A. The Department and the State Air Pollution Control Board have the authority to consider the cumulative impact of new and proposed electric generating facilities within the Commonwealth on attainment of the national ambient air quality standards.
B. The Department shall enter into a memorandum of agreement with the State Corporation Commission regarding the coordination of reviews of the environmental impacts of proposed electric generating facilities that must obtain certificates from the State Corporation Commission. When considering the environmental impact of any renewable energy (defined in § 56-576) electrical utility facility, the Department shall consult with interested agencies of the Commonwealth that have expertise in natural resource management. The Department shall submit recommendations to the State Corporation Commission that take into account the information and comments submitted by such natural resource agencies concerning the potential environmental impacts of the proposed electric generating facility. The Department’s recommendations shall include: (i) specific mitigation measures considered necessary to minimize adverse environmental impacts; (ii) any additional site-specific studies considered to be necessary; and (iii) the scope and duration of any such studies. Nothing in this subsection shall alter or affect the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the State Corporation Commission.
C. Prior to the close of the Commission’s record on an application for certification of an electric generating facility pursuant to § 56-580, the Department shall provide to the State Corporation Commission a list of all environmental permits and approvals that are required for the proposed electric generating facility and shall specify any environmental issues, identified during the review process, that are not governed by those permits or approvals or are not within the authority of, and not considered by, the Department or other participating governmental entity in issuing such permits or approvals. The Department may recommend to the Commission that the Commission’s record remain open pending completion of any required environmental review, approval or permit proceeding. All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Department, as requested by the Director, in preparing the information required by this subsection.
2002, c. 483; 2008, c. 528.