[California Energy Commission Letterhead]



STATE OF CALIFORNIA



Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission


In the Matter of:                                     )
Docket No. 97-AFC-1                           )
Application for Certification for the      ) ORDER DENYING MOTION
HIGH DESERT Power Project            )
________________________________)




I. BACKGROUND

At the close of the February 18, 2000 evidentiary hearing, the Committee provided a briefing period extending until March 7, 2000. On that date, the Victor Valley Water District (VVWD), among others, submitted a "Brief" addressing matters covered during the hearing.

On March 13, 2000, Mr. Gary Ledford, an Intervenor in these proceedings, filed a "Motion to Strike to Purge Docket to Reject the Brief of Victor Valley Water District" (Motion).

Mr. Ledford contends VVWD has no standing to file a Brief, that the signatory of the Brief cannot act on behalf of VVWD, and that the Brief seeks to modify a portion of the evidence of record.

II. DISCUSSION

VVWD, while not a formal party to these proceedings, is a public agency with material interest in, and knowledge of, the project’s water supply plan. VVWD’s representative has participated and provided testimony at several hearings. The statute and the regulations specifically encourage this type of public agency participation in our licensing proceedings. Moreover, comments – whether from individual members of the public or from public agencies – are recognized as a valuable source of information under both the Warren-Alquist and the California Environmental Quality Acts. Thus, the law encourages public agency input on appropriate matters.

There are no applicable restrictions on timely and relevant post-hearing comments, such as those submitted by VVWD, whether contained in a document entitled "Brief" or in one with some other nomenclature. We note that Mr. Hill, the signatory to the document challenged by Mr. Ledford, has consistently represented himself as the spokesperson for VVWD, including at public hearings and in the presence of members of VVWD’s governing Board. No one has challenged this role until now, and there is no reason to conclude that Mr. Hill is acting without proper authorization.

Finally, VVWD’s March 7 submittal summarizes its position on relevant matters addressed during the hearing and indicates that it would consider entering into an agreement to resolve concerns expressed by Staff. This is a permissible and a potentially constructive approach traditionally favored in our proceedings. At this time there is no presentation of evidence as suggested by Mr. Ledford. Any desire to enter additional evidence is appropriately the subject of another motion to reopen the evidentiary record.


III. ORDER

For the reasons above, Intervenor Ledford’s Motion is denied.



Dated: March 17, 2000.
ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION






ROBERT A. LAURIE, Commissioner
WILLIAM J. KEESE, Chairman
Presiding Member Associate Member
High Desert AFC Committee High Desert AFC Committee








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