Posted on February 24, 2023
(HARTFORD) — On Tuesday, Representative Jason Perillo (R-113) submitted testimony to the Energy and Technology Committee in support of House Bill 5286, An Act Concerning Hearings on Waiver Requests Before the Connecticut Siting Council. The bill will require the CT Siting Council to hold a public hearing on a party’s request to waive any rule, regulation, condition, or order of the council before granting such waiver.
As Perillo mentioned, this issue was brought to light recently in his hometown of Shelton, CT, when a petition filed with the Siting Committee in July of 2022 (Petition 1527) was submitted by Eversource Energy and the United Illuminating Company for a declaratory ruling. The submitted petition was submitted to determine that no Certificate of Environment Compatibility and Public Need is required for the proposed Stevenson to Pootatuck Rebuild Project and consisted of the replacement and reconductoring of electric transmission line structures.
On December 8, 2022, the Siting Council voted to grant its declaratory ruling in this proceeding with conditions about the relocation of these structures. As a result, Eversource then asked the Siting Council to waive one of the conditions of the original approval, which the Siting Council ultimately did.
Constituents in the 113th district have had concerns about the proximity of the new monopoles to their homes and would have benefited from public hearing to voice these concerns about the waiver request. There is no requirement for such a hearing. The Siting Council came to a decision regarding the relocation of the monopoles, and without total stakeholder communication, waived one of their own conditions.
This bill, if passed, would prevent situations like this from happening in the future. Though this problem came to light as a result of a local situation, passing this bill will sap the energy out of any utility’s desire to blackout public input.
If you have any questions on how to submit testimony, visit cga.ct.gov, or contact me at Jason.Perillo@housegop.ct.gov or on my Facebook Page at: Facebook.com/Rep.JasonPerillo