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April 16, 2024 Clear | 47°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 69R: Eminent domain; taking by electric or gas companies, generation companies or wholesale generation companies; procedures; restrictions

Section 69R. Any electric or gas company, generation company, or wholesale generation company may petition the department for the right to exercise the power of eminent domain with respect to the facility or facilities specified and contained in a petition submitted in accordance with section 69J or a bulk power supply substation if such company is unable to reach agreement with the owners of land for the acquisition of any necessary estate or interest in land. The applicant shall forward, at the time of filing such petition, a copy thereof to each city, town, and property owner affected.

The company shall file with such petition or have annexed thereto: (1) a statement of the use for which such land is to be taken; (2) a description of land to be taken sufficient for the identification thereof; (3) a statement of the estate or interest in the land to be taken for such use; (4) a plan showing the land to be taken; (5) a statement of the sum of money established by such utility to be just compensation for the land to be taken; and (6) such additional maps and information as the department requires.

The department after such notice as it may direct, shall give a public hearing or hearings in the community in which the land to be taken is located. For facilities involving takings in several communities, a public hearing or hearings shall be held in communities in proximity to the land to be taken, as determined by the department. The department may thereafter authorize the company to take by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine such lands necessary for the construction of the facility as are required in the public interest, convenience and necessity. The department shall transmit a certified copy of its order to the company and to the clerk of each affected community.

If the department dismisses the petition at any stage in said proceedings, no further action shall be taken thereon, except that the company may file a new petition after the expiration of a year from such dismissal.

Following a taking under this section, the electric or gas company may forthwith proceed to utilize such land. If the electric or gas company shall not utilize the lands so taken for the purpose or purposes authorized in the department's order within such time as the department shall determine, its rights under such taking shall cease and terminate.

No land, rights of way or other easements therein in any public way, public place, public park or reservation shall be taken by eminent domain under the provisions of this section.

This section shall not be construed as abrogating the department's jurisdiction described in section 72 in respect to transmission lines or the department's jurisdiction described in sections 75B to 75G, inclusive, in respect to natural gas transmission lines.