- Report Published -
|Coordinating the Review of Energy Facilities|
|Secretary of Natural Resources; State Corporation Commission|
|Chapter 939 Enactment Clause 4. (Regular Session, 2006)|
|The 2006 session of the Virginia General Assembly passed SB 262 that establishes the Virginia Energy Plan. Among the provisions of the act is a requirement for the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and Secretary of Natural Resources (SNR) to develop a proposal for coordinated review of permits for energy facilities requiring environmental permits from agencies or boards within the SNR and a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the SCC.|
Coordinated review of state permits and approvals can offer advantages to applicants, state agencies, and the public alike. For the applicant, coordinated review may allow a more straightforward understanding of what permits and approvals are required as well as what information and actions are required to obtain such permits and approvals. There may be a possibility of reducing redundancies in applications and, depending on how coordinated a review process may be, for consolidating public briefings, hearings, and comment periods. These can allow applicants to have more predictable timelines and be more efficient in preparing applications, responding to public input, and working with state agencies. This can yield time and cost savings to the applicant.
For the public, coordinated management of state approvals can make the permitting and approval process more clear and understandable while facilitating opportunities for public comment and other input. Often members of the public, local officials, and community organizations find multiple permit programs and approval processes with multiple hearings and comment periods--each limited to a particular facet of a proposed project--confusing. Coordinated or consolidated processes may clarify timeliness milestones, and public input opportunities.
State agencies may also benefit through coordinated review and collaboration on permits and approvals through information sharing, the potential to reduce redundancies, and, possibly, consolidated public briefings, hearings, and comment opportunities. While there have been some steps toward greater permitting agency coordination, SB 262 envisions greater coordination.