An applicant who seeks a site or route permit for one of the projects identified in subpart 2 has the option of applying to those local units of government that have jurisdiction over the site or route for approval to build the project. If local approval is granted, a site or route permit is not required from the commission. If the applicant files an application with the PUC, the applicant shall be deemed to have waived its right to seek local approval of the project.
An applicant may seek approval from a local unit of government to construct the following projects:
a large electric power generating plant with a capacity of less than 80 megawatts;
a large electric power generating plant of any size that burns natural gas and is intended to be a peaking plant;
a high voltage transmission line of between 100 and 200 kilovolts;
a substation with a voltage designed for and capable of operation at a nominal voltage of 100 kilovolts or more;
a high voltage transmission line service extension to a single customer between 200 and 300 kilovolts and less than ten miles in length; and
a high voltage transmission line rerouting to serve the demand of a single customer when at least 80 percent of the rerouted line will be located on property owned or controlled by the customer or the owner of the transmission line.
Within ten days of submission of an application to a local unit of government for approval of an eligible project, the applicant shall notify the commission in writing that the applicant has elected to seek local approval of the proposed project. Within the same ten-day period, the applicant shall mail notice to those persons on the general notification list that a permit has been applied for from the local unit of government for the project and shall provide a description of the project and the name of a person with the local unit of government to contact for more information.
A local unit of government with jurisdiction over a project identified in this section to whom an applicant has applied for approval to build the project may request the PUC to assume jurisdiction and make a decision on a site or route permit. A local unit of government shall file the request with the commission within 60 days after an application for the project has been filed with any one local unit of government. If one of the local units of government with jurisdiction over the project requests the commission to assume jurisdiction, jurisdiction over the project transfers to the commission and the applicant shall file under the applicable provisions of parts 7850.1000 to 7850.5600 for a permit from the commission.
A local unit of government that maintains jurisdiction over a qualifying project shall prepare an environmental assessment on the project. The local unit of government shall afford the public an opportunity to participate in the development of the scope of the environmental assessment before it is prepared. Upon completion of the environmental assessment, the local unit of government shall publish notice in the EQB Monitor that the environmental assessment is available for review, how a copy of the document may be reviewed, that the public may comment on the document, and the procedure for submitting comments to the local unit of government. The local unit of government shall provide a copy of the environmental assessment to the PUC upon completion of the document. The local unit of government shall not make a final decision on the permit until at least ten days after the notice appears in the EQB Monitor. If more than one local unit of government has jurisdiction over a project, and the local units of government cannot agree on which unit will prepare the environmental assessment, any local unit of government or the applicant may request the commission to select the appropriate local unit of government to be the responsible governmental unit to conduct an environmental review of the project.
In the event a local unit of government that might otherwise have jurisdiction over a proposed large electric power generating plant or high voltage transmission line determines that it has no ordinances or other provisions for reviewing and authorizing the construction of such project or has no capability of preparing an environmental assessment on the project, the local unit of government shall refer the matter to the PUC for review.
When the Public Utilities Commission has issued a Certificate of Need for a large electric power generating plant or high voltage transmission line or placed a high voltage transmission line on the certified HVTL list maintained by the commission, the local unit of government shall not address questions of need, including size, type, and timing; questions of alternative system configurations; or questions of voltage.
27 SR 1295; L 2005 c 97 art 3 s 19
September 18, 2009