The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 21. Particular proceedings and activities; assessment of costs
(a) An agency may allocate the portion of the expense incurred or authorized by it in retaining additional personnel pursuant to section 20 of this title to the applicant or the company or companies involved. As used in this section, "agency" means an agency, board, commission, or department of the State enabled to authorize or retain personnel under section 20 of this title.
(1) The Commission shall upon petition of an applicant or company to which costs are proposed to be allocated, review and determine, after opportunity for hearing, having due regard for the size and complexity of the project, the necessity and reasonableness of such costs, and may amend or revise such allocations. Nothing in this section shall confer authority on the Commission to select or decide the personnel, the expenses of whom are being allocated, unless such personnel are retained by the Commission. Prior to allocating costs, the Commission shall make a determination of the purpose and use of the funds to be raised hereunder, identify the recipient of the funds, provide for allocation of costs among companies to be assessed, indicate an estimated duration of the retention of personnel whose costs are being allocated, and estimate the total costs to be imposed. With the approval of the Commission, such estimates may be revised as necessary. From time to time during the progress of the work of such additional personnel, the agency retaining the personnel shall render to the company detailed statements showing the amount of money expended or contracted for in the work of such personnel, which statements shall be paid by the applicant or the company into the State Treasury at such time and in such manner as the agency may reasonably direct.
(2) In any proceeding under section 248 of this title, the Agency of Natural Resources may allocate the portion of the expense incurred in retaining additional staff authorized in subsection (a) of this section only if the following apply:
(A) the Agency of Natural Resources does not have the expertise, and the retention of such expertise is required to fulfill its statutory obligations in the proceeding; and
(B) the Agency of Natural Resources allocates only that portion of the cost for such expertise that exceeds the fee paid by the applicant under section 248b of this title.
(b) When regular employees of an agency are employed in the particular proceedings and activities described in section 20 of this title, the agency may also allocate the portion of its costs and expenses to the applicant or the company or companies involved. The costs of regular employees shall be computed on the basis of working days within the salary period, except that the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security may allocate the full cost of the regular employee. The manner of assessment and of making payments shall otherwise be as provided for additional personnel in subsection (a) of this section. However, with respect to proceedings under section 248 of this title, the Agency of Natural Resources shall not allocate the costs of regular employees.
(c) With the approval of the Governor, the Department of Public Service may also allocate such portion of expense incurred by it in administering the purchase of electric energy or power or natural gas from outside the State, to the electric or gas distribution companies, cooperative, municipal or privately owned, to which such energy, power, or gas is sold, in proportion to the purchases thereof to such companies. When regular employees are employed on such work, their cost shall be computed on the basis of working days within the salary period. The manner of assessment and making payments shall otherwise be as provided for additional personnel in subsection (a) of this section.
(d) The Agency of Natural Resources may allocate expenses under this section only for costs in excess of the amount specified in 3 V.S.A. § 2809(d)(1)(A).
(e) Annually, on or before January 15, each agency shall report to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy and the House Committees on Energy and Technology and on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife the total amount of expenses allocated under this section during the previous fiscal year. The report shall include the name of each applicant or company to whom expenses were allocated and the amount allocated to each applicant or company. The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets also shall submit a copy of its report to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.
(f) With the approval of the Governor, the Department of Public Service may allocate the expense incurred under 10 V.S.A. § 7063 in compensating members and alternate members of the Commission among the generators of low-level radioactive waste in the State. Any such allocation shall be in proportion to the volume of waste generated by each such generator.
(g) An agency may allocate such portion of expense incurred or authorized by it in compensating persons retained in the monitoring of postclosure activities of a nuclear generating plant pursuant to subsection 20(a) of this title to the plant whose activities are being monitored. Except for the Commission, the agency shall obtain the approval of the Governor before making such an allocation.
(h) Under subsections (f) and (g) of this section, the manner of assessment and making payments shall be as provided in subsection (a) of this section. A generator or plant to which expense is allocated under subsection (f) or (g) of this section may petition the Commission in accordance with the procedures of subsection (a) of this section.
(i) If an invoice for expenses incurred under subsection (a) of this section is not paid within 45 days after the date of mailing:
(1) the Commission may withhold the issuance of or revoke any related certificate of public good, provided the applicant is given an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice;
(2) an agency may charge simple interest of one percent per month on the unpaid amount of the invoice for the period from 45 days after the date of mailing to the date of full payment of the amount due; and
(3) an agency may either contract with private collection agencies to collect principal and interest due or use setoff debt collection, as provided in 32 V.S.A. §§ 5931-5940. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1979, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Feb. 1, 1981; 1989, No. 63, § 2, eff. May 22, 1989; 1999, No. 49, § 151; 1999, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § F26; 2011, No. 47, § 20o, eff. May 25, 2011; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. May 14, 2012; 2015, No. 57, § 17a; 2015, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § E.233.1; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 173a; 2019, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. Oct. 8, 2020.)