For immediate release: October 18, 2000
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

Energy Commission Staff Completes
First of Two-Part Final Assessment
Of Proposed Otay Mesa Generating Project

Sacramento -- The first of a two-part Final Staff Assessment of the construction and operation of the proposed Otay Mesa Generating Project is now available from the California Energy Commission. The report and a detailed description of the power project can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's Web Site located at:

The Final Staff Assessment is an Energy Commission document presenting staff's independent analysis. This report examines engineering and environmental aspects of the proposed Otay Mesa Generating Project based on information about the project that is currently available.

Although the analysis is complete in 18 areas, review of air quality information recently received by the Energy Commission and resolution of the remaining traffic and land use issues will be crucial to the Energy Commission's decision on the Otay Mesa Project. Once these issues have been resolved, staff will be able to make a final recommendation on the project.

The second part of the assessment, scheduled for release on October 27, 2000, will include staff's final analyses of the air quality, traffic, transportation and land-use issues.

The Energy Commission's staff assessment contains analyses similar to those contained in the Environmental Impact Reports required by the California Environmental Quality Act. It is not a proposed decision on the project. The report presents conclusions and proposed conditions that staff recommends apply to the design, construction, operation, and closure of the proposed facility, if approved.

On October 6, 1999, the Energy Commission began its review of Otay Mesa Generating Company's application to build and operate the 510-megawatt natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant located in western San Diego County, on a site about 15 miles southwest of San Diego and about 1.5 miles north of the United States/Mexico Border. After the application was submitted, the developer made modifications to the project and its air emission mitigation proposal.

The Final Staff Assessment will be presented at hearings on the project held by the Otay Mesa Siting Case Committee. During these hearings, two assigned Commissioners will consider the recommendations of all interested parties, including those of local citizens and other local, state and federal agencies. After these hearings, the Commissioners will recommend a final decision for adoption by the full five-member Energy Commission.

A Prehearing Conference has been scheduled on the proposed Otay Mesa Generating Project:

MONDAY, October 30, 2000
2 to 5 p.m.
South Board Chambers - Room 358
San Diego County Administration Building
1600 Pacific Highway
San Diego, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

This Prehearing Conference provides an opportunity for the parties and interested agencies to identify which substantive topics in this proceeding have been resolved, which topics require further analysis, and which topics require adjudication at the evidentiary hearings that will be scheduled by the Otay Mesa Siting Committee.

Persons requiring information on how to participate in the Energy Commission's review of the proposed project should contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser at (916) 654-4489, toll free (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at

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