2003 WISCONSIN ACT 89
An Act to repeal 196.491 (3) (g) 1m.; to renumber 85.02 and 196.491 (3) (h); to renumber and amend 30.025 (1), 196.491 (3) (g) 1. and 196.491 (4) (c); to amend 15.795 (1), 16.969 (4), 30.02 (1), 30.02 (2), 30.025 (title), 30.025 (2), 30.025 (3) (intro.), 30.025 (4), 66.0119 (1) (a), 79.04 (7) (c) 1m., 91.75 (4), 196.025 (2) (intro.), 196.491 (3) (a) 1., 196.491 (3) (a) 3. a., 196.491 (3) (b), 196.491 (3) (d) (intro.), 196.491 (3) (e), 196.491 (3) (gm) and 196.491 (3) (j); and to create 1.12 (6), 23.09 (22m), 30.025 (1b), 30.025 (1e), 30.025 (1m), 30.025 (1s) (title), 30.025 (1s) (b), 30.025 (2g), 30.025 (2s), 30.025 (3m), 30.206 (1m), 32.03 (5) (c), 79.04 (6) (c) 3., 79.04 (7) (d), 85.02 (2), 196.02 (5m), 196.025 (1m), 196.025 (2m), 196.20 (7), 196.49 (4), 196.491 (3) (d) 8., 196.491 (3b), 196.491 (4) (c) 2., 196.491 (4) (c) 3. and 196.491 (6) (title) of the statutes; relating to: construction of certain public utility facilities, utility aid payments, utility condemnations, and granting rule-making authority.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
1.12 (6) of the statutes is created to read:
1.12 (6) Siting of electric transmission facilities. In the siting of new electric transmission facilities, including high-voltage transmission lines, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (f), it is the policy of this state that, to the greatest extent feasible that is consistent with economic and engineering considerations, reliability of the electric system, and protection of the environment, the following corridors should be utilized in the following order of priority:
(a) Existing utility corridors.
(b) Highway and railroad corridors.
(c) Recreational trails, to the extent that the facilities may be constructed below ground and that the facilities do not significantly impact environmentally sensitive areas.
(d) New corridors.
15.795 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
15.795 (1) Office of the commissioner of railroads. There is created an office of the commissioner of railroads which is attached to the public service commission under s. 15.03, provided that s. 85.02 (1) does not apply to the office of the commissioner of railroads. The commissioner of railroads shall have expertise in railroad issues and may not have a financial interest in a railroad, as defined in s. 195.02 (1). The commissioner may not serve on or under any committee of a political party. The commissioner shall hold office until a successor is appointed and qualified.
16.969 (4) of the statutes is amended to read:
16.969 (4) A county, town, village, or city that receives a distribution under sub. (3) (b) may use the distribution only for park, conservancy, wetland or other similar environmental programs, unless the commission approves a different use under this subsection. A county, town, village, or city that receives a distribution may request in writing at any time that the commission approve a different use. The commission shall make a decision no later than 14 days after receiving such a request. The commission shall approve a request if it finds that the request is in the public interest.
23.09 (22m) of the statutes is created to read:
23.09 (22m) Siting of electric transmission facilities. The department shall implement the policy specified in s. 1.12 (6) in making all decisions, orders, and rules affecting the siting of new electric transmission facilities.
30.02 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
30.02 (1) In Except as provided in s. 30.025, in any proceeding under this chapter where public notice is required, the department shall follow the procedures in subs. (3) and (4).
30.02 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
30.02 (2) In Except as provided in s. 30.025, in any proceeding under this chapter where public notice is not required, the department shall follow the procedures in subs. (3) and (4) if it determines that substantial interests of any party may be adversely affected by the proceeding.
30.025 (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
30.025 (title) Optional permit
Permit procedure for certain electric generating facilities and high-voltage transmission lines utility facilities
30.025 (1) of the statutes is renumbered 30.025 (1s) (a) and amended to read:
30.025 (1s) (a) Any electric utility, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (d), person proposing to construct a utility facility, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (e), which facility is to be located adjacent to a waterway in such a manner as to require one or more permits to be issued under this chapter and ch. 31 may to which this section applies shall, in lieu of separate application for permits under those chapters, submit an engineering plan one application for permits together with any additional information required by the department. Such plan The application shall be filed with the department within 20 days after at the same time that an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity is filed with the public service commission under s. 196.49 or in a manner consistent with s. 196.491 (3) and shall include the detailed information that the department requires to determine whether an application is complete and to carry out its obligations under sub. (4). The department may require supplemental information to be furnished thereafter.
30.025 (1b) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (1b) Definitions. In this section:
(a) "Commission" means the public service commission.
(b) "Permit" means a permit or approval required under this chapter or ch. 31, a storm water discharge permit required under s. 283.33 (1) (a), or a water quality certification required under s. 281.36 or under rules promulgated under subch. II of ch. 281 to implement 33 USC 1341
(c) "Utility facility" means a project, as defined in s. 196.49 (3) (a), or a facility, as defined in s. 196.491 (1) (e).
30.025 (1e) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (1e) Applicability. (a) Except as provided in par. (b), this section applies to a proposal to construct a utility facility if the utility facility is required to obtain one or more permits.
(b) This section does not apply to a proposal to construct a utility facility if the only permit that the utility facility is required to obtain from the department is a storm water discharge permit under s. 283.33 (1) (a).
30.025 (1m) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (1m) Preapplication process. Before filing an application under this section, a person proposing to construct a utility facility shall notify the department of the intention to file an application. After receiving such notice, the department shall confer with the person, in cooperation with the commission, to make a preliminary assessment of the project's scope, to make an analysis of alternatives, to identify potential interested persons, and to ensure that the person making the proposal is aware of all of the following:
(a) The permits that the person may be required to obtain.
(b) The information that the person will be required to provide.
(c) The timing of information submissions that the person will be required to provide in order to enable the department to participate in commission review procedures and to process the application in a timely manner.
30.025 (1s) (title) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (1s) (title) Application for permits.
30.025 (1s) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (1s) (b) A person who applies to the commission for a certificate under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3) is eligible to apply under par. (a) for any permit that the utility facility may require and to receive such permit.
30.025 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:
30.025 (2) Hearing. Once electric utilities have met the applicant meets the requirements of sub. (1) (1s) (a), the department shall may schedule the matter for a public hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant and shall be published as a class 1 notice under ch. 985. The department may give such further notice as it deems proper, and shall give notice to persons requesting same. One copy of the application shall be available for public inspection at the office of the department, at least one copy in the district regional office of the department, and at least one copy at the main public library, of the area affected. Notwithstanding s. 227.42, the hearing shall be an informational hearing and may not be treated as a contested case hearing nor converted to a contested case hearing.
30.025 (2g) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (2g) Participation in commission proceedings. (a) The department shall review every proposed utility facility subject to this section, including each location, site, or route proposed for the utility facility, to assess whether each proposed location, site, or route can meet the criteria for obtaining the required permits, and shall provide that information to the commission.
(b) The department shall participate in commission investigations or proceedings under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3) with regard to any proposed utility facility that is subject to this section. In order to ensure that the commission's decision is consistent with the department's responsibilities, the department shall provide the commission with information that is relevant to only the following:
1. Environmental issues that concern the proposed utility facility.
2. Public rights in navigable waters that may be affected by the proposed utility facility.
3. Location, site, or route issues concerning the proposed utility facility, including alternative locations, sites, or routes.
30.025 (2s) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (2s) Consideration of alternatives. (a) The department shall treat the commission's decision under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3) as concluding that there is no practicable alternative for the utility facility if all of the following apply:
1. The department has participated in the commission's investigations or proceedings under sub. (2g).
2. The commission's decision under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3) is consistent with the department's assessment and information under sub. (2g) considering those factors required to be considered by the commission under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3).
(b) If par. (a) applies, the department may not require the applicant for the proposed utility facility to undertake further analysis of any utility facility alternatives, including an analysis of alternative methods of meeting the need for the project or alternative locations, sites, or routes in order to satisfy the criteria under sub. (3). The department may identify adjustments that may be required to address permitting issues within the location, site, or route approved by the commission under s. 196.49 or 196.491 (3).
30.025 (3) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
30.025 (3) Permit issuance. (intro.) The department shall grant the necessary permits if, after hearing, it finds that the applicant has shown that the proposal:
30.025 (3m) of the statutes is created to read:
30.025 (3m) Environmental assessments for certain projects. The department is not required to prepare an environmental impact statement under s. 1.11 (2) (c) for the construction of a project that is specified in s. 196.491 (4) (c) 1. and for which one or more permits are required, but shall prepare an environmental assessment regarding the construction if the department's rules require an environmental assessment.