Section 248 of Title 30 requires companies to obtain a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Service Board (PSB) before beginning site preparation or construction of electric transmission facilities, electric generation facilities and certain gas pipelines within Vermont.
The ten Act 250 criteria for evaluating the potential effects of a project are also utilized in the Section 248 process. For projects requiring a Certificate of Public Good, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (VDHP), acting as the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), conducts its reviews pursuant to Criterion 8: Aesthetics, Historic Sites and Rare or Irreplaceable Natural Areas. Project review consists of evaluating the project's potential impacts to historic buildings and structures, historic districts, historic landscapes and settings, and known or potential archeological resources.
The purpose of VDHP’s review under Section 248 is to provide the PSB with the information necessary to make a positive finding under the “historic sites” aspect of Criterion 8. VDHP relies on Rule 4: Historic and Archaeological Sites and the Act 250 Process to guide our reviews of Section 248 projects. VDHP will review project information submitted directly to our office by a permit applicant or will review the information contained in the original application submitted to the PSB.
Applicants are encouraged to contact VDHP early and often in the project planning process. VDHP can assist in identifying historic and cultural resources in the project area and provide guidance on how to evaluate and avoid potential impacts to those resources. This will ensure protection of historic and cultural resources and save project time and money in the development of your project.
How do I begin consultation with the SHPO for my project?
The Section 248 program is overseen by the Public Service Board. For detailed information about the Section 248 program and the process of applying for a Certificate of Public Good, please visit the Public Service Board website.
The Public Service Board maintains an online database of existing applications for Certificates of Public Good and materials for proposed projects.
The online version of the Citizen’s Guide to the Vermont Public Service Board’s Section 248 Process is a good resource for information about the program.
Jamie Duggan, Senior Historic Preservation Review Coordinator