The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 8506. Renewable energy plant; telecommunications facility; appeals
(a) Within 30 days of the date of the act or decision, any person aggrieved by an act or decision of the Secretary, under the provisions of law listed in section 8503 of this title, or any party by right may appeal to the Public Utility Commission if the act or decision concerns a renewable energy plant for which a certificate of public good is required under 30 V.S.A. § 248 or a telecommunications facility for which the applicant has applied or has served notice under 30 V.S.A. § 248a(e) that it will apply for approval under 30 V.S.A. § 248a. This section shall not apply to a facility that is subject to section 1004 (dams before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) or 1006 (certification of hydroelectric projects) or chapter 43 (dams) of this title. This section shall not apply to an appeal of an act or decision of the Secretary regarding a telecommunications facility made on or after July 1, 2017.
(b) For the purpose of this section, "Commission," "plant," and "renewable energy" have the same meaning as under 30 V.S.A. § 8002, and "telecommunications facility" has the same meaning as under 30 V.S.A. § 248a.
(c) The provisions of subdivisions 8504(c)(2) (notice of appeal), (d)(2) (participation before the Secretary), and (f)(1)(A) (automatic stays of certain permits), and subsections 8504(j) (appeals under a general permit), (n) (intervention), and (p) (administrative record) of this title shall apply to appeals under this section except that, with respect to subsection (p), the Secretary shall transfer a certified copy of the administrative record to the Commission.
(d) The Public Utility Commission may consolidate or coordinate appeals under this section with each other and with proceedings under 30 V.S.A. §§ 248 and 248a, where those appeals and proceedings all relate to the same project, unless such consolidation or coordination would be clearly unreasonable. In such a consolidated proceeding, the Commission's decision may be issued as a single order that includes the necessary findings of fact and conclusions of law and, if the decision is to approve the plant or facility, any and all conditions of approval. This authority to consolidate or coordinate appeals and proceedings shall not confer authority to alter the substantive standards at issue in an appeal or proceeding.
(e) In an appeal under this section, the Public Utility Commission, applying the substantive standards that were applicable before the Secretary, shall hold a de novo hearing on those issues that have been appealed. In such an appeal, the Commission shall give the same weight and consideration to prior decisions of the Environmental Division and of the entities described in subsection 8504(m) (precedent) of this title as the Commission gives to its prior decisions.
(f) 30 V.S.A. §§ 9 (court of record), 10 (service of process), 11 (pleadings; rules of practice; findings of fact), and 12 (review by Supreme Court) shall apply to appeals under this section. (Added 2009, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 18, eff. June 4, 2010; amended 2011, No. 53, § 6, eff. May 27, 2011; 2013, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 21, eff. June 16, 2014; 2013, No. 199 (Adj. Sess.), § 31; 2015, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 5a, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.)