annually by the Department of Public Utility Control pursuant to this section which organization has indicated to the department that it may own land in the municipality in which the land is located or in an adjacent municipality provided such notice shall inform recipients of information pertaining to the acreage and location of the land to be sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of and such notice shall state that additional information, including a map of the property, is available at the company and further provided, for any application submitted to the Department of Public Utility Control for disposition of such land within two years after such ninety-day period, no further notice shall be required, and (2) provide further public notice by causing a notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipalities where such water company land is situated not more than forty-five days [nor] or less than thirty days before and not more than thirty days after filing an application for approval with the department of such intention to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land. Such public notice shall be published in a display form that shall serve substantially to notify the public of the availability of the property and shall be published in print no smaller than ten-point type size. If a recipient of notice under this subsection enters into a contract to purchase such land, the closing on the sale shall take place not later than twelve months after the contract is entered into unless the period for closing is extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the contract. No agreement to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of such land may be entered into by such water company except as provided in this section. Any private, nonprofit land-holding organization which is considering acquiring the interest in the land which the water company intends to sell, lease or dispose of [,] must identify itself as a potential acquirer by giving written notice to the Department of Public Utility Control and to the water company by certified mail, return receipt requested, not more than ninety days after the water company files an application for approval. The department shall approve or disapprove the disposition of such property pursuant to subsection (a) of section 16-43, as amended by this act, not more than one hundred fifty days after its receipt of an application for such sale, lease or other disposition pursuant to this subsection and failure to take action within such period shall be deemed to constitute approval. The department shall hold a hearing on all such land transactions in which the acquisition cost of the parcels involved or the transfer consideration is in excess of fifty thousand dollars. The hearing shall be held in the municipality where such land is located. If such land is located in more than one municipality the department shall determine in which municipality the hearing shall be held. If the hearing is scheduled for more than one day or continues for more than one day the department may reconvene the hearing at the offices of the department. An application shall not be filed with the department until the Commissioner of Public Health issues a permit pursuant to section 25-32. The municipality in which such land is situated shall be a party to all proceedings before the department involving such land brought pursuant to sections 16-50b to 16-50e, inclusive.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 16-50k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(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 subsection, 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, 1998, and (2) the construction or location of any fuel cell, unless the council finds a substantial adverse environmental effect.

Sec. 8. Subsection (c) of section 16-247f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) On petition, on its own motion, or in conjunction with a tariff investigation conducted pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, after notice and hearing, and within ninety days of receipt of a petition or its motion or within the time period set forth in subsection (f) of this section, as applicable, the department may reclassify a telecommunications service as competitive, emerging competitive or noncompetitive, in accordance with the degree of competition which exists for that service in the marketplace, provided (1) a competitive service shall not be reclassified as an emerging competitive service [,] and (2) the department may extend the period (A) before the end of the ninety-day period and upon notifying all parties to the proceedings by thirty days, or (B) in accordance with the provisions of subsection (f) of this section, as applicable.

Sec. 9. Section 16-247s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1, that provides local exchange service to customers in the state shall provide without charge to [the] a telephone company serving more than one hundred thousand customers for directory assistance purposes all listings for its Connecticut customers other than those listings that are nonpublished. [Said] Such telephone company, or its agent or affiliate as applicable, shall, in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, as from time to time amended, and any applicable order or regulation adopted by the Federal Communications Commission thereunder, including the availability and timing of updates and applicable rates, compile all such listings and all listings for its own Connecticut customers other than those that are nonpublished in a directory assistance database and make all such listings contained in [said] such database available in electronic format to directory assistance providers. If a customer requests a customer listing from a certified telecommunications provider that does not provide directory assistance, [said] such provider shall connect the customer at no charge with an entity that provides directory assistance to the customer. Each such certified telecommunications provider shall indemnify [said] a telephone company for any damages caused by that certified telecommunications provider's negligence in misidentifying a nonpublished customer.

Sec. 10. Subsection (a) of section 16-258a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each person that sells natural gas to an end user in the state and is not (1) a gas company, as defined in section 16-1, (2) a municipal gas utility established under chapter 101 or any other gas utility owned, leased, maintained, operated, managed [,] or controlled by any unit of local government under any general statute or any public or special act, or (3) a gas pipeline or gas transmission company subject to the provisions of chapter 208, shall register with the Department of Public Utility Control prior to making any such sale by filing a form supplied by said department.

Sec. 11. Section 16-280d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Department of Public Utility Control shall require [of] any person that owns any pipeline facilities or that engages in the transportation of gas or maintains pipeline facilities within the state to maintain such records, make such reports and provide such inspections as are required by the federal act or by any regulation adopted by the department pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of section 16-280b. The department may require the filing of such information as is necessary to determine compliance with applicable standards and regulations.

Approved May 31, 2001