Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5927

Public Act No. 07-222

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CONNECTICUT SITING COUNCIL AND CELLULAR TOWERS.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) On or before January 1, 2008, the Connecticut Siting Council, upon the request of a municipality, shall develop a local telecommunications coverage assessment for that municipality. Such assessment shall identify locations within said municipality that provide inconsistent or nonexistent telecommunications coverage and shall contain an analysis of existing and projected demands for telecommunications coverage within said municipality.

(b) On or before January 1, 2008, each provider of telecommunications services, upon the request of the Connecticut Siting Council, shall submit to said council all information concerning (1) locations within a particular municipality that provide inconsistent or nonexistent telecommunications coverage, and (2) said provider's existing and projected demands for telecommunications coverage within said municipality. Such information shall be used solely to prepare the assessment required under subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) When notifying a municipality pursuant to section 16-50l of the general statutes of an application for a telecommunications tower in said municipality, the Connecticut Siting Council shall request that the municipality provide to said council, within thirty days, any location preferences or criteria for the siting of said telecommunications tower.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 16-50x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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. When evaluating an application for a telecommunication tower within a particular municipality, the council shall consider any location preferences or criteria (1) provided to the council pursuant to section 2 of this act, or (2) that may exist in the zoning regulations of said municipality as of the submission date of the application to the council. 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.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) As part of its supervision of construction activity in connection with any transmission line project, the Connecticut Siting Council may order such restoration or revegetation of the right-of-way occupied by the overhead transmission facilities approved with any transmission line project as it deems necessary to promote the long-term restoration of vegetation in portions of the right-of-way in residential areas where there has been a significant and material loss of screening as a result of clearing activities. Such restoration or revegetation orders shall be consistent with all standards regarding required clearances between energized conductors and vegetation and all standards regarding minimum work distances for those working in proximity to conductors.

Sec. 5. Subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 16-50v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) (1) Before December thirty-first of each year, the council shall review the anticipated amount of expenses attributable to energy facilities for the next fiscal year, excluding expenses under subsection (c), (d), (e), (g) or (h) of this section at a public meeting, notice of which shall be given to each person subject to assessment under this subsection, and at which interested persons shall be heard. After the meeting, the council shall determine the anticipated amount of such expenses and submit its determination to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. After the committee completes its review, the council shall apportion and assess the anticipated amount of expenses among those persons having gross revenue from the sale of electric power at retail in the state in excess of one hundred thousand dollars during the preceding calendar year, in the proportion which the gross revenue of each such person bears to the aggregate gross revenues of all such persons. Each such person shall pay the assessment in three equal installments on or before July thirty-first, October thirty-first, and January thirty-first of the fiscal year. During the fiscal year the council may further apportion and assess the additional amount of such expenses as could not reasonably have been anticipated prior to the fiscal year, apportioned in the same manner after notice and hearing in the same manner. The total of such assessments for any fiscal year shall not exceed one million five hundred thousand dollars. No proceeds from any assessment under this subsection may be used by the council after June 30, 1984, for any proceedings concerning hazardous waste facilities.

Sec. 6. Subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 16-50v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage and applicable to the assessment period commencing on or after July 1, 2006):

(2) As used in this subdivision, "communications services" means services involving transmitting or receiving signals in the electromagnetic spectrum for a public or commercial purpose pursuant to a Federal Communications Commission license. Before December thirty-first of each year, the council shall review the anticipated amount of administrative expenses attributable to facilities used for providing communications services for the next fiscal year, excluding expenses under subsection (c), (d), (e), (g) or (h) of this section, at a public meeting, notice of which shall be given to each person subject to assessment under this subsection, and at which interested persons shall be heard. After the meeting, the council shall determine the anticipated amount of such expenses and submit its determination to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The council shall apportion and assess the anticipated amount of expenses equitably in proportion to the [frequency of appearance, the degree of regulation required and the] percentage of the council's [workload] direct costs, among those persons [which] who (1) provide communications services or have provided communications services facilities, and (2) have come before the council in the preceding calendar year. Each such person shall pay the assessment and submit a return, on a form prescribed by the council, to the council in four equal installments, on or before July 1, 1994, and July thirty-first of each year thereafter, October 31, 1994, and October thirty-first of each year thereafter, January 31, 1995, and January thirty-first of each year thereafter, and April 30, 1995, and April thirtieth of each year thereafter. The council shall transfer all payments received pursuant to this section to the Treasurer who shall credit such payments to the Siting Council Fund. Such payments shall be considered administrative expenses recovered from communications services providers.

Sec. 7. Section 16-50v of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (i) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (i) On and after January 1, 2008, with regard to any assessment or other charge billed by the council pursuant to this chapter, the council shall charge late fees or penalties at the rate of one and one-half per cent per month against invoiced amounts not received by the council within thirty days after the due date shown on the council's invoice.

Sec. 8. Subsection (f) of section 16-50j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2007):

(f) The public members of the council, including the chairman, the members appointed by the speaker of the House and president pro tempore of the Senate and the four ad hoc members specified in subsection (c) of this section, shall be compensated for their attendance at public hearings, executive sessions, or other council business as may require their attendance at the rate of [one hundred fifty] two hundred dollars, provided in no case shall the daily compensation exceed [one hundred fifty] two hundred dollars. [The annual compensation for any member for attending such hearings shall not exceed twelve thousand dollars a year. ]

Approved July 6, 2007