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Oregon Expedited Plant Commissioning Process (7-OR-d)


Expedited Plant Commissioning Process Process

Power Plants with an average electric generating capacity of less than 100 megawatts may request an expedited review under Oregon Revised Statutes 469.010 et seq. from the Oregon Department of Energy to decrease the time and extent of Oregon’s power plant commissioning process.

7-OR-d.1 – Request for Expedited Review

The developer must submit a Request for Expedited Review to the Oregon Department of Energy. If the proposed energy facility has, as a related or supporting facility, a transmission line or pipeline that, by itself, is an energy facility under the definition in ORS 469.300, the proposed energy facility is not eligible for expedited review. The request must include:

  • A description of the facility and the proposed site;
  • The applicant’s name and address;
  • A schedule stating when the applicant expects to submit a preliminary application for a site certificate;
  • A list of all statutes, rules and ordinances applicable to the facility;
  • A statement indicating whether the applicant intends to satisfy the Council’s land use standard, OAR 345-022-0030, by obtaining local land use approval pursuant to ORS 469.504(1)(a) or by seeking a Council determination pursuant to ORS 469.504(1)(b); and
  • The reason and justification for any request for exception to an analysis area as provided in OAR 345-015-0300(3)

7-OR-d.2 to 7-OR-d.3 – Does the ODOE grant expedited review

The ODOE grants the expedited review if it confirms the average electric generating capacity of the power plant is less than 100 megawatts. If the ODOE grants the expedited review, the developer continues with the expedited plant commissioning process, otherwise the developer must initiate the standard state plant commissioning process.

State Plant Commissioning Process:
7-OR-b

7-OR-d.4 – Preliminary Application

An application for a site certificate includes a detailed description of the proposed site, the proposed facility and the anticipated impacts. The applicant must show how the proposed facility complies with the Council’s standards. The Project Order and the specific requirements of OAR 345-021-0010 define the content of the application.

In the Preliminary Application, the applicant must choose whether to seek land use approval from the local jurisdiction or to have the Council make the land use determination. Once the applicant has made the choice, the applicant may not later amend the application to make a different choice. If the Council makes the land use determination, the Council will apply the applicable substantive criteria in effect on the date the application is submitted. The local government is asked to identify the applicable land use criteria.

The purpose of the application is to give the Council the information needed to determine compliance with energy facility siting standards. Although OAR 345-021-0010 calls for specific detailed information, applicants should include any additional information that is important to a demonstration of compliance with the standards.

For pipelines and transmission lines, the applicant selects the final proposed corridor in the Preliminary Application, although the applicant has the option of requesting a site certificate that includes more than one corridor. The Preliminary Application must document a detailed corridor selection assessment using criteria set forth in OAR 345-021-0010(1)(b)(D), including consideration of any comments from the public, interested agencies and local governments.

Filing the Application

The Department reviews the Preliminary Application to determine if it is complete. The Department determines whether the application contains enough information to support findings by the Council that the facility meets the applicable standards. If necessary to find the application complete, the Department requests additional information from the applicant. During this "completeness" phase, there often are changes or additions to the application, either in response to the Department´s questions or as the result of changes in the applicant’s plans.

When the Department determines the application is complete, the Department asks the applicant to submit an Application Supplement, which compiles all of the additional information the applicant has submitted after the Preliminary Application was submitted. The Department "files" the application after the Supplement is received. The Department issues a public notice when the application is filed.

See facility siting website.

7-OR-d.5 - Distribute Preliminary Application to Reviewing Agencies

The developer must distribute the Preliminary Application to any reviewing agencies.

7-OR-d.6 – Issue Project Order

Following the approval of a request for expedited review, the ODOE issues a project order, which the ODOE may amend at any time. The Project Order identifies applicable statutes, rules and local ordinances. It describes any special information needed for the application. The Project Order defines the analysis areas over which the applicant must assess the facility’s potential impacts. The Department will determine these areas based on the type of facility and its location. The analysis areas vary for different types of impacts.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.7 to 7-OR-d.8 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Department reviews the Preliminary Application to determine if it is complete. The Department determines whether the application contains enough information to support findings by the Council that the facility meets the applicable standards. If necessary to find the application complete, the Department requests additional information from the applicant. During this "completeness" phase, there often are changes or additions to the application, either in response to the Department´s questions or as the result of changes in the applicant’s plans.

7-OR-d.9 – Application Supplement

When the Department determines the application is complete, the Department asks the applicant to submit an Application Supplement, which compiles all of the additional information the applicant has submitted after the Preliminary Application was submitted. The Department "files" the application after the Supplement is received. The Department issues a public notice when the application is filed.

See facility siting website.

7-OR-d.10 - Draft Proposed Order & Notice of Public Hearing

The draft proposed order phase begins when the application is complete and ends when the Department issues a draft proposed order. The draft proposed order describes the proposed facility and summarizes the Department´s recommendations to the Council. The draft proposed order includes proposed findings on each of the Council´s standards. If the Department recommends that the Council approve a site certificate, the draft proposed order includes proposed conditions for the construction and operation of the energy facility.

Since 2005, the time needed to complete the draft proposed order phase has ranged from less than two months to about five months in the standard process. In expedited reviews, the draft proposed order phase has averaged about two months.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.11 - Hold Public Hearing

The Department issues a public notice of the Draft Proposed Order. The public notice includes notice of a public hearing. The hearing is essential to Oregon´s energy facility siting process, ensuring that the process of siting energy facilities in the state is a public process. Anyone having a concern in opposition to the proposed facility must raise the issue on the record of the hearing: To raise an issue on the record of the public hearing, a person must raise the issue in person at the public hearing or in a written comment submitted after the date of the notice and received by the Department before the deadline given in the notice. Failure to raise an issue in person or in writing on the record of the public hearing with sufficient specificity to afford the decision maker an opportunity to respond to the issue precludes consideration of the issue in a contested case. To raise an issue with sufficient specificity, a person must present facts that support the person’s position on the issue.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.12 - Review Draft Proposed Order

After issuing the draft proposed order, the Department conducts a public hearing. After the public hearing, the Council reviews the draft proposed order and the comments from the public hearing. The Council meeting is open to the public, but the Council does not take additional public comment on the application at the meeting. Based on the Council discussion and direction to Department staff, the Department prepares and issues a proposed order and a notice of a contested case proceeding.

The proposed order phase begins when the Department issues the draft proposed order and ends when the Department issued the proposed order. Since 2005, the time needed to complete this phase in both the standard review process and the expedited review process has averaged about two months.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.13 - Is the Case Contested

The decision phase begins when the Department issues the proposed order and ends when the Council issues its final order.

Upon issuance of the proposed order, the Department issues a notice of a contested case proceeding. An independent hearing officer is in charge of the contested case proceeding, subject to the Council´s rules and the rules of Oregon´s Administrative Procedures Act. In general, the contested case proceeding includes the following:

  • A process to identify the parties in the proceeding and to determine the overall schedule and procedures
  • The hearing officer´s determination of the issues that the proceeding will address based on issues raised at the public hearing
  • A process and period for discovery
  • Presentation by the parties of testimony and rebuttal (this is customarily done in written form)
  • Cross-examination (this is customarily done orally)
  • Filing of the parties´ opening briefs and reply briefs
  • The hearing officer´s deliberation and issuance of a proposed contested case order
  • The parties´ submission of exceptions to the proposed contested case order and responses to exceptions

After the conclusion of the contested case proceeding, the Council meets to review the hearing officer´s proposed order and, if there are intervenors, the parties´ exceptions and responses. The Council meeting is open to the public, but only parties to the contested case may comment at the meeting. Comments are limited to the issues in the contested case and to the facts presented during the contested case. The Council deliberates on the hearing officer´s proposed contested case order and Department´s proposed order (with regard to non-contested matters) and makes a decision whether to approve a site certificate. The Council then issues a final order. If there are no parties who object to the proposed order, the contested case proceeding can be brief. In most cases, however, there have been significant issues to be addressed in the contested case proceeding.

Since 2005, the time needed for the decision phase for both standard and expedited review has been less than a month and a half. There have been no significant contested case issues.

The Council´s decision is subject to reconsideration and judicial review. A party to the contested case may request reconsideration within 30 days after the Council´s decision. A petition for judicial review must be filed within 60 days after the decision. The Oregon Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction for judicial review.

See siting website.

Appeal

Following the Council’s Final Order, any party to the contested case has 30 days to apply for a rehearing. A party may petition for judicial review within 60 days after the date of service of the Council´s Final Order (or within 30 days after the date a petition for rehearing is denied). The filing of a petition for judicial review does not automatically stay the Council´s Final Order.

The Oregon Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction for judicial review of the Council´s decision. The Supreme Court is required, under ORS 469.403, to render a decision within six months following the filing of the petition for review.

See siting website.



7-OR-d.14 - Proposed Order & Notice of Contested Case

Based on the comments of the Council, public comment on the record of the public hearing described above and consultation with other governmental agencies, the Department then issues a Proposed Order. At the same time, the Department sends a notice of contested case to persons who appeared in person or in writing at the public hearing.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.15 - Proposed Contested Case Order

At the conclusion of the contested case proceeding, the hearing officer issues a Proposed Contested Case Order. The parties in the contested case proceeding may file exceptions to the proposed order.

See siting website.

7-OR-d.16 - Site Certification

Following the contested case proceeding, the Council decides whether or not to issue a site certificate. The Council grants a site certificate if at least four members of the Council agree. The Council issues its decision in a Final Order.




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