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For immediate release: September 19, 2002
Media Contact: Chris Davis - 916-654-4989

Energy Commission/Western Power Administration
Release Analysis of East Altamont Energy Center

Sacramento - The East Altamont Energy Center is needed to support the development of Northern California's electrical supply and provide power under contract to the California Department of Water Resources. That is one of the conclusions of the state and federal Final Staff Assessment of the Calpine proposal now available from the California Energy Commission.

The Final Staff Assessment contains the Energy Commission and the Western Area Power Administration (Western) staff's independent analyses and recommends approval of the East Altamont Project with specific conditions of certification and mitigation measures.

Among the recommended conditions of certification are a requirement for the applicant to commit to using recycled water for all non-potable operational needs of the plant as soon as possible. The report also recommends two options to reduce the local impacts of air emissions from the power project and calls for the full implementation of conditions proposed by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The staff assessment can be viewed and printed from the Energy Commission's website at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/eastaltamont

The East Altamont project and its related facilities such as transmission lines, natural gas line, water supply lines and wastewater lines are under the Energy Commission's jurisdiction. When reviewing a project, the Energy Commission acts as lead state agency under the California Environmental Quality Act, a process functionally equivalent to the preparation of an environmental impact report.

The project is also under the jurisdiction of the Western because the power plant will, if certified by the Energy Commission, interconnent at the Tracy substation with Western's 800-miles of high-voltage transmission lines and associated facilities in Northern California. Western is a part of the U.S. Department of Energy which markets power from federal hydroelectric plants such as those at Shasta and Folsom Dams.

The analysis was completed jointly to minimize duplication between state and federal agencies. The assessment provides an evaluation of the project by the staffs of the Energy Commission and Western, providing the basis of state and federal decisions on the East Altamont power plant proposal.

The $400 - $500 million East Altamont Energy Center, proposed by the Calpine Corporation, would be an 1,100 megawatt, natural-gas-fired, combined-cycle facility with a 230-kilovolt switchyard and approximately half a mile of transmission lines. If approved, the plant would be built on a 174-acre site in unincorporated Alameda County, one mile southeast of the Contra Costa County line. Construction would be completed and the project would be on-line by summer 2005.

The next step in this licensing process includes workshops and a pre-hearing conference to be held in early October to work through unresolved issues and plan for the evidentiary hearings to be held later in the month.

Workshop Schedule:
Friday, October 4, 2002
Beginning at 10 a.m. and ending about 6 p.m.
Elks Lodge #2031
6400 East 11th Street
Tracy, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Monday, October 7, 2002
Pre-hearing conference at 10 a.m.
Workshop immediately following (around 2 p.m.)
California Energy Commission
Hearing Room A
1516 9th Street
Sacramento, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Beginning at 6 p.m. and ending about 10 p.m.
Elks Lodge #2031
6400 East 11th Street
Tracy, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)

The East Altamont Siting Committee, consisting of Energy Commission Chairman William J. Keese, Presiding Member, and Commissioner Robert Pernell, Associate Member, has scheduled formal evidentiary hearings on the power plant proposal on October 15 & 16, 2002 with continuation dates, if needed, of October 21 & 22, 2002. A formal notice will be issued in advance of the evidentiary hearings with times and the location.

Public participation is an important part of the power plant cerification process. People may participate in the process in a variety of ways. To find out how to participate, contact Roberta Mendonca, the Energy Commission's Public Adviser, at (916) 654-4489, toll free at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail at: [pao@energy.state.ca.us].

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