Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB5202
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Full Text of HB5202  102nd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2021 and 2022


Introduced 1/31/2022, by Rep. Sonya M. Harper


220 ILCS 5/8-406.2

    Amends the Public Utilities Act. Provides that no land or personal property of any landowner shall be taken or infringed upon by eminent domain, easement, or other mechanism for the installation of any infrastructure for the distribution of natural gas that was approved without the express and written consent of the landowner or property owner. Provides that the Illinois Commerce Commission shall cancel any agreement or contract entered into in furtherance of any project if it determines that corrupt or fraudulent practices were engaged in by any individual in creation of the agreement, and the Commission has the authority to inspect and audit accounts and records of any entity relating to the execution and performance of any agreement entered into in furtherance of any project. Provides that to protect the unique natural ecosystem of Pembroke Township, the Commission shall provide public notice in an easily accessible manner of past or pending complaints concerning public safety, health, or the environment involving any individual that is agreeing to contracting to perform work related to construction of any natural gas pipeline. Provides that the natural gas utility prior to construction of natural gas utilities shall submit a compliance filing to the Commission demonstrating that specified preconstruction requirements are satisfied.

LRB102 24418 AMQ 33652 b





HB5202LRB102 24418 AMQ 33652 b

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
5Section 8-406.2 as follows:
6    (220 ILCS 5/8-406.2)
7    Sec. 8-406.2. Certificate of public convenience and
8necessity; extension of utility service area and facilities to
9serve designated hardship areas.
10    (a) Where a public utility has met the requirements of
11Section 8-406, this This Section is intended to provide a
12mechanism by which a gas public utility may extend its service
13territory and gas distribution system to provide service to
14designated low-income areas whose residents do not have access
15to natural gas service and must purchase more costly
16alternatives to satisfy their energy needs.
17    (b) In this Section:
18    "Designated hardship area" is limited to Pembroke
19Township, if the Township meets certain requirements. Any
20"designated hardship area" only applies to the specific
21community of Pembroke within the scope of the Project.
22Pembroke Township will only be categorized as a "designated
23hardship area" if it meets the following requirements:



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1        (1) the area is designated as a qualified census tract
2    by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as
3    published in the most current Federal Register; if the
4    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ceases to
5    make this designation, then at least 25% of the households
6    in the area are at or below the poverty level; and
7        (2) the area is not currently served by a gas utility.
8    "Hardship area facilities" means all gas distribution
9system facilities that are proposed to be constructed or
10extended and used to serve the designated hardship area,
11through and including retail gas meters. "Hardship area
12facilities" includes the capacity to address reasonably
13foreseeable growth in areas adjacent to or in the vicinity of
14the designated hardship area.
15    (c) A gas public utility may apply for a certificate of
16public convenience and necessity pursuant to this Section to
17increase its gas service territory and extend its gas
18distribution system to serve a designated hardship area. An
19application under this Section shall include all of the
21        (1) a description of the designated hardship area and
22    its relationship to the existing gas distribution system
23    of the applicant;
24        (2) a showing that the designated hardship area meets
25    the criteria for being a designated hardship area under
26    subsection (b) of this Section;



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1        (3) a description of the hardship area facilities
2    proposed to serve the designated hardship area;
3        (4) a projection of the costs to construct and deploy
4    the hardship area facilities;
5        (5) a showing that the estimated cost to construct and
6    deploy the hardship area facilities is equal to or less
7    than 250% of the amount allowed under the gas utilities'
8    then current tariffs to provide standard service to extend
9    main and services; and
10        (6) a statement to confirm that the public utility has
11    held at least 2 pre-filing public meetings in the
12    community and considered public input from those meetings
13    when developing and implementing its plans.
14    (d) The Commission shall, after notice and hearing, grant
15a certificate of public convenience and necessity under this
16Section if, based upon the application filed with the
17Commission and the evidentiary record, the Commission finds
18that all of the following criteria are satisfied:
19        (1) the area to be served is a designated hardship
20    area;
21        (2) the proposed hardship area facilities will provide
22    adequate, reliable, and efficient gas delivery service to
23    the customers within the designated hardship area and are
24    the least-cost means of providing such gas delivery
25    service to these customers;
26        (3) the public utility is capable of efficiently



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1    managing and supervising the construction of the hardship
2    area facilities and has taken sufficient action to ensure
3    adequate and efficient construction and supervision of the
4    construction;
5        (4) the public utility is capable of financing the
6    construction of the hardship area facilities without
7    significant adverse financial consequences for the utility
8    or its customers;
9        (5) the estimated cost to construct and deploy the
10    hardship area facilities is equal to or less than 250% of
11    the amount allowed under the gas utilities then current
12    tariffs to provide standard service to extend main and
13    services;
14        (6) the public utility can guarantee that residents of
15    Hopkins Park who choose to opt out of converting to a
16    natural gas delivery service will not be assessed any
17    charges relating to the pipeline construction or any other
18    fees relating to the designated hardship area facilities;
19        (7) the public utility disclosed to the Commission the
20    mapping of the proposed pipeline and infrastructure
21    management requirements within the designated hardship
22    area; and
23        (8) the public utility has guaranteed that, before
24    implementation, it will disclose to the Commission the
25    cost to the utility for customers of Hopkins Park to
26    utilize gas services.



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1    (e) The Commission shall issue its decision with findings
2of fact and conclusions of law granting or denying the
3application no later than 120 days after the application is
5    (f) No land or personal property of any landowner shall be
6taken or otherwise infringed upon or jeopardized, by eminent
7domain, easement, or other mechanism for the purpose of the
8design, construction, and installation of any pipeline, mains,
9services, facilities, or other infrastructure for the
10distribution of natural gas that is or has been approved
11wholly or in part pursuant to this Section without the express
12and written consent of the landowner or property owner. Where
13any personal property is used in any way for installation of
14any pipeline, mains, services, facilities, or other
15infrastructure for distribution of natural gas, with written
16consent of the landowner or property owner, the natural gas
17utility that owns the infrastructure shall not disturb,
18temporarily or permanently, any cropland, farmland,
19pastureland, forest, or other property inhabited by plants or
20wildlife. The use of personal property, including for storing,
21moving, or using construction equipment, shall be strictly
22limited to roadways.
23    (g) In furtherance of public accountability and to guard
24against misuse of public and ratepayer funds, the Commission
26        (1) where it has the authority, cancel any agreement



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1    or contract entered into in furtherance of any project
2    approved wholly or in part pursuant to this Section if it
3    determines that corrupt or fraudulent practices were
4    engaged in by any individual or entity in the creation or
5    effectuation of the agreement or contract. The Commission
6    shall also seek any other remedies that may be appropriate
7    to address the corrupt or fraudulent activities; and
8        (2) have the authority to inspect and audit accounts
9    and records of any entity relating to the execution and
10    performance of any agreement or contract entered into in
11    furtherance of any project approved wholly or in part
12    pursuant to this Section.
13    (h) To inform the public and protect the unique and
14endangered natural ecosystem of Pembroke Township, the
15Commission shall provide public notice in an easily accessible
16manner of any past or pending complaints, legal claims, and
17regulatory actions concerning public safety, health, or the
18environment involving any individual or entity, including, but
19not limited to, a public utility, that is agreeing or
20contracting, or has agreed or contracted, to perform work
21related to the design, construction, installation, operation,
22or maintenance of any natural gas pipeline approved wholly or
23in part pursuant to this Section. Any individual or entity
24covered by this subsection shall provide the information to
25the Commission prior to undertaking any such work.
26    (i) Prior to construction pursuant to a certificate



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1obtained wholly or in part pursuant to this Section, whether
2granted prior to or after the enactment of this Section, the
3natural gas utility shall submit a compliance filing to the
4Commission demonstrating that the preconstruction requirements
5in paragraphs (1) and (2) are satisfied. The Commission staff
6shall submit a report to the Commission with a recommendation
7as to whether the preconstruction requirements have been
8satisfied. Construction shall not commence until and unless
9the Commission issues an order determining that the
10preconstruction requirements have been met. The
11preconstruction requirements include:
12        (1) The Commission, the Department of Commerce and
13    Economic Opportunity, and the Environmental Protection
14    Agency shall jointly conduct and publish a comprehensive
15    cost-benefit analysis of the project and associated risks
16    and make a finding as to whether the project is
17    net-beneficial for Pembroke Township as a whole and
18    net-beneficial for subpopulations that may be
19    differentially impacted by the project, including
20    residents of greater Pembroke Township not in the Village
21    of Hopkins Park. The analysis includes, but is not limited
22    to: socioeconomic, public health, and environmental risk
23    factors and vulnerabilities that may affect the costs and
24    benefits of the proposed project on populations within
25    Pembroke Township; an accounting of the social cost of
26    greenhouse gases; and a consideration of the unique



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1    economic, environmental, and ecological impacts for
2    Pembroke Township. The cost-benefit analysis shall also
3    account for distributional impacts to ensure that it
4    appropriately benefits and does not inappropriately burden
5    disadvantaged, vulnerable, or marginalized communities.
6        (2) The Commission, jointly with any other State
7    agency it deems appropriate, shall, on its own or
8    utilizing an independent contractor, conduct a thorough
9    alternative energy analysis to compare the costs and
10    benefits of the natural gas expansion as proposed by the
11    natural gas utility and approved by the Commission in
12    granting a certificate of public convenience and necessity
13    pursuant to this Section, including design, construction,
14    installation, and operation of any natural gas pipelines
15    and distribution infrastructure in Pembroke Township and
16    the Village of Hopkins Park, relative to the costs and
17    benefits of non-gas energy alternatives, including, but
18    not limited to, building electrification, air and
19    ground-source heat pumps, photovoltaic, and other options
20    for providing environmentally sustainable utility services
21    that are affordable to local households, consumers,
22    businesses, farmers, and other industries and that meet
23    the energy needs of Pembroke Township. The alternative
24    energy analysis shall consider the social cost of
25    greenhouse gases as established by the United States
26    Office of Management and Budget Interagency Working Group



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1    on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, including, but not
2    limited to, methane and carbon, when comparing the
3    relative climate costs of each alternative considered. The
4    cost-benefit analysis shall also account for the
5    distributional impacts of each alternative considered to
6    ensure that it appropriately benefits and does not
7    inappropriately burden disadvantaged, vulnerable, or
8    marginalized communities. This analysis shall also
9    evaluate rate estimates for each energy option, accounting
10    for declining natural gas demand as a result of clean
11    energy adoption, natural gas prices, and other factors as
12    the Commission deems appropriate. The Commission shall
13    make a finding as to whether the proposed natural gas
14    expansion is the best alternative for meeting the energy
15    needs of Pembroke Township considering affordability,
16    sustainability, distributional impacts, and impact on the
17    affected environment.
18    The cost-benefit analysis, alternative energy analysis,
19and any underpinning documentation shall be completed and
20filed as a report with the General Assembly and made available
21to the public. The natural gas utility shall be responsible
22for reimbursing the State for the costs of the analyses.
23    If the cost-benefit analysis finds that the proposed
24natural gas expansion is not net-beneficial for Pembroke
25Township and the subpopulations evaluated, or if the
26alternative energy analysis finds that the proposed natural



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1gas expansion is not the best option for meeting the energy
2needs of Pembroke Township, then the Commission shall
3determine that the preconstruction requirements have not been
4satisfied and the certificate of public convenience and
5necessity shall be revoked.
6    Where construction has begun and is in progress prior to
7this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, that
8construction shall halt until the Commission has made a
9determination as to the preconstruction requirements.
10(Source: P.A. 102-609, eff. 8-27-21.)