General Laws

Section 69K1/2. Any applicant that proposes to construct or operate a generating facility in the commonwealth may petition the board for a certificate of environmental impact and public interest with respect to such generating facility. The board shall consider such petition; provided, that (i) the applicant is prevented from building a generating facility because it cannot meet standards imposed by a state or local agency with reasonable and commercially available equipment; or (ii) because the processing or granting by a state or local agency of any approval, consent, permit, or certificate has been unduly delayed for any reason, including the preparation and publication of any environmental impact report required by section 62 of chapter 30; or (iii) the applicant believes there are inconsistencies among resource use permits issued by such state or local agencies; or (iv) the applicant believes that a nonregulatory issue or condition has been raised or imposed by such state or local agencies, such as, but not limited to, aesthetics and recreation; or (v) the generating facility cannot be constructed due to any disapprovals, conditions, or denials by a state or local agency or body, except with respect to any lands or interests therein, excluding public ways, owned or managed by any state agency or local government; or (vi) the facility cannot be constructed because of delays caused by the appeal of any approval, consent, permit, or certificate.

In addition to the foregoing determinations, the board shall, upon petition, consider an application for a certificate of environmental impact and public interest if it finds that any state or local agency has imposed a burdensome condition or limitation on any license or permit which has a substantial impact on the responsibilities of the board as set forth pursuant to section 69H. Any generating facility, with respect to which a certificate is issued by the board, shall thereafter be constructed, maintained, and operated in conformity with such certificate and any terms and conditions contained therein.

A certificate shall be issued only in accordance with the provisions of sections 69K to 69O1/2, inclusive. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, a certificate may be so issued; provided, however, that when so issued no state agency or local government shall require any approval, consent, permit, certificate, or condition for the construction, operation, or maintenance of the generating facility with respect to which the certificate is issued, and no state agency or local government shall impose or enforce any law, ordinance, by-law, rule, or regulation nor take any action nor fail to take any action which would delay or prevent the construction, operation, or maintenance of such generating facility; provided, however, that the board shall not issue a certificate, the effect of which would be to grant or modify a permit, approval, or authorization, which, if so granted or modified by the appropriate state or local agency, would be invalid because of a conflict with applicable federal water or air standards or requirements. A certificate, if issued, shall be in the form of a composite of all individual permits, approvals, or authorizations which would otherwise be necessary for the construction and operation of the generating facility, and that portion of the certificate which relates to subject matters within the jurisdiction of a state or local agency shall be enforced by said agency under the other applicable laws of the commonwealth as if it had been directly granted by the said agency.

A certificate may be transferred to any other electric company by the holder thereof, subject to the terms and conditions contained therein. The board may amend the terms and conditions of a certificate in accordance with the requirement of subsection (d) of section 69L1/2. Each national pollutant discharge elimination system permit issued by the board pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall have a fixed term which shall not exceed five years and which shall commence to run when the certificate is issued.