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Entries in Rules and Regulations (10)


Energy News Roundup: August 18-August 24

This week in regional energy news …


Maine Wind Power Sound Rule Takes Effect

Maine’s newly adopted sound limits that apply specifically to wind power projects became effective June 10.  The Maine Department of Environmental Protection amended its Chapter 375(10) sound rules after a citizen-initiated petition to initiate rulemaking proceedings was submitted by wind power opponents.  The new rules lower the nighttime sound limit for wind power projects to 42 dBA from 45 dBA, while at the same time relaxing predictive modeling parameters imposed on developers.  In July 2011 the Board of Environmental Protection held a public hearing at which developers, opponents and project neighbors gave testimony on the potential health impacts of wind power sound.  Although the Board voted to lower the nighttime wind power sound limit, Board Chair Sue Lessard noted that it did so as a precautionary measure and not because there had been a demonstration that existing sound limits would result in adverse health effects.


Annual FERC Report on Enforcement Is Issued

Any FERC-regulated entity will benefit by perusing the FERC’s latest annual report on enforcement of its regulations.  The FERC 2011 Report on Enforcement (clicking link will download a PDF) is organized functionally by such categories as “significant audit matters,” “significant accounting matters,” “self-reports,” and more.  Specific FERC-regulated entities are named in the report, along with actions (if any) that FERC took in response to non-compliance by the entity.  FERC staff also prepared a presentation (PDF) to accompany the report.


Maine's Dig Safe Law to Be Amended

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has issued a Notice of Rulemaking (link will open Word) describing proposed changes to its “Underground Facility Damage Prevention Requirements” or “Dig Safe” Rule, Chapter 895. 

The Dig Safe Rule is intended to ensure safe excavation of land and to prevent damage to underground utility facilities such as gas lines, water lines, telecommunications equipment and electric equipment.  Owners of such facilities must locate and mark their underground facilities and any person planning to excavate land must make proper notifications to facility operators or utilities.  Violations of Dig Safe laws and rules must be reported to the MPUC.  The MPUC then investigates alleged violations and determines whether to penalize violators.

Among the changes proposed to the Dig Safe Rule are amendments to the definitions of several terms, changes to the pre-marking responsibilities of people excavating land, changes to the notification process, and decreased reporting time for suspected violations.

The proposed amendments to Chapter 895 may be found here (link will open Word document).  A public hearing will be held on October 26, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at the MPUC.  The MPUC requests that comments be filed by October 20, 2010.


Energy News Roundup: September 18-September 24

This week in regional energy news …


Maine PUC Initiates Rulemaking to Amend Its Long-Term Contracting and Resource Adequacy Rule

The Maine Public Utilities Commission has initiated a rulemaking proceeding (download a Word version of the notice here) to consider amendments to Chapter 316, its long-term contracting and resource adequacy rule. 

The rulemaking addresses statutory amendments to the Act to Enhance Maine’s Energy Independence and Security (P.L. 2005, ch. 677) relating to the Maine PUC’s authority to establish a long-term plan for electric resource adequacy and incorporates the Maine PUC experience implementing long-term contracting legislation since 2007.  The rulemaking seeks to amend or add definitions of certain terms and amend provisions related to the Commission’s contracting authority, the competitive solicitation process, contracting, disposition of resources, cost recovery and reporting requirements. 

Public comments on the proposed rule are due to be filed on October 4, 2010, but the PUC has requested that comments be in by September 20 to allow time to consider comments at the PUC’s September 23 public hearing.  Click here for a redlined version of the proposed new rule.


Energy News Roundup: July 3-July 9

This week in regional energy news …