March 31, 2011
QUESTIONS FOR SITING COUNCIL NOMINEE
By: Kevin McCarthy, Principal Analyst
CHAIRPERSON, CONNECTICUT SITING COUNCIL (CGS § 16-50J)
● Chairs the council, which is responsible for siting a variety of energy and telecommunications facilities
● Appoints, with the approval of at least five council members, the council's executive director
1. Your predecessor resigned after it was reported that he had a conversation with an applicant for a declaratory ruling from the council, that some have characterized as an improper ex parte communication. How will you ensure that the council is, and is perceived to be, impartial in its proceedings?
2. Should the council and its employees be subject to the same ethics provisions that currently apply to the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC), e.g., “revolving door” restrictions?
3. Currently, the council is within DPUC. The governor has proposed merging DPUC and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the Energy and Technology and Environment committees have reported bills to accomplish this merger. How would the merger affect the council?
4. If the merger is accomplished, should the council remain in New Britain with DPUC or move to Hartford with DEP?
5. The number of telecommunications towers is likely to continue to grow as new technology proliferates. Should municipalities play a larger role in siting these towers? If so, how? If not, why?
6. Is it possible to develop a process to identify alternatives to proposed electric transmission lines, such as generating facilities and efficiency programs, early enough to allow the council to effectively consider these alternatives?
7. In its recent Loads and Resources reports, the council projected that the state will not need new generating plants for some time, perhaps as long as 10 years. In light of this, should the state continue to provide incentives for new generation facilities, notably for renewable resources?