STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Conservation and Development Commission
In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 97-AFC-1 ) Application for Certification ) THIRD REVISED SCHEDULING for the High Desert Power Project ) ORDER ___________________________________)
The parties discussed scheduling considerations at the July 1, 1998 Committee Conference. They also filed status reports on July 8, 1998 which, in part, also addressed these matters.
The Committee has evaluated both the oral and written comments of the parties in formulating this Order.
II. SUMMARY OF EVENTS
This Order supersedes the Second Revised Scheduling Order dated June 1, 1998. The events referred to are as reflected in that Order. Since June 1, many of the scheduled events have occurred (i.e. events #8, 9, 9A, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 23), while intervening circumstances have rendered several events moot (i.e. #13, 20, 20A). In addition, some events have been delayed (i.e. #10, 15, 21, 24, 25), while others are as yet incomplete (i.e. #14, 16). These factors directly affect the remaining scheduled events (i.e. #22, 22A, 26), most notably issuance of a complete Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA; event #27).
The complexity of this combination of factors necessitates revisiting our expectations for the availability of data and information still required for project analysis. The pertinent events are discussed below.
A. Delayed Events
Event #10. [Cal-ISO determination re: Interconnection Study - June 8, 1998.] The Committee understands that the Cal-ISO did not obtain the most recent version of the Interconnection Study until approximately July 8. The Committee further understands that the Cal-ISO may need additional clarification, and therefore does not anticipate being able to prepare its determination until approximately August 31, 1998.B. Incomplete Events
Event #15. [Applicant files letter from Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) re: exemption status - June 15, 1998.] DTSC responded concerning Applicant's request for exemption in a July 8, 1998 letter. From the contents of this letter, however, it appears that further discussions will be necessary for DTSC to reach a final determination. Staff shall assist in these discussions by conducting a public workshop as soon as is practicable.
Event #21. [Applicant files information for 10(a)(1)(B) permit with United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and/or a "Section 7" consultation by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with USFWS - July 1, 1998 (performance date).] This information was filed on July 8, 1998; Staff is currently assessing its completeness.
Event #24. [Mojave Desert AQMD files the Final Determination of Compliance (DOC) -July 20, 1998.] At the July 1 Conference, the Air District indicated that it would be required to reissue its Preliminary DOC, and then accept and respond to comments thereupon before it can issue the Final DOC. The Air District now expects to issue the former by September 1, 1998 and the latter by approximately October 15, 1998.
Event #25. [Mojave Desert AQMD issues proposed banking certificates and indicates whether Applicant's proposed PM10 road paving applications are acceptable - July 20.] At the July 1 Conference, the District indicated the PM10 road paving applications were acceptable. The District also indicated that it would likely issue proposed banking certificates by July 31, 1998, with final banking certificates on approximately September 1, 1998.
Event #14. [Applicant files engineering and environmental information for second natural gas pipeline - June 15, 1998 (performance date).] Applicant filed information for the second natural gas pipeline on June 15, as well as on June 30 and on July 8. Part of the information submitted was therefore twenty-three days late. In addition, however, Staff, in its "Status Report Number 6" (July 8, 1998) specifies on page 2 five items which are still necessary in order to make the second natural gas pipeline filing complete. Finally, at the July 1 Conference, Applicant agreed to a day-for-day slip in the time allowed for the other parties to submit data requests on the material which was filed late.
Event #16. [Applicant provides letters of intent for emission reduction credits (ERCs) and specifies roads intended for PM10 mitigation - June 15, 1998 (performance date).] In its Status Report Number 6 (pp. 3-4), Staff states that the letters of intent for General Motors Corporation and Mitsubishi Cement Corporation, while containing minor deficiencies, are nevertheless adequate for purposes of its analysis. Staff also notes, however, that the letters of intent for ERCs from the Southern California Gas Company and the Southern California International Airport are insufficient. In this regard, Staff addresses only those letters of intent which were submitted on June 15, specifically cautioning that providing additional letters of intent (for ERCs which have not yet been identified) "could have significant scheduling implications." (Status Report Number 6, p.3.)
The events which have been delayed or are incomplete, as summarized above, have created scheduling impacts which affect currently prospective events including the filing of data requests regarding the second natural gas pipeline (event #22A -- July 6, 1998), Staff's notification of whether the information for the federal 10(a)(1)(B) permit and the "Section 7" consultation is complete (event #26 -- July 22, 1998), and the release of the complete and revised PSA (event #27 -- July 31, 1998). In addition, recent indications from Staff (Status Report Number 6, pages 8-9) and Applicant (letter dated July 9, 1998) raise doubts in our minds whether Applicant will be able to meet the existing performance date of August 3, 1998 (event #22) by which it is to file written documentation from the water suppliers for the project that the water plan is acceptable and also identify preliminary conditions for approval of the water supply arrangements.
In its July 8 status report, the California Unions for Reliable Energy (CURE) suggested that the Committee postpone establishing a due date for the revised PSA until sometime after September 4, 1998, when additional updates and status reports should be required. Staff, on the other hand, recommended in its status report (page 11) that we adopt a PSA due date of September 24, 1998, provided that all information for the second natural gas pipeline, project water supply, and complete letters of intent for project ERCs are submitted by August 6, 1998.
We have taken all these considerations, as well as those pertaining to the delayed events summarized above, into account in imposing the following schedule. We note that the effect of the delays which have thus far occurred will be likely to further postpone the ultimate decision date. Additional delays can only exacerbate this situation. In order to minimize this, we direct Staff to conduct public workshops in conjunction with the events set forth below in order to facilitate and expedite the clarification and exchange of necessary analytic information.
As in the Second Revised Scheduling Order, we note that firm commitments (e.g., options, contracts, etc.) regarding Emission Reduction Credits and a water supply for the project are presently a subject of concern. We have not established specific dates for the submission of these items or for the balance of the proceeding at this time due to the potential scheduling impacts associated with the events preceding release of the revised PSA. After the PSA is issued, we will reassess the balance of the schedule in light of the project's progress, the sufficiency of necessary data, and Applicant's success in meeting the performance dates.
The events designated in the schedule do not appear in strict chronological order. Performance dates are so indicated.
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Staff is directed to hold such public workshops as are necessary to clarify, facilitate, and expedite the development and submission of data necessary to meet the schedule above. Conferences may be held on the Committee's own motion or at the request of any party.
Dated: July 20,1998
ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
JANANNE SHARPLESS, Commissioner
ROBERT A. LAURIE, Commissioner