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DPU 21-50/EFSB 21-01: Hearing Officer Memorandum (8/9/2022)

Roundtable Ground Rules and Requirements for Presentations

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Table of Contents


On July 19, 2022, the Department and Siting Board issued a Hearing Officer Memorandum announcing a jointly held virtual stakeholder roundtable to gather input on increasing the visibility of our public notices and improving public and stakeholder involvement in our proceedings. This memorandum establishes the schedule, access details, and ground rules for the roundtable.

Stakeholder Roundtable

The Department and Siting Board will conduct the joint stakeholder roundtable on August 25, 2022. The roundtable schedule is provided in Section III below. Because of ongoing COVID19 pandemic-related safety concerns, the Department and Siting Board will conduct the roundtable using Zoom videoconferencing. Any person may participate in the livestream of the roundtable by entering the link, https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87218411279, from a computer, smartphone, or tablet. No prior software download is required. For audio-only participation in the roundtable, dial (646) 558-8656 (not toll free) and then enter the Meeting ID# 872 1841 1279.

This roundtable will be available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, simplified Chinese, and Vietnamese. To access interpretation services during the roundtable, click on the “Interpretation” button (denoted by a globe icon 🌐) on the menu at the bottom of the Zoom screen and select the appropriate language. To request additional language services, contact Laurie Ellen Weisman, Hearing Officer, at laurie.e.weisman@mass.gov, Scott Seigal, Hearing Officer, at scott.seigal@mass.gov, or Donna Sharkey, Hearing Officer, at donna.sharkey@mass.gov. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), contact Melixza G. Esenyie, ADA and Diversity Manager at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs at Melixza.Esenyie2@mass.gov or 617-626-1282.

Stakeholder Roundtable Schedule

The Department and Siting Board have established the following agenda outline. Each topic will begin with brief presentations from designated stakeholders1. This schedule is subject to revision at the discretion of the Hearing Officers.

9:30 – 9:50 Introduction by Department and Siting Board
9:50 – 12:30 Topic 1: Improved communication with customers, community-based organizations, and local government officials to maximize public engagement in our proceedings.
12:30 – 1:15 Break for lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Topic 2: Whether all notices for agency proceedings should receive the same level of publication and outreach, or whether there should be some prioritization or variation in approach to avoid overwhelming or desensitizing readers with frequent notices. If there should be variation, discuss the types of proceedings that warrant additional publication and outreach efforts.
2:25 – 2:40 Break
2:40 – 4:00 Topic 3: The most effective methods that Distribution Companies use currently to reach customers
4:00 – 5:00 Recap and next steps


Guidelines for Roundtable

A. Public Access

The roundtable will be live-streamed via the Zoom videoconferencing platform. The Zoom link is provided in Section II above. The roundtable will also be live-streamed and recorded for future viewing on YouTube at the Department’s YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCklPj6xxSKww-Kr26lEZVTA.

B. Technical Assistance

Presenters and commenters should report any technical difficulties during the roundtable to 857-200-0065. For technical assistance questions prior to the roundtable, please contact Laurie Ellen Weisman, Hearing Officer, at laurie.e.weisman@mass.gov, Scott Seigal, Hearing Officer, at scott.seigal@mass.gov, or Donna Sharkey, Hearing Officer, at donna.sharkey@mass.gov.

C. Presenters

1. Designated Presenters

Presenters must identify themselves on Zoom by their full name and organization affiliation. The roundtable will have a monitor who facilitates the admission of presenters (and commenters) to speak. To ensure the orderly conduct of the roundtable, the Department and Siting Board will call upon each presenter when it is their turn to present. The monitor will then move the presenter to the panelist level to present. After the presentation, the presenter will be moved back to the attendee level.

2. Video

Presenters are expected to make their appearances by video and “Share Screen” presentations while presenting. Each presenter must take reasonable measures to ensure that they have access to the equipment and internet access necessary to appear by video and share screen presentations.

D. Commenters

To facilitate an orderly roundtable, participants should use the Raise Hand function at the bottom of their Zoom screen, or by dialing “*9” for call-in participants. The Hearing Officer will call upon participants in the order that they appear on the Hearing Officer’s screen. The monitor will then move the participant to the panelist level to provide their comment. After the participant completes their comment, the participant will be moved back to the attendee level. To accommodate as many commenters as possible, the Department and Siting Board request that comments be limited to approximately three minutes each and relate to the topic at issue. Please do not repeat your previously filed written comments.

E. Presentations and Comments

All presenters and commenters should speak slowly and clearly for the benefit of the interpreters and other participants. While the Hearing Officers will try to limit disruptions, the Hearing Officer may interrupt and ask presenters and commenters to repeat themselves or slow down.

F. Roundtable Arrangements and Breaks

The roundtable will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. unless otherwise directed by the Hearing Officers. Scheduled breaks will occur as follows: 45 minutes at 12:30 p.m. and 15 minutes at 2:25 p.m. The Hearing Officers may modify the scheduled breaks or schedule additional breaks as necessary.

G. Questions

For any questions regarding this memorandum, please contact Laurie Ellen Weisman, Hearing Officer, at laurie.e.weisman@mass.gov, Scott Seigal, Hearing Officer, at scott.seigal@mass.gov, or Donna Sharkey, Hearing Officer, at donna.sharkey@mass.gov.

The selection of these presenters does not indicate an endorsement of the viewpoints or opinions of the presenters by the Department or Siting Board.

Date published: August 9, 2022

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