For Immediate Release: March 2, 1999
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Siting Committee
Revises Sutter Power Project
Licensing Conditions

Sacramento -- Approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build a natural gas pipeline within the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge has enabled Calpine to meet one of two licensing conditions set out by an Energy Commission Siting Committee for the proposed Sutter Power Project.

A Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision, released today from the Energy Commission, reports Calpine has received permission from the federal government to cross the wildlife refuge in an existing easement with a 14.9 mile natural gas pipeline for the proposed 500-megawatt combined cycle Sutter Power Project.

Calpine has proposed construction and operation of the 500 megawatt natural gas-fueled, combined cycle electric generation facility on a site adjacent to Calpine's existing Greenleaf Unit 1, approximately seven miles southwest of Yuba City, on South Township Road near the intersection with Best Road.

As outlined in a prior Proposed Decision in January, the Energy Commission's Siting Committee licensing recommendation remains contingent on Sutter County's action on Calpine's request for a general plan amendment. The county supervisors are scheduled to decide if the site's land-use designation will be changed from agricultural to industrial use at their March 30, 1999 meeting.

Without this approval, the Committee's Revised Decision will not allow certification of the project.

The Sutter Power Project Committee, comprised of Energy Commissioner Michal (spelled correctly) C. Moore, Presiding Member and Chairman William J. Keese, Associate Member, has scheduled an evidentiary hearing on the project on March 10, 1999 at 9 a.m. at the Bonanza Inn, Convention Center, Room A, 1001 Clark Avenue, Yuba City.

At the hearing members of the public may comment on the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. Evidence regarding change in the source of the project's emission reduction credits and testimony from a local crop duster will also be presented.

The updated Committee recommendation reviews the Sutter Power Project in 28 separate topics including environmental impacts, public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, alternatives and engineering. The Committee document specifies 165 Conditions of Certification designed to ensure that the project will not impose a significant adverse impact on the environment.

Public comments on the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision must be submitted to the Commission within 15 days. Comments must be addressed to:

California Energy Commission
Docket Unit, MS-4
Attn: Docket No. 97-AFC-2
1516 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

The Sutter Power Project Siting Committee's recommendation, contained in the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision, is subject to approval by the full five-member Energy Commission at the Commission's regularly scheduled Business Meeting on March 17, 1999.

The Commission will not consider final certification for construction and operation of the project until after the Sutter County Board of Supervisors rule on Calpine's request for a general plan amendment.

The California Energy Commission is responsible for reviewing all thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger. The Commission's review process includes a comprehensive and objective analysis of all issues including but not limited to public health and safety, air quality, hazardous materials, environmental impacts, engineering design and need specified in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The decision is based on evidence presented after formal public hearings.

The Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision on the Sutter Power Plant Project will be available on the Energy Commission's Web Site at:

Note to Editors: The nine-page Executive Summary portion of the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision is also available, via fax, from the Energy Commission's Media and Communications Office. Contact Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director at (916) 654-4989.

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