[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources Conservation
and Development Commission

In the Matter of:                    )     Docket No. 99-AFC-5
Application for Certification        )     SECOND REVISED 
for the Otay Mesa Generating Project )     SCHEDULING ORDER
(PG&E Generating)                    )


On March 23, 2000, the Committee issued a Revised Schedule based on Applicant's agreement to extend the 12-month certification process. Under the Revised Schedule, Staff issued its Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) on May 3. Due to delays in obtaining necessary information, the PSA is incomplete for the topics of biological resources, transmission system engineering, power plant efficiency and reliability, land use, soil and water resources, and visual resources. Further, since the Preliminary Determination of Compliance (PDOC) from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (Air District) was not available prior to May 3, the PSA does not include Staff's air quality analysis. Applicant stipulated that Staff's air quality analysis would be filed 45 days after release of the PDOC.

On May 22, the Committee conducted a status conference to determine whether the schedule should be modified to more accurately estimate the timetable for resolving the concerns identified in the PSA.

With respect to air quality, there are several complex matters pending before the Air District including the development of a framework to implement Rule 27, which allows the use of mobile offsets. Since this is the first project in California to include mobile offsets as part of its mitigation package, both the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have provided guidance to the Air District and will continue to participate in development of the mobile offset program. In addition, Applicant has not yet submitted all of its signed contracts for either stationary source or mobile offsets. Further, Applicant's proposal to employ SCONOx technology is the first time in California this technology will be used in a large-scale project. Applicant is consulting with the Air District to develop permit conditions that include SCONOx technology.

Applicant expects the PDOC to be published by June 1. Staff's air quality analysis will follow 45 days later. The Air District's Final Determination of Compliance (FDOC) may not be available for 60 days or more after the PDOC is released due to potential delays in adopting the framework for Rule 27 on mobile offsets, as well as other matters related to biological resources.

To complete the biological resources analysis, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requires additional spring surveys and mitigation proposals regarding NOx impact on the endangered quino checkerspot butterfly and other potential impacts on the vernal pool fairy shrimp. After the spring surveys are completed in early June, the USEPA will initiate a Section 7 (Endangered Species Act) consultation with U.S. Fish & Wildlife. The Biological Opinion from U.S. Fish & Wildlife is expected by early September. Applicant is working with USEPA to separate the Air District's FDOC from the Biological Opinion to avoid additional delay in releasing the FDOC.

Regarding the topics of power plant reliability and efficiency, Applicant has not established that it has access to a reliable natural gas supply. Negotiations with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) are pending. Applicant did not provide a timetable for resolution of this issue.

With respect to the remaining topics of transmission system engineering, land use, soil and water resources, and visual resources, the parties indicated that necessary information was submitted recently to Staff and the incomplete PSA analyses would be revised accordingly.


Based on the anticipated delays described above, Applicant proposed an additional three-month slippage in the certification schedule. The Committee believes the proposal is reasonable and has revised the Committee Schedule as follows:

Key Event Date (2000)
Applicant dockets PDOC
(Preliminary Determination of Compliance from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District)
Early June
PDOC comment period June-July
Initiate Section 7 consultation with US Fish & Wildlife Early June
Parties file Status Reports (No. 6) June 19
Cal-ISO comments on Facilities Study Late June (formalize May 19 letter)
Staff files air quality Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA) section 45 days after PDOC filed
Workshops on air quality PSA 10-20 days after air quality PSA filed
Parties file Status Reports (No. 7) July 19
Applicant dockets FDOC 60 days after PDOC is released
Parties file Status Reports (No. 8) August 16
Prehearing Conference 20-30 days after FDOC is filed
Applicant dockets Biological Opinion Early September
Natural gas reliability issues resolved Prior to FSA
Staff files Final Staff Assessment (FSA) 10-20 days after Prehearing Conference

The revised schedule does not anticipate dates for evidentiary hearings because it would be speculative at this time. The Committee will entertain a motion to revisit the schedule after the FDOC is released.


For information on public participation, please contact the Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, at (916) 654-4489 in Sacramento, or toll free at (800) 822-6228, or email: pao@energy.state.ca.us

Technical questions concerning the project may be addressed to Eileen Allen, the Commission Staff's Project Manager at (916) 654-4082, or email at: eallen@energy.state.ca.us

Legal or procedural questions should be directed to Susan Gefter, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-3893, or email at: sgefter@energy.state.ca.us

Media inquiries may be directed to Claudia Chandler, Assistant Executive Director for Media and Public Communications at (916) 654-4989, or email at: energia@energy.ca.gov

Information concerning the status of the project is available on the Energy Commission's Internet Web site at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/otaymesa

Date On Line: May 30, 2000


ROBERT A. LAURIE, Commissioner
Presiding Member
Otay Mesa AFC Committee

ROBERT PERNELL, Commissioner
Associate Member
Otay Mesa AFC Committee

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