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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.

Title 30 : Public Service

Chapter 001 : APPOINTMENT, GENERAL POWERS, AND DUTIES

(Cite as: 30 V.S.A. § 20)
  • § 20. Particular proceedings and activities; personnel

    (a)(1) The Commission or the Department of Public Service may authorize or retain legal counsel, official stenographers, expert witnesses, advisors, temporary employees, and other research, scientific, or engineering services:

    (A) To assist the Commission or Department in any proceeding listed in subsection (b) of this section.

    (B) To monitor compliance with any formal opinion or order of the Commission.

    (C) In proceedings under section 248 of this title, to assist other State agencies that are named parties to the proceeding where the Commission or Department determines that they are essential to a full consideration of the petition, or for the purpose of monitoring compliance with an order resulting from such a petition.

    (D) In addition to the services in subdivisions (1)(A)-(C) of this subsection (a), in proceedings under subsection 248(h) of this title, by contract with the regional planning commission of the region or regions affected by a proposed facility, to assist in determining conformance with local and regional plans and to obtain the commission's data, analysis, and recommendations on the economic, environmental, historic, or other impact of the proposed facility in the region.

    (E) To assist in monitoring the ongoing and future reliability and the postclosure activities of any nuclear generating plant within the State. In this section, "postclosure activities" includes planning for and implementation of any action within the State's jurisdiction that shall or will occur when the plant permanently ceases generating electricity.

    (2) The Agency of Natural Resources may authorize or retain legal counsel, official stenographers, expert witnesses, advisors, temporary employees, and other research, scientific, or engineering services to:

    (A) Assist the Agency of Natural Resources in any proceeding under section 248 of this title.

    (B) Monitor compliance with an order issued under section 248 of this title.

    (C) Assist the Commission or the Department of Public Service in any proceedings described in subdivisions (b)(9)(Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and (11)(Nuclear Regulatory Commission) of this section. Allocation of Agency of Natural Resources costs under this subdivision (C) shall be in the same manner as provided under subdivisions (b)(9) and (11) of this section. The Agency of Natural Resources shall report annually to the Joint Fiscal Committee all costs incurred and expenditures charged under the authority of this subsection (a) with respect to proceedings under subdivision (b)(9) of this section and the purpose for which such costs were incurred and expenditures made.

    (D) Assist in monitoring the postclosure activities of any nuclear generating plant within the State.

    (3) The Department of Health may authorize or retain legal counsel, official stenographers, expert witnesses, advisors, temporary employees, and other research, scientific, or engineering services to assist in monitoring the postclosure activities of any nuclear generating plant within the State.

    (4) The Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security may authorize or retain legal counsel, official stenographers, expert witnesses, advisors, employees, and other research, scientific, or engineering services, or other planning expenses to assist in monitoring the postclosure activities of any nuclear generating plant within the State.

    (5) The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets may authorize or retain legal counsel, official stenographers, expert witnesses, advisors, temporary employees, and other research, scientific, or engineering services to:

    (A) assist the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in any proceeding under section 248 of this title; or

    (B) monitor compliance with an order issued under section 248 of this title.

    (6) The personnel authorized by this section shall be in addition to the regular personnel of the Commission or the Department of Public Service or other State agencies; and in the case of the Department of Public Service or other State agencies may be retained only with the approval of the Governor and after notice to the applicant or the company or companies involved. The Commission or the Department of Public Service shall fix the amount of compensation and expenses to be paid such additional personnel, except that the Agency of Natural Resources, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, or the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, respectively, shall fix the amount of compensation and expenses to be paid to additional personnel that it retains under subdivision (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this subsection.

    (b) Proceedings, including appeals therefrom, for which additional personnel may be retained are:

    (1) Hearings resulting from a utility request to seek an increase in its rates, tolls, or charges, including hearings resulting from complaints against the proposed increase.

    (2) Hearings resulting from a petition by a utility or a person operating a utility to issue stock, bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness for which the approval of the Commission is required by law.

    (3) Hearings resulting from a petition for a merger, consolidation, or acquisition for which the approval of the Commission is required by law.

    (4) Hearings resulting from a petition for a certificate of public good.

    (5) Hearings resulting from a petition to acquire property through the exercise of eminent domain under section 110 et seq. of this title.

    (6) Hearings resulting from an investigation initiated by the Commission or resulting from a petition brought by the Department.

    (7) Proceedings under chapter 13 of this title relating to regulation of cable television systems, provided that due regard shall be taken of a cable television company's size and gross operating revenues.

    (8) Hearings resulting from opinions requested under subsection 248(h) of this title.

    (9) Proceedings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which involve Vermont utilities or which may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged to the involved electric or natural gas companies pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to electric or natural gas companies in proportion to the benefits sought for the customers of such companies from such advocacy. The Public Utility Commission and the Department of Public Service shall report quarterly to the Joint Fiscal Committee all costs incurred and expenditures charged under the authority of this subsection, and the purpose for which such costs were incurred and expenditures made.

    (10) Proceedings under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

    (11) Proceedings at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which involve Vermont utilities or which may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged to the involved electric companies pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to electric companies in proportion to the benefits sought for the customers of such companies from such advocacy.

    (12) Proceedings at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court which involve Vermont utilities or which may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged to the involved utilities pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to utilities in proportion to the benefits sought for the customers of such companies from such advocacy.

    (13) Proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission or related forums which involve Vermont utilities or which may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged, pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title, to the companies providing telecommunications services on a common carrier basis. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to companies in proportion to the benefits sought for their customers from such advocacy.

    (14) Proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission or related forums which involve a company that owns a cable television system holding a certificate of public good and delivering services in Vermont or which may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision shall be charged to the company pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to companies in proportion to the benefits sought for their customers from such advocacy.

    (15) Proceedings before any State or federal court concerning a company holding or a facility subject to a certificate issued under this title if the proceedings may affect the interests of the State of Vermont. Costs under this subdivision (15) shall be charged to the involved company pursuant to subsection 21(a) of this title. In cases where the proceeding is generic in nature, the costs shall be allocated to companies in proportion to the benefits sought for their customers from such advocacy.

    (c) Persons employed by the State are competent to be designated to act for the same purposes and in lieu of or in conjunction with additional personnel retained under this section. However, when so acting, they shall not receive compensation in addition to their regular pay. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 258, § 1, eff. July 31, 1961; 1975, No. 254 (Adj. Sess.), § 154; 1979, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Feb. 1, 1981; 1987, No. 65, § 7, eff. May 28, 1987; 1987, No. 271 (Adj. Sess.), § 16, eff. June 21, 1988; 1987, No. 273 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. June 21, 1988; 1989, No. 63, § 1, eff. May 22, 1989; 1995, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1999, No. 49, § 150; 1999, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 12h; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 47, 48; 2003, No. 98 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § F25; 2011, No. 47, § 20n, eff. May 25, 2011; 2015, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § E.233.)