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  • Writer's pictureClaire Miller

Governor's Siting Commission Report on Siting Recommendations

Updated: Apr 25

As we’ve written in previous blog posts, how we site and permit energy and energy infrastructure has become a major topic for this legislative session and will undoubtedly be part of what becomes law this summer. It is critical that we advocate for environmental justice in this conversation, since it is by no means guaranteed.

Please see previous blog posts for what has been happening in the legislature, this blog post is about our executive branch. By Executive Order 620 in September 2023 the Commission on Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting (Commission) was established and is tasked with reducing permitting timelines, ensuring communities have input in the siting and permitting of clean energy infrastructure, and ensuring that the benefits of the clean energy transition are shared equitably.  

Their report came out at the end of March 2024.

Here is our rundown.

  1. GOOD

    1. Revised EFSB process to be more democratic, more accessible

    2. Changes to the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB)  mandate (similar to what we are advocating for in our EJ bill)

    3. Excludes fossil fuel facilities from consolidated permit, remain in existing process

  2. BAD

    1. No cumulative impact analysis

    2. Grouping T&D under CEI without fully exploring alternatives with communities


    1. Timing & MEPA

      1. MEPA’s role was left unclear. The Commission was divided only recommending MEPA for local projects. New MEPA EJ protocol protections would be lost.

    2. Clean energy infrastructure and EFSB jurisdiction

      1. Generation: Solar, Wind (onshore), Anaerobic Digestion ≥25 MW is EFSB jurisdiction, below is local (A.2 See comments from TNC, MAS & MACC about appropriately sizing these facilities and the solar threshold.)

      2. Storage: Energy Storage ≥100MWh is EFSB jurisdiction, below is local

    3. Transmission & Distribution: 

    4. It’s not “clean energy” infrastructure. The lines and poles are agnostic to how the electrons are generated. 

    5. New transmission lines & infrastructure ≥69kV + > 1mi or ≥115kV + ≥10mi plus all OSW interconnect is EFSB jurisdiction, below is local or opt-in EFSB

  4. Consolidated permits

    1. Consolidated permit for state permit EFSB jurisdictional permits (A.3b 17 agreed)

    2. Consolidated Regional and State Permit  for Non-EFSB Jurisdictional permits (A.3.f only 11 agreed so no recommendation made, introduced too late.)

    3. Consolidated Local Permit for local permit of Non-EFSB Jurisdictional permits (A.4.d only 14 agreed)   This is a BIG DEAL for municipalities. Because the solar threshold  is ≥25 MW the vast majority will fall to the new local consolidated permitting. Please read comments from The Nature Conservancy, MA Audubon and MACC for A.2 and A.3.e in particular.     

In Summary- we still need to push for the EJ table version, please sign this petition and spread it wide!

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1 Comment

Miriam Kurland
Miriam Kurland
Apr 24

wherever the energy is sited, are all local governments going to have the power to approve or disapprove whether or not is ok for them?

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