Public Information and Comments
in Siting Cases
- Public Information and Comments in Siting Cases
- Understanding the Energy Commission Docket
- Summary of Typical Public Involvement Opportunities in Energy Commission Siting Cases
Public involvement is an important part of Energy Commission proceedings. The Energy Commission promotes an open process, enabling those who are interested or affected by a proceeding to have an opportunity to stay informed and influence the outcome. Successful public involvement is a two-way street, comprised of obtaining information and giving information.
Obtaining InformationAccess to Energy Commission information is an integral aspect of our open public process. Information is available in various formats and without charge. These formats include:
The Energy Commission website (www.energy.ca.gov) contains a wide variety of information about the Energy Commission including: information on individual siting cases and various proceedings; the Energy Commission's Calendar of Events; Business Meeting agendas; division activities and projects; various reports and publications; Energy Rebate information; list servers; and other various pieces of information pertaining to the Energy Commission.
The "List Server"
Interested persons can be assured notification of upcoming Energy Commission public meetings on a siting case, proceeding or topic of interest by adding their names to the appropriate automated internet e-mail list (called "list servers"). These lists allow the public to subscribe for free and to receive various notices, announcements and documents. Persons may make this request at any of the public sessions they attend, sign up on the Energy Commission's website, or contact the Public Adviser. To sign up on the website, go to: www.energy.ca.gov/listservers.
Mailing lists are available for specific projects and proceedings. Mailing lists are similar to the List Server lists, in that they provide notice of events and documents. If you are signed up on a List Server list for a project of concern or interest to you, there would be no need to sign up on the mailing list. However, if you wish to receive notification via U.S. postal service, contact the staff contact as noted on the proceeding's webpage, or the Public Adviser's Office to place your name and address on the appropriate list.
The Public Adviser
The Public Adviser can assist the public in understanding the process and in obtaining documents or notices.
If you are concerned about issues before the Energy Commission, voice your opinion. There are processes and effective ways to communicate your position to the Energy Commission. First, do some research and check the Energy Commission's website on the project of your concern for specific instructions or contact information.
Public Comments Privacy Notice:
All written comments and materials will be filed with the Dockets Unit and will become part of the public record of the proceeding and will be searchable via the Internet. However, not every comment may be posted to the Commission's website even though it is part of the public record. Please note that if you provide personal information such as your email address or home address in your comments or materials, that information will become part of the public record as well. Please consider whether your personal information is essential to your comment before providing it to the Commission.
Levels of Public Involvement
The Energy Commission welcomes two distinct types of public participation in siting cases. The public may choose to participate informally or may choose formal participation by becoming a party to a proceeding, referred to as an "intervenor".
Informal Participation in Siting Cases
Formal Participation in Siting Cases
Participating at Energy Commission meetings, workshops and hearings provides an opportunity to hear the positions of others and to decide if individual interests are being represented.
In the hearing of the evidence, informal participants can comment and offer opinions to the Commissioners. Such comments will be considered, but will not have the weight of formal evidence. Therefore, such verbal or written comments will not by themselves be sufficient to support a decision on any issue before the Commission. However, public comments may raise issues and concerns that ultimately influence how a project is analyzed by Energy Commission staff.
In the early phases of the siting process, there is not a lot of difference between informal and formal participation. However, when a siting case reaches the point that the decision-making body is ready to listen to formal evidence on the many siting case issues, the difference is more apparent.
As an informal participant, copies of public documents are available upon request.
Any person or group may file to intervene in any siting case. You do not have to be an attorney or be represented by an attorney.
In power plant licensing cases, intervenors have the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as other parties to the proceeding, such as the applicant and Energy Commission staff. Parties can present testimony through evidence and witnesses to strengthen their position. They must serve documents on all parties, must respond to data or information requests from all other parties and must comply with all requirements of the parties.
Copies of documents are served upon parties to the proceeding.
Determine what it is you want to convey and the best method to make your views known. Consider if becoming an intervenor to a proceeding will meet your needs. For more information on this, see Intervening in Siting Cases, or contact the Public Adviser's Office.
Making your views known
Individuals in the community have valuable information that can help the Energy Commission make decisions on specific projects or cases under Energy Commission jurisdiction. Through the open process, the public is welcome to attend all publicly noticed hearings, workshops, conferences and meetings. Interested persons will have an opportunity to submit comments or make a presentation of personal views on the topic(s) addressed at these events, as well as listen to and analyze all other views.
There are several ways to provide comments on siting cases:
write a letter and send through U.S. mail.
submit an email message; be sure to provide the topic and your name.
Attend a publicly noticed workshop or hearing:
either make oral comments or submit a written statement.
Participate in a publicly noticed workshop or hearing from a distance, when available.
Some proceedings use technology tools to enable the public to participate, even when they are unable to attend in person. Webex connection through personal computers and telephone connections are often available. The notice for the specific proceeding will indicate the availability of these options, and include directions, if appropriate.
Public Adviser's Office
Power Plant Siting Information
- Site Certification Process General Overview
- Public Information & Comments in Siting Cases
- Intervening in Siting Cases
- More Siting Information