At the Commission’s first informational meeting on October 31, 2012 Commission members heard presentations from a number of state agencies on the current permitting process for energy generation facilities in Vermont.
The Public Service Department (PSD) provided an overview of the statutory program that governs development of energy facilities, commonly called the Section 248 process (30 V.S.A § 248). Staff from the Agency of Natural Resources then presented information on that agency’s relevant regulatory programs, including the numerous permits an energy developer may be required to obtain from ANR during the project approval process, such as operational and/or construction stormwater permits, wetland permits, stream alternation permits, Section 401 water quality certifications, and endangered species taking permits. Finally, for comparison purposes, the Natural Resources Board staff provided an overview of Vermont’s land use development law (Act 250), which applies to commercial, industrial, and larger-scale residential development in Vermont (but not to energy facilities, which are regulated under Section 248). If you missed the first meeting a full transcript is available on the Commission’s website.
This week the Commission turns its attention to examples of permitting regimes in other New England states, and has invited speakers from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. The invited speakers include:
- Mike Iacopino, Counsel to the NH Site Evaluation Committee
- Linda Roberts, Executive Director of the Connecticut Siting Council and Melanie Bachman, Staff Attorney to the Connecticut Siting Council
- Andrew Greene, Director of the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board and James Buckley, General Counsel to the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board
- David Littell, Commissioner at the Maine Public Utilities Commission
This week’s meeting will take place Wednesday, November 14 from 9AM to 12PM in the Pavilion Auditorium of the State Pavilion Building, located at 109 State St. in Montpelier, Vermont.
The Commission will continue its hearings through the winter and spring of 2013. The Governor has directed the Commission to provide a report and recommendations to the legislature by April 30, 2013.
We will provide an update on future meeting dates and agendas as they are published by the Commission.