[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission






In the Matter of:                           )     Docket No. 99-AFC-3
                                            )
Application for Certification for the       )     COMMITTEE RULING
Metcalf Energy Center [Calpine Corporation  )     RE: DISCOVERY PERIOD
and Bechtel Enterprises, Inc.]              )
____________________________________________)




I. BACKGROUND

On November 2, 2000, Applicant filed a "Motion for Committee Order Pursuant to Section 1716 (e)" (Applicant Motion). In this Motion, Applicant requests we issue an Order which "...precludes further discovery in this proceeding ..." (Applicant's Motion, p. 2) unless we find good cause for allowing discovery to continue. On November 17, 2000, Staff filed a "Motion to Close Discovery" (Staff Motion) seeking that we issue an Order to "...close discovery immediately..." (Staff Motion, p. 3).

Intervenor Coyote Valley Research Park, LLC and Coyote Valley Properties, LLC (jointly "CVRP") filed a Response to Applicant's Motion on November 17, 2000. In this Response, CVRP requests we deny Applicant's Motion in its entirety.*


II. DISCUSSION

As we have previously indicated, Section 1716 of our regulations [20 Cal. Code of Regs., section 1716] provides a straightforward regimen for pursuing discovery (i.e., the exchange of information through data requests and data responses). Section 1716 (f) sets the basic time limits for objecting and/or responding to discovery requests. We expect that the parties have already submitted all their respective data requests on the existing body of information and analysis.

In our Interim Scheduling Order (August 4, 2000), we provided for additional discovery on data which was then yet outstanding in order to provide the parties an opportunity to examine this "new" information. Likewise, discovery has proceeded on new information contained in Staff's Assessment (October 2000). We are, however, presently unaware of any other data or analyses, not currently the subject of existing data requests, which is expected to be filed by the parties in the future and which would require discovery.

The discovery process does not include unlimited opportunities to submit data requests. It must conclude at some point so that we may proceed to hearings and formulate a proposed decision for consideration by the full Commission within a reasonable period of time. Section 1716 (i) recognizes this reality: "No information requests shall be submitted by any party after release of the ...hearing order except upon petition to the presiding member." (Emphasis added.)

We will issue our initial Hearing Order (governing the first set of Evidentiary Hearings) on December 1, 2000, following the currently scheduled Prehearing Conference. All parties should be aware that we consider that date as the close of the discovery period, absent unusual, compelling reasons to the contrary, such as substantial project modifications or submission of previously undisclosed analyses.


III. RULING

Absent unusual, compelling reasons to the contrary, the discovery period closes on December 1, 2000.


Date On Line: November 21, 2000



ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION




ROBERT A. LAURIE
Commissioner and Presiding Member
Metcalf AFC Committee




WILLIAM J. KEESE
Chairman and Associate Member
Metcalf AFC Committee





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