§ 42-98-11. Final hearing Standards Decisions.
(a) Within forty-five (45) days after the final date for submission of advisory opinions pursuant to § 42-98-10, the board shall convene the final hearing on the application. The purpose of this hearing shall not be to rehear the evidence which was presented previously in hearings before agencies designated under § 42-98-9, but rather to provide the applicant, intervenors, the public, and all other parties in the proceeding, the opportunity to address in a single forum, and from a consolidated, statewide prospective, the issues reviewed, and the recommendations made in the proceedings before the agencies designated under § 42-98-9. The board at this hearing may, at its discretion, allow the presentation of new evidence by any party as to the issues considered by the agencies designated under § 42-98-9. The board may limit the presentation of repetitive or cumulative evidence. The hearing shall proceed on not less than thirty (30) days' notice to the parties and the public, shall be concluded not more than sixty (60) days following its initiation, and shall be conducted expeditiously.
(b) The board shall issue a decision granting a license only upon finding that the applicant has shown that:
(1) Construction of the proposed facility is necessary to meet the needs of the state and/or region for energy of the type to be produced by the proposed facility.
(2) The proposed facility is cost-justified, and can be expected to produce energy at the lowest reasonable cost to the consumer consistent with the objective of ensuring that the construction and operation of the proposed facility will be accomplished in compliance with all of the requirements of the laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances, under which, absent this chapter, a permit, license, variance, or assent would be required, or that consideration of the public health, safety, welfare, security and need for the proposed facility justifies a waiver of some part of the requirements when compliance cannot be assured.
(3) The proposed facility will not cause unacceptable harm to the environment and will enhance the socio-economic fabric of the state.
(c) Within sixty (60) days of the conclusion of the final hearing the board shall issue its final decision on the application. A decision in favor of the application shall constitute a granting of all permits, licenses, variances, or assents, which under any law, rule, regulation, or ordinance of the state or of a political subdivision thereof which would, absent this chapter, be required for the proposed facility. The decision may be issued requiring any modification or alteration of the proposed facility, and may be issued on any condition the board deems warranted by the record, and may be issued conditional upon the applicant's receipt of permits required by federal law. The board's decision shall explicitly address each of the advisory opinions received from agencies, and the board's reasons for accepting, rejecting, or modifying, in whole or in part, any of those advisory opinions. The board shall, within ten (10) days of granting a license, with or without conditions, deliver the decision to the speaker of the Rhode Island house of representatives, and the president of the Rhode Island senate.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 531, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 180, § 121.)