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O’Neill successfully opposes shortcut to wind power OK

SOUTHBURY – Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R-Southbury, on Wednesday signaled his opposition to proposed regulations that could limit the ability of towns and cities to have a say about the location of proposed wind-powered electric generators.

O’Neill made a motion to defeat the proposed rules during a Regulations Review Committee meeting at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The proposed regulation as written would allow the State Siting Council to waive crucial requirements in allowing an application for a windmill location to go forward for unspecified reasons that the Siting Council could interpret as good cause. O’Neill said that made the regulations weak and insufficient to protect the interests of municipalities.

“The concern I have with this proposed regulation is that the interests of local property owners and municipalities could be trumped with little or no good reason,” he said.

The Council of Small Towns (COST) and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), both advocacy groups for municipal governments, also voiced their opposition to the proposed regulations.

O’Neill said the regulation was rejected without prejudice, meaning it could be brought back before the Regulations Review Committee.