2. Permit and license applications. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the board shall decide each application for approval of permits and licenses that in its judgment represents a project of statewide significance. A project of statewide significance is a project that meets at least 3 of the following 4 criteria:
H. Is located in more than one municipality, territory or county. [PL 2011, c. 304, Pt. H, §6 (NEW).]
The board shall also decide each application for approval of permits and licenses that is referred to it jointly by the commissioner and the applicant.
The board shall assume jurisdiction over applications referred to it under section 344, subsection 2‑A when it finds that at least 3 of the 4 criteria of this subsection have been met.
The board may vote to assume jurisdiction of an application if it finds that at least 3 of the 4 criteria of this subsection have been met.
The board may not assume jurisdiction over an application for an expedited wind energy development as defined in Title 35‑A, section 3451, subsection 4, for a certification pursuant to Title 35‑A, section 3456 or for a general permit pursuant to section 480‑HH or section 636‑A.
Prior to holding a hearing on an application over which the board has assumed jurisdiction, the board shall ensure that the department and any outside agency review staff assisting the department in its review of the application have submitted to the applicant and the board their review comments on the application and any additional information requests pertaining to the application and that the applicant has had an opportunity to respond to those comments and requests. If additional information needs arise during the hearing, the board shall afford the applicant a reasonable opportunity to respond to those information requests prior to the close of the hearing record.