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City of Brockton v. Energy Facilities Siting Board (No. 1) (and two consolidated cases) (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-131-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-11406 CITY OF BROCKTON  vs.  ENERGY FACILITIES SITING BOARD (No. 1) (and two consolidated cases[1]). Suffolk.     March 4, 2014. – July 31, 2014.   Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.[2]     Energy Facilities Siting Board.  Public Utilities, Energy company, Electric company.  Electric Company.  Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.  Administrative Law, Decision, Judicial review, Substantial evidence.  Environment, Air pollution, Environmental impact report.  Municipal Corporations, Electric plant, Water supply.       Civil actions commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on August 24, August 28, and September 2, 2009.   After consolidation, the case was reported by Spina, J.      Lisa C. Goodheart (Phelps T. Turner, Joshua D. Nadreau, & Staci Rubin with her) for Frank J. Babbin & others. John L. Holgerson for town of West Bridgwater. Gregor I. McGregor (Nathaniel Stevens with him) for city of Brockton. Sookyoung Shin, Assistant Attorney General, for Energy Facilities Siting Board. David S. Rosenzweig (Erika J. Hafner & Michael J. Koehler with him) for Brockton Power Company LLC. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Veronica Eady for Conservation Law Foundation. Rahsaan D. Hall, Matthew Cregor, Sasha N. Kopf, Tyler D. Crosby, & Priya A. Lane for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. Wendy B. Jacobs & Aladdine D. Joroff for Hands Across the River Coalition.     BOTSFORD, J.  Brockton Power Company LLC (Brockton Power, or company) filed a petition pursuant to G. L. c. 164, § 69J¼ (§ 69J¼), with the Energy Facilities Siting Board (board) to construct and operate a 350-megawatt combined-cycle energy generating facility (facility) powered by natural gas and ultra-low sulfur distillate (ULSD) on a 13.2-acre lot in the city of Brockton (city).  After extensive hearings, the board approved Brockton Power’s petition, with conditions.  The city, the town of West Bridgewater (town), and a group of residents of the city and the town (residents), all interveners in the proceedings before the board (collectively, interveners), filed appeals in the county court pursuant to G. L. c. 164, § 69P, and G. L. c. 25, § 5.[3]  A single justice reserved and reported the case to the full court.[4]      On appeal the interveners argue[5] that the board (1) failed to adopt and apply the 2002 environmental justice policy that is a binding environmental protection policy of the Commonwealth; (2) improperly relied on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm

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