§ 42-98-1. Legislative findings.
(a) The general assembly recognizes that reasonably priced, reliable sources of energy are vital to the well-being and prosperity of the people of this state; that there are major issues of public health and safety and impact upon the environment related to the technologies and energy sources used in some facilities; that some energy facilities require a major commitment of funds and resources and require many years to build that the decision to permit or deny their construction will have long term impact on the economy of the state; that these decisions will affect the availability and cost of the energy; and that the evaluation of proposals must recognize and consider the need for these facilities in relation to the overall impact of the facilities upon public health and safety, the environment and the economy of the state;
(b) The general assembly further finds that the authority to regulate many aspects of the issues involved in the siting of major energy facilities currently exists in a variety of agencies within the government of the state and the political subdivisions of the state; that there is overlapping jurisdiction among several state agencies in the siting of energy facilities; and that there is the potential for conflicting decisions being issued by the various agencies having authority over the different aspects of the siting of a major energy facility;
(c) The jurisdiction of each state agency should be defined, and the role of each agency in energy siting should be delineated, to eliminate overlap and duplication and to insure that expeditious decisions are made within a time frame to be determined by law; and that in addition to the existing regulation, statewide and regional planning for energy resources and the assessment of our state's need for energy should be on-going activities within Rhode Island;
(d) There is need for a coordinated decision on any major energy facility; the technical expertise for this evaluation is available within existing agencies involved with the siting process; and
(e) There is a need for coordinating and expediting the review of each state agency and that the authority and responsibility to perform that function should be established.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 531, § 1.)