§ 42-98-9.1. Public notice and hearings on construction projects in cities and towns affected.
(a) Upon receiving a utility company application the board shall immediately notify, in writing, the councils of the towns and cities affected by the construction.
(b) The board shall have at least one public hearing in each town or city affected prior to holding its own hearings and prior to taking final action on the application. All details of acceptance for filing in § 42-98-8(a)(1) (a)(6) shall be presented at town or city hearings for public comment. When the subject of the application is a facility for the generation of electricity, or new facilities for the transmission of electricity, the town or city where the proposed facility would be located may request funding from the applicant to perform studies of the local environmental effects of the proposed facility. The expense of those studies shall not exceed the lesser of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or one-tenth percent (.1%) of the estimated capital cost of the proposed facility located in such city or town. If the applicant contests the relevance of the requested study, or believes it to be redundant with studies already performed, the applicant may request a ruling from the board whether the study is necessary and reasonably expected to produce relevant information. The board's ruling shall be conclusive and final, and shall not be the basis for an interlocutory appeal, injunction or otherwise delay the board's processing of the application.
(c) The applicant shall notify the citizens in towns and cities affected thirty (30) days prior to public meetings through local papers.
(d) The applicant shall notify abutting land owners individually, in writing, thirty (30) days prior to the hearings, by certified mail, postage prepaid.
(e) Public input shall be a part of the decision making process.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 439, § 3; P.L. 1996, ch. 316, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 575, § 1; P.L. 2006, ch. 592, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 391, § 1.)