CSC: Telecommunications Proceedings

Telecommunications Proceedings

Jurisdiction for New Telecommunications Facility Construction

The Connecticut Siting Council (Council) jurisdiction for new telecommunications facilities is limited to the following:

1. Community antenna television towers and head-end structures; (General Statutes § 16-50i (a) (5)) (Application Guide)

2. Telecommunication towers, including associated equipment:

  • owned or operated by the State;
  • owned or operated by a public service company, as defined in General Statutes § 16-1;
  • owned or operated by a person, firm, or corporation certified by the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to provide intrastate telecommunications services pursuant to General Statutes §§ 16-247f through 16-247h, inclusive; or
  • used in a cellular system as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47, Part 22, as amended. (General Statutes § 16-50i (a) (6) (Application Guide)
Pre-Application Process

A. At least sixty (60) days prior to the filing of any application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) with the Council, the applicant shall consult with the municipality in which the facility may be located concerning the proposed and alternative sites of the facility. Such consultation with the municipality shall include, but not be limited to good faith efforts to meet with the chief elected official (CEO) of the municipality. At the time of the consultation, the applicant shall provide the CEO with any technical reports concerning the public need, site selection process, and environmental effects of the proposed facility. (General Statutes § 16-50l (e))

B. The municipality may conduct public hearings and meetings as it deems necessary for it to advise the applicant of its recommendations concerning the proposed facility. Within sixty (60) days of the initial consultation, the municipality shall issue its recommendations to the applicant. (General Statutes § 16-50l (e))

Application Service and Notice

A. Each application filed with the Council, shall be accompanied by proof of service of such application on the following:

  • each municipality in which any portion of such facility is to be located, including proposed and alternative sites, including:
    • the chief executive officer;
    • the zoning commissions;
    • the planning commissions;
    • the planning and zoning commissions;
    • the conservation commissions; and
    • the inland wetland agencies;
    • regional planning agency
  • the State Attorney General;
  • each member of the legislature in whose assembly or senate district the facility or any alternative location listed in the application may be located;
  • any agency, department, or instrumentality of the federal government that has jurisdiction, whether concurrent with the State or otherwise, over any matter that would be affected by such facility;
  • the Department of Environmental Protection;
  • the Department of Public Health;
  • the Council on Environmental Quality;
  • the DPUC;
  • the Office of Policy and Management;
  • the Department of Economic and Community Development;
  • the Department of Transportation. (General Statutes § 16-50l (b))
B. Notice of the application shall be provided to:
  • the public, in newspapers having a general circulation in each municipality wherein any portion of the proposed or alternative sites are to be located that will serve substantially to inform the public of such application and to afford interested persons sufficient time to prepare for and to be heard at the public hearing; and
  • each person appearing of record as an owner of property which abuts the proposed primary or alternative sites on which the facility would be located. (General Statutes § 16-50l (b))
Application Schedule

The Council reviews all applications for compliance with General Statutes § 16-50l and Section 16-50j-74 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. If an application meets this criteria, the Council will establish a contested case proceeding with a decision due within 180 days of the filing of the application with the Council (extendible by not more than 180 days with consent of the applicant). In addition, the Council may schedule a pre-hearing conference for the benefit of the public to explain the Certification process. (General Statutes §§ 16-50m and 16-50p)

Public Participation

A person or group interested in the Council’s proceeding may participate as a party, intervenor, or an individual from the public.

Party Status

Parties to the proceeding include the following:

  • the applicant;
  • each person entitled to receive a copy of the application or resolution under General Statutes § 16-50l if such person has filed with the Council a notice of intent to be a party;
  • any domestic or qualified nonprofit corporation or association formed in whole or in part to promote conservation or natural beauty, to protect the environment, personal health or biological values, to preserve historical sites, to promote consumer interests, to represent commercial and industrial groups, or to promote the orderly development of the areas in which the facility is to be located, if it has filed with the Council a notice of intent to be a party; and
  • such other persons as the Council may at any time deed appropriate. (General Statutes § 16-50n (a))
Parties may participate by:
  • filing pre-hearing questions to the applicant or other parties or intervenors;
  • presenting testimony at the hearing;
  • cross-examining witnesses at the hearing; and
  • filing exhibits, briefs, and proposed findings of fact. (General Statutes § 4-177c, 16-50o and Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-13 to 16-50j-28)
In addition, parties will receive service of all filings in the proceeding.

Parties are obligated to:

  • respond to pre-hearing questions filed by the Council, applicant, or other parties or intervenors;
  • submit to cross-examination from the Council, applicant, or other parties or intervenors;
  • provide the Council with an original and 20 copies of all filings; and
  • provide the applicant and all other parties and intervenors, who have not waived service, with one copy of all filings. (General Statutes § 4-177c, 16-50o and Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-12 to 16-50j-28)
All persons seeking to be named or admitted as a party are requested to file a written petition to the Council to be so designated at least five (5) days before the date of the hearing (General Statutes § 4-177a (a)). The petition to be designated a party must state the following:
  • name and address;
  • description of the manner in which the petitioner claims to be substantially and specifically affected by the proceeding;
  • contention of the petitioner concerning the issue of the proceeding;
  • the relief sought by the petitioner and the statutory or other authority therefore; and
  • the nature of the evidence, if any, that the petitioner intends to present in the event that the petition is granted. (Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-14 (b))
Intervenor Status

Intervenors to the proceeding include any person if the Council finds that:

  • the petitioner’s participation is in the interests of justice and will not impair the orderly conduct of the proceeding. (General Statutes § 4-177a (b))
Intervenors may participate by:
  • filing pre-hearing questions to the applicant or other parties or intervenors;
  • presenting testimony at the hearing;
  • cross-examining witnesses at the hearing; and
  • filing exhibits, briefs, and proposed findings of fact. (General Statutes § 4-177a (d), 16-50o and Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-15a to 16-50j-28)
In addition, intervenors will receive service of all filings in the proceeding.

Intervenors are obligated to:

  • respond to pre-hearing questions filed by the Council, applicant, or other parties or intervenors;
  • submit to cross-examination from the Council, applicant, or other parties or intervenors;
  • provide the Council with an original and twenty (20) copies of all filings; and
  • provide the applicant and all other parties and intervenors, who have not waived service, with one copy of all filings. (General Statutes § 4-177a(d), 16-50o and Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-12 to 16-50j-28)
All persons seeking to be named or admitted as an intervenor are requested to file a written petition to the Council to be so designated at least five (5) days before the date of the hearing (General Statutes § 4-177a (b)). The petition to be designated an intervenor shall state the following:
  • name and address;
  • description of the manner in which the petitioner is affected by the proceeding; and
  • in what way and to what extent the petitioner proposes to participate in the proceeding. (Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-15a (b))
Public Appearance

Any person who is not a party or intervenor to the proceeding may make an oral statement at the public hearing or file a written statement at any time during a proceeding within thirty (30) days after the close of the hearing. Evening hearings are reserved for members of the public to make oral statements. All statements are recorded and made into a written transcript that is part of the record. (Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 16-50j-15 and General Statutes § 16-50n (f))

Grouping of Parties and Intervenors

The Council, in its discretion, may provide for the grouping of parties and intervenors with same interests. If such a group does not designate an agent for the service of notice and documents, the Council shall designate such an agent, and notice and documents need be served only on the designated agent. Any party or intervenor who has been included in a group may, at any time by oral or written notice to the Council, elect not to be a member of the group to the extent specified in such notice. (General Statutes § 16-50n (c))

Public Site Inspection

The Council conducts one or more public field reviews of the proposed telecommunications sites to visually assess the site and surrounding land uses. Weather permitting, a balloon may be flown to approximate the height of the proposed tower.

Public Hearing

The public hearing consists of a procedure which may include the following:

  • opening by the Chairman;
  • testimony by applicant and cross-examination by Council and parties and intervenors;
  • testimony by parties and intervenors and cross-examination by Council, applicant, parties, and intervenors;
  • public statements made during an evening session reserved for such statements; and
  • rebuttal by applicant. (General Statutes §§ 16-50m and 16-50o)
Briefs, memorandums of law, and public statements are due within thirty (30) days of the close of the hearing.

Council Deliberations

A. Draft Findings of Fact, Opinion, and Decision and Order are considered at publicly noticed meetings. The public may attend these meetings to observe Council deliberations. After the Council issues its draft Findings of Fact, parties and intervenors may identify errors or inconsistencies between the Council’s draft Findings of Fact and the record; however, no new information, evidence, argument, or reply briefs will be considered by the Council. (General Statutes § 16-50p)

B. Whenever the Council certifies a telecommunications facility, such certification shall satisfy and be in lieu of all certifications, approvals, and other requirements of State and municipal agencies in regard to any questions of public need, convenience, and necessity for such facility. (General Statutes § 16-50x)

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. Reference should be made to the appropriate statutes and regulations for specific regulatory language. Asserting a person’s rights and privileges is his or her responsibility. Although it is not obligatory, it is a person’s prerogative to obtain legal counsel.



Content Last Modified on 2/14/2012 3:05:01 PM