Gov. Phil Scott has chosen Vermont’s new top utility regulator – an experienced attorney who has challenged the state over an industrial wind project.
Anthony Roisman, of Weathersfield, was named Public Service Board chairman by the governor on Thursday. The three-member panel regulates energy siting and public utilities, and recently issued more restrictive sound standards for wind turbines.
In 2007, Roisman represented a citizens’ group called Ridge Protectors in an appeal of the Public Service Board’s approval of a 16-turbine wind project on Sheffield Mountain. The appeal failed at the Vermont Supreme Court.
In a telephone interview, Roisman said he personally opposes ridgeline wind development, like Gov. Scott, but will judge each project according to the law.
“Personally, I am not a fan of them on high ridgelines,” Roisman said. “That said, my job in the Public Service Board is to decide cases that come before me. … I’m sitting now not as an advocate, but as a judge.”
Roisman graduated from Harvard Law School in 1963 and has been practicing law for more than 50 years.
His career has included litigation on behalf of families exposed to toxic substances, an adjunct professorship in environmental studies at Dartmouth College, and consulting with the Vermont Department of Public Service related to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
“Tony has been involved in administrative and legal proceedings involving energy facilities and energy issues for more than five decades,” Scott said in a statement, “and I believe his experience will serve Vermont well as we navigate the transition to a cleaner and more affordable energy future that supports stronger economic growth and lower costs for families and employers.”
Roisman said that as chairman of the Public Service Board, he will seek to ensure the panel makes efficient and consistent decisions, and that all players have the chance to share their views.
“I would like us to have a more robust assistance to people who want to participate in the process,” Roisman said.
The salary for the position is $144,997, according to an online database maintained by the Vermont Department of Human Resources.
Roisman will fill a seat vacated by outgoing Chairman James Volz, and the appointment is effective June 12.
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