A. Purpose - After
the docketing of an application the board shall convene a preliminary hearing
to determine the issues to be considered by the Board in evaluating
application, to designate those agencies which shall act at the direction of
the Board for the purpose of rendering advisory opinions, and to identify those
licenses required by the facility which are under the direct control of the
Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and Coastal Resources Management
B. Notice - Public
notice of the date on which the preliminary hearing shall begin shall be
published within fifteen (15) days of the docketing of the application.
Preliminary hearings shall begin not sooner than forty-five (45) days after
publication of the public notice and not later than sixty (60) days after the
docketing of the application.
Testimony - Within the discretion of the Board, testimony and evidence at the
preliminary hearing may be limited to the identification of issues only.
Presentation of substantive testimony and evidence regarding any issue may be
limited to agency proceedings for the rendering of advisory opinions of the
Board's final hearing.
Preliminary Decision/Time - The Board shall render a preliminary decision
within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, but not
later than forty-five (45) days after the beginning of the preliminary
1. Mandatory Issues - The
Board shall consider the ability of the proposed facility to meet the
requirements of the laws, rules, regulations and ordinances under which, absent
the Act, the applicant would be required to obtain a license.
2. Discretionary Issues - The Board shall
separately identity all issues of any type which in its discretion it finds
should be considered in the Board's final hearing.
3. DEM and Coastal Resources Management
Council Licenses - The Board shall separately identify all licenses which the
applicant will have to obtain and over which DEM and the CRMC retain primary
authority pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws §
4. Designation of Agencies and Issues - The
Board shall designate each agency which shall act at the discretion of the
Board for the purpose of rendering advisory opinions and the Board shall
separately identify all licenses and other issues on which such agencies must
render advisory opinions.
Advisory Opinions/Time - The Board shall clearly state the time in which
designated agencies and the Public Utilities Commission and the Statewide
Planning Program must render advisory opinions. In no event shall an agency
render the advisory opinion more than six months after issuance of the Board's
6. DEM and
CRMC Proceedings - The Board may request in its preliminary decision or by
separate communication that DEM and CRMC give priority to licenses for energy
facilities over which DEM or CRMC exercise licensing authority pursuant to
delegated authority of federal law, state laws and regulations which implement
such federal law or pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Chapters 2-1et
seq. and 46-23et seq.
F. Later Designation of Agencies and Issues -
The Board may at any time after the preliminary decision designate in writing
additional agencies to render advisory opinions and additional issues to be
considered by agencies or the Board.
G. Service - The Coordinator shall serve by
certified mail, return receipt, a true and complete copy of the preliminary
decision on the applicant, all parties to the preliminary hearing and the
Chairperson, Director or Chief Executive Officer of designated agencies, the
Commissioner of the Office of Energy Resources and any other agency or person
designated by the Board.
Expedited Hearings - in the case on an application which covers only electric
transmission lines, the applicant may file a request for an expedited hearing
with its application. Such request shall include a draft preliminary order and
shall be provided by the applicant to all intervenors. If the Board grants an
expedited hearing, it shall provide in the notice of hearing that all
intervenors and parties seeking to intervene shall file written comments on the
applicant's draft preliminary order not less than ten days prior to the