Section 69J: Petition for approval of construction; notice of intention to construct oil facilities; public hearings; approval or rejection
Section 69J. No applicant shall commence construction of a facility at a site unless a petition for approval of construction of that facility has been approved by the board and, in the case of an electric or gas company which is required to file a long-range forecast pursuant to section sixty-nine I, that facility is consistent with the most recently approved long-range forecast for that company. In addition, no state agency shall issue a construction permit for any such facility unless the petition to construct such facility has been approved by the board and the facility conforms with any such long-range forecast.
No oil company shall commence construction of an oil facility unless a notice of intention to construct an oil facility, filed in accordance with this section, has been approved by the board as provided for in this section. In addition no state agency shall issue a construction permit for an oil facility unless the board has approved a notice of intention to construct such facility. Approval of such notice of intention to construct an oil facility shall not be considered approval of construction permits by state agencies.
A petition to construct a facility shall include, in such form and detail as the board shall from time to time prescribe, the following information: (1) a description of the facility, site and surrounding areas; (2) an analysis of the need for the facility, either within or outside, or both within and outside the commonwealth; (3) a description of the alternatives to the facility, such as other methods of transmitting or storing energy, other site locations, other sources of electrical power or gas, or a reduction of requirements through load management; and (4) a description of the environmental impacts of the facility. The board shall be empowered to issue and revise filing guidelines after public notice and a period for comment. A minimum of data shall be required by these guidelines from the applicant for review concerning land use impact, water resource impact, air quality impact, solid waste impact, radiation impact and noise impact.
The board shall conduct a public hearing on every petition to construct a facility or notice of intention to construct an oil facility within six months of the filing thereof. Such hearing shall be an adjudicatory proceeding under the provisions of chapter thirty A. In addition, a public hearing shall be held in each locality in which a facility would be located or in which an oil facility contained in a notice of intention to construct such facility is located, except that a public hearing shall not be required in a locality containing a proposed site if such a hearing has already been held in regard to that particular facility on that particular site in conjunction with a previously filed petition. The board shall within twelve months from the date of filing approve a petition to construct a facility or within twenty-four months from the date of filing a notice of intention to construct an oil facility for the refining of oil designed so that more than thirty-five per cent of its output could be gasoline or refined oil products lighter than gasoline, if it determines that it meets the following requirements: all information relating to current activities, environmental impacts, facilities agreements and energy policies as adopted by the commonwealth is substantially accurate and complete; projections of the demand for electric power, or gas requirements and of the capacities for existing and proposed facilities are based on substantially accurate historical information and reasonable statistical projection methods and include an adequate consideration of conservation and load management; provided, however, that the department or board shall not require in any gas forecast or hearing conducted thereon the presentation of information relative to the demand for gas; projections relating to service area, facility use and pooling or sharing arrangements are consistent with such forecasts of other companies subject to this chapter as may have already been approved and reasonable projections of activities of other companies in the New England area; plans for expansion and construction of the applicant's new facilities are consistent with current health, environmental protection, and resource use and development policies as adopted by the commonwealth; and are consistent with the policies stated in section sixty-nine H to provide a necessary energy supply for the commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at lowest possible cost; and in the case of a notice of intent to construct an oil facility, that all information regarding sources of supply for such facility and financial information regarding the applicant and its proposed facility are substantially accurate and complete; that it is satisfied as to the adequacy of the applicant's capital investment plans to complete its facility; the long term economic viability of the facility; the overall financial soundness of the applicant; in the case of an oil facility, the qualification and capability of the applicant in the transshipment, transportation, storage, refining and marketing of oil or refined oil products; that plans including buffer zones or alternatives thereto for the applicant's new facility are consistent with current health, environmental protection and resource use and development policies as adopted by the commonwealth.
If the board determines the standards set forth above have not been met, it shall within twelve months of the date of filing reject in whole or in part the petition, setting forth in writing its reasons for such rejections, or approve the petition subject to stated conditions. In the event of rejection or conditioned approval, the applicant may within six months submit an amended petition. A public hearing on the amended petition shall be held on the same terms and conditions applicable to the original petition.
Not later than one year prior to commencement of construction of an oil facility, or not later than two years prior to the commencement of construction of a facility for the refining of oil designed so that more than thirty-five per cent of its output could be gasoline or refined oil products lighter than gasoline, a notice of intention to construct such facility shall be filed with the board. Such notice shall include in such form and detail as the board shall reasonably prescribe, in addition to a detailed description of the proposed facility and site, the following information for the region expected to be served by the oil facility:
(1) A description of the applicant's current activities involving the transshipment, transportation, storage, or refining of oil or refined oil products.
(2) A description of the applicant's qualification and capability in transshipment, transportation, storage, refining and marketing of oil or refined oil products.
(3) An analysis of the proposed facility including but not limited to the description of alternatives to the planned action, such as other site locations, other oil facilities, and no additional oil facilities; and a description of the environmental impact of the proposed facility, said description to include buffer zones and other measures to minimize damage to the environment. The board shall after public notice and a period for comment be empowered to issue and revise its own list of guidelines. A minimum of data shall be required by these guidelines from the applicant for review concerning land use impact, water resource impact, air quality impact, solid waste impact, radiation impact and noise impact.
(4) A description of proposed sources of supply of crude oil or refined oil products for the oil facility which is the subject of the notice; if such sources are persons not controlled by the applicant, certified copies of any contracts, letters of intent or any other understandings.
(5) A description of the capital investment plan proposed for such facility, and the overall financial soundness of the company and economic viability of the facility, including insurance coverage during construction and operation.
The authority of the board to conduct public hearings under the provisions of this section may be delegated in whole or in part to the employees of the department. Pursuant to the rules of the board, such employees shall report back to the board with recommended decisions for final action thereon.
The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of a petition to construct a generating facility, which shall be subject to the provisions of section 69J1/4.