The Connecticut Siting Council was first established as the Power Facility Evaluation Council in 1972 following the passage of the Public Utility Environmental Standards Act. In 1981, it became known as the Connecticut Siting Council with the passage of PA 81-369, which expanded the Council’s original jurisdiction over the siting of power facilities and transmission lines to include hazardous waste facilities. The Council’s jurisdiction has since been extended to include various other forms of infrastructure including telecommunications sites.
The Council is responsible for:
- balancing the need for adequate and reliable public utility services at the lowest reasonable cost to consumers with the need to protect the environment and ecology of the state and to minimize damage to scenic, historic, and recreational values;
- providing environmental standards for the location, design, construction, and operation of public utility facilities that are at least as stringent as federal environmental standards and that are sufficient to assure the welfare and protection of the people of Connecticut;
- encouraging research to develop new and improved methods of generating, storing, and transmitting electricity and fuel and of transmitting and receiving television and telecommunications signals with minimal damage to the environment;
- promoting the sharing of telecommunications towers in order to avoid their unnecessary proliferation; and
- requiring annual forecasts of the demand for electricity together with the planning for facilities needed to supply the predicted demand.
The Council does not receive its operating revenues from the state’s General Fund. Its funding is generated from two discrete sources: fees and costs attributable to applications received and annual assessments charged to electric utilities, hazardous waste generators, and telecommunications providers in Connecticut. This billing process is pursuant to the provisions of General Statutes §§ 16-50g through 16-50aa and Sections 16-50j-1 through 16-50j-34 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
The Council confirms compliance with its certificates and orders through detailed development and management plans and field investigations. Development and management plans are professionally engineered documents that may consist of designs, site plans, construction schedules, and site inspection reports.
Enforcement of Council orders is performed by the Connecticut Attorney General’s office.
The Council has specific jurisdiction over the statutorily defined facilities under the Public Utility Environmental Standards Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. §16-50g, et seq.