OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5456

AN ACT CONCERNING LOCAL REPRESENTATION ON THE CONNECTICUT SITING COUNCIL AND THE LANGUAGE OF PROPERTY OWNER NOTICES FOR CERTAIN FACILITY APPLICATIONS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires, for any Connecticut Siting Council proceeding involving an electric distribution company (EDC, i.e., Eversource or United Illuminating), the council membership to include an elector of the municipality where a facility is being proposed. The elector must serve as a nonvoting member for purposes of the proceeding. (The bill does not indicate who appoints the elector.)

The bill also requires council proceeding notices provided to certain property owners to be written in “layman's terms.” This applies to notices sent to an owner of property that abuts a proposed primary or alternative site on which a certain type of facility would be located when the council has received an application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

SITING COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

This bill requires, for any Siting Council proceeding involving an EDC, the council membership to include, as a nonvoting member, an elector of the municipality where a facility is being proposed.

Under current law, the membership consists of the following:

1. the energy and environmental protection commissioner or his designee;

2. the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority chairperson or her designee;

3. one designee of the House speaker;

4. one designee of the Senate president pro tempore; and

5. five members of the public appointed by the governor.

At least two of the public members must have experience in ecology, and no more than one may have any affiliation, past or present, with a utility; a utility regulatory agency; or a person owning, operating, controlling, or contracting with a facility, a hazardous waste facility, or ash residue disposal area.

By law, public members of the council must be compensated for their attendance at public hearings, executive sessions, or other council business at the rate of $200, up to $250 per day.

NOTICE OF CERTIFICATE APPLICATION

The bill requires council proceeding notices sent to certain abutting landowners to be written in layman's terms. This applies when a notice is sent to a landowner who abuts a proposed primary or alternative site on which a certain type of facility is proposed to be located. In this case, a facility means the following:

1. electric generating plants and storage facilities excluding generators and co-generation or renewable resource plants owned by private power producers;

2. electric substations and switchyards used to regulate or change electricity at or to 69 kilovolts or more, or that connect at least two circuits at that voltage, and other facilities as the council may prescribe;

3. community antenna television towers and associated equipment; and

4. telecommunication towers owned by the state, a public utility, or a certified telecommunications provider or used in a cellular system.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

30

Nay

0

(03/22/2018)