State of Illinois
2017 and 2018


Introduced 2/1/2017, by Sen. Dale A. Righter


220 ILCS 5/8-406.1
220 ILCS 5/8-509  from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-509

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Modifies the requirements for an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the construction of new high voltage electric service lines and related facilities (Project). Provides that an applicant must provide and identify a proposed primary right-of-way and one or more alternate rights-of-way for the Project at the first public meeting held in each county. Requires that the public be provided the opportunity to comment on the proposed primary and alternate rights-of-way. Requires notice of the time and place scheduled for the public meeting to be provided by registered mail to each owner of record of land included in the proposed primary and alternate rights-of-way over which the utility seeks to construct a high-voltage electric line. Provides that for applications filed after the effective date of this amendatory Act, certificates granted for Projects that will impact agricultural land shall be conditioned on the applicant adhering to an agricultural impact mitigation agreement that he or she has entered into with the Department of Agriculture that outlines the mitigative actions the applicant will take to preserve the integrity of agricultural land impacted by the Project. Provides that if a public utility seeks relief to exercise eminent domain power to make necessary alterations, additions, extensions, or improvements ordered or authorized under certain specified Sections after the Commission enters its order in a proceeding for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a Project, the Commission shall issue its order within 180 (rather than 45) days after the utility files its petition seeking relief. Effective immediately.

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1    AN ACT concerning regulation.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
5Sections 8-406.1 and 8-509 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-406.1)
7    Sec. 8-406.1. Certificate of public convenience and
8necessity; expedited procedure.
9    (a) A public utility may apply for a certificate of public
10convenience and necessity pursuant to this Section for the
11construction of any new high voltage electric service line and
12related facilities (Project). To facilitate the expedited
13review process of an application filed pursuant to this
14Section, an application shall include all of the following:
15        (1) Information in support of the application that
16    shall include the following:
17            (A) A detailed description of the Project,
18        including location maps and plot plans to scale showing
19        all major components.
20            (B) The following engineering data:
21                (i) a detailed Project description including:
22                    (I) name and destination of the Project;
23                    (II) design voltage rating (kV);



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1                    (III) operating voltage rating (kV); and
2                    (IV) normal peak operating current rating;
3                (ii) a conductor, structures, and substations
4            description including:
5                    (I) conductor size and type;
6                    (II) type of structures;
7                    (III) height of typical structures;
8                    (IV) an explanation why these structures
9                were selected;
10                    (V) dimensional drawings of the typical
11                structures to be used in the Project; and
12                    (VI) a list of the names of all new (and
13                existing if applicable) substations or
14                switching stations that will be associated
15                with the proposed new high voltage electric
16                service line;
17                (iii) the location of the site and
18            right-of-way including:
19                    (I) miles of right-of-way;
20                    (II) miles of circuit;
21                    (III) width of the right-of-way; and
22                    (IV) a brief description of the area
23                traversed by the proposed high voltage
24                electric service line, including a description
25                of the general land uses in the area and the
26                type of terrain crossed by the proposed line;



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1                (iv) assumptions, bases, formulae, and methods
2            used in the development and preparation of the
3            diagrams and accompanying data, and a technical
4            description providing the following information:
5                    (I) number of circuits, with
6                identification as to whether the circuit is
7                overhead or underground;
8                    (II) the operating voltage and frequency;
9                and
10                    (III) conductor size and type and number
11                of conductors per phase;
12                (v) if the proposed interconnection is an
13            overhead line, the following additional
14            information also must be provided:
15                    (I) the wind and ice loading design
16                parameters;
17                    (II) a full description and drawing of a
18                typical supporting structure, including
19                strength specifications;
20                    (III) structure spacing with typical
21                ruling and maximum spans;
22                    (IV) conductor (phase) spacing; and
23                    (V) the designed line-to-ground and
24                conductor-side clearances;
25                (vi) if an underground or underwater
26            interconnection is proposed, the following



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1            additional information also must be provided:
2                    (I) burial depth;
3                    (II) type of cable and a description of any
4                required supporting equipment, such as
5                insulation medium pressurizing or forced
6                cooling;
7                    (III) cathodic protection scheme; and
8                    (IV) type of dielectric fluid and
9                safeguards used to limit potential spills in
10                waterways;
11                (vii) technical diagrams that provide
12            clarification of any item under this item (1)
13            should be included; and
14                (viii) applicant shall provide and identify a
15            primary right-of-way and one or more alternate
16            rights-of-way for the Project as part of the
17            filing. To the extent applicable, for each
18            right-of-way, an applicant shall provide the
19            information described in this subsection (a). Upon
20            a showing of good cause in its filing, an applicant
21            may be excused from providing and identifying
22            alternate rights-of-way.
23        (2) An application fee of $100,000, which shall be paid
24    into the Public Utility Fund at the time the Chief Clerk of
25    the Commission deems it complete and accepts the filing.
26        (3) A complete record of Information showing that the



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1    utility has held a minimum of 3 pre-filing public meetings
2    to receive public comment concerning the Project in each
3    county where the Project is to be located, no earlier than
4    6 months prior to the filing of the application. The
5    applicant must provide and identify a proposed primary
6    right-of-way and one or more alternate rights-of-way for
7    the Project at the first public meeting held in each
8    county. The public shall be provided the opportunity to
9    comment on the proposed primary and alternate
10    rights-of-way. Notice of the public meeting shall be
11    published in a newspaper of general circulation within the
12    affected county once a week for 3 consecutive weeks,
13    beginning no earlier than one month prior to the first
14    public meeting. Notice of the time and place scheduled for
15    the public meeting must also be provided by registered mail
16    to each owner of record of land, as identified in the
17    records of the relevant county tax assessor, included in
18    the proposed primary and alternate rights-of-way over
19    which the utility seeks to construct a high-voltage
20    electric line. If the Project traverses 2 contiguous
21    counties and where in one county the transmission line
22    mileage and number of landowners over whose property the
23    proposed route traverses is 1/5 or less of the transmission
24    line mileage and number of such landowners of the other
25    county, then the utility may combine the 3 pre-filing
26    meetings in the county with the greater transmission line



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1    mileage and affected landowners. All other requirements
2    regarding pre-filing meetings shall apply in both
3    counties. Notice of the public meeting, including a
4    description of the Project, must be provided in writing to
5    the clerk of each county where the Project is to be
6    located. A representative of the Commission shall be
7    invited to each pre-filing public meeting.
8    For applications filed after the effective date of this
9amendatory Act of the 99th General Assembly, the Commission
10shall by registered mail notify each owner of record of the
11land, as identified in the records of the relevant county tax
12assessor, included in the primary or alternate rights-of-way
13identified in the utility's application of the time and place
14scheduled for the initial hearing upon the public utility's
15application. The utility shall reimburse the Commission for the
16cost of the postage and supplies incurred for mailing the
18    (b) At the first status hearing the administrative law
19judge shall set a schedule for discovery that shall take into
20consideration the expedited nature of the proceeding.
21    (c) Nothing in this Section prohibits a utility from
22requesting, or the Commission from approving, protection of
23confidential or proprietary information under applicable law.
24The public utility may seek confidential protection of any of
25the information provided pursuant to this Section, subject to
26Commission approval.



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1    (d) The public utility shall publish notice of its
2application in the official State newspaper within 10 days
3following the date of the application's filing.
4    (e) The public utility shall establish a dedicated website
5for the Project 3 weeks prior to the first public meeting and
6maintain the website until construction of the Project is
7complete. The website address shall be included in all public
9    (f) The Commission shall, after notice and hearing, grant a
10certificate of public convenience and necessity filed in
11accordance with the requirements of this Section if, based upon
12the application filed with the Commission and the evidentiary
13record, it finds the Project will promote the public
14convenience and necessity and that all of the following
15criteria are satisfied:
16        (1) That the Project is necessary to provide adequate,
17    reliable, and efficient service to the public utility's
18    customers and is the least-cost means of satisfying the
19    service needs of the public utility's customers or that the
20    Project will promote the development of an effectively
21    competitive electricity market that operates efficiently,
22    is equitable to all customers, and is the least cost means
23    of satisfying those objectives.
24        (2) That the public utility is capable of efficiently
25    managing and supervising the construction process and has
26    taken sufficient action to ensure adequate and efficient



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1    construction and supervision of the construction.
2        (3) That the public utility is capable of financing the
3    proposed construction without significant adverse
4    financial consequences for the utility or its customers.
5    (g) The Commission shall issue its decision with findings
6of fact and conclusions of law granting or denying the
7application no later than 150 days after the application is
8filed. The Commission may extend the 150-day deadline upon
9notice by an additional 75 days if, on or before the 30th day
10after the filing of the application, the Commission finds that
11good cause exists to extend the 150-day period.
12    (h) In the event the Commission grants a public utility's
13application for a certificate pursuant to this Section, the
14public utility shall pay a one-time construction fee to each
15county in which the Project is constructed within 30 days after
16the completion of construction. The construction fee shall be
17$20,000 per mile of high voltage electric service line
18constructed in that county, or a proportionate fraction of that
19fee. The fee shall be in lieu of any permitting fees that
20otherwise would be imposed by a county. Counties receiving a
21payment under this subsection (h) may distribute all or
22portions of the fee to local taxing districts in that county.
23    (i) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, a
24decision granting a certificate under this Section shall
25include an order pursuant to Section 8-503 of this Act
26authorizing or directing the construction of the high voltage



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1electric service line and related facilities as approved by the
2Commission, in the manner and within the time specified in said
4    (j) For applications filed after the effective date of this
5amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, certificates
6granted under this Section for Projects that will impact
7agricultural land shall be conditioned on the applicant
8adhering to an agricultural impact mitigation agreement that he
9or she has entered into with the Department of Agriculture that
10outlines the mitigative actions the applicant will take to
11preserve the integrity of agricultural land impacted by the
13(Source: P.A. 99-399, eff. 8-18-15.)
14    (220 ILCS 5/8-509)  (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 8-509)
15    Sec. 8-509. When necessary for the construction of any
16alterations, additions, extensions or improvements ordered or
17authorized under Section 8-406.1, 8-503, or 12-218 of this Act,
18any public utility may enter upon, take or damage private
19property in the manner provided for by the law of eminent
20domain. If a public utility seeks relief under this Section in
21the same proceeding in which it seeks a certificate of public
22convenience and necessity under Section 8-406.1 of this Act,
23the Commission shall enter its order under this Section either
24as part of the Section 8-406.1 order or at the same time it
25enters the Section 8-406.1 order. If a public utility seeks



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1relief under this Section after the Commission enters its order
2in the Section 8-406.1 proceeding, the Commission shall issue
3its order under this Section within 180 45 days after the
4utility files its petition under this Section.
5    This Section applies to the exercise of eminent domain
6powers by telephone companies or telecommunications carriers
7only when the facilities to be constructed are intended to be
8used in whole or in part for providing one or more intrastate
9telecommunications services classified as "noncompetitive"
10under Section 13-502 in a tariff filed by the condemnor. The
11exercise of eminent domain powers by telephone companies or
12telecommunications carriers in all other cases shall be
13governed solely by "An Act relating to the powers, duties and
14property of telephone companies", approved May 16, 1903, as now
15or hereafter amended.
16(Source: P.A. 96-1348, eff. 7-28-10.)
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
18becoming law.