[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 98-AFC-1
Application for Certification ) REVISED COMMITTEE
for the Pittsburg District Energy Facility (PDEF) ) SCHEDULING ORDER


On November 19, 1998, the Committee conducted a Status Conference to determine whether case development has been progressing satisfactorily. At the Status Conference, the Applicant indicated that certain data responses and other information requested by Staff and Intervenor California Unions for Reliable Energy (CURE) would be filed on December 7, 1998.

Based on a realistic estimation of the shortened review time between December 7th and the previously scheduled release date of January 11, 1999 for the Preliminary Staff Assessment (PSA), the Applicant proposed a tentative slippage of 14 days to January 25, 1999 for release of the PSA. Staff noted that several responsible agency reports would not be available for 60 days (February 8, 1999) following the December 7th filing of certain required information.{ 1 } Since those reports are necessary for a complete staff assessment, Staff asserted that the PSA release date should be slipped 60 days to March 11, 1999. The parties agreed to conduct a workshop and to file Status Reports after the December 7th submittals. The Committee withheld a final ruling on whether to slip the schedule 60 days pending receipt of the Status Reports.

On December 7, 1998, Applicant filed an AFC Supplement that responds to several outstanding data requests and modifies certain aspects of the original AFC proposal; Applicant also revised its air dispersion modeling data; and submitted PG&E's proposed Interconnection Study. The parties conducted a workshop on December 15, 1998 and filed Status Reports on December 22nd.



Staff contends that the time required to review new data contained in the AFC Supplement will delay the PSA release date. The AFC Supplement includes new air quality data as well as Applicant's plans to: rotate the project footprint 180 degrees to place stacks further from residences; reduce stack height from 175 feet to 150 feet; redesign noise generating sources; modify plant operating conditions; relocate construction laydown; modify proposed transmission lines and pipeline routes; add four new transmission routes; underground a transmission route; and modify equipment and workforce requirements. In addition, Applicant's newly filed air dispersion modeling runs contain new assumptions which must be reviewed by Staff and the Air District. Since Staff and the Air District have not previously applied the proposed air dispersion model used by Applicant, this may require additional modeling by the District before it can issue the PDOC.

Staff notes that data responses regarding electromagnetic field (EMF) reducing measures will not be submitted until January 7. Moreover, needed information on the design of the underground transmission facility was not included in the AFC Supplement. Staff is also concerned that data regarding transmission line upgrades or reconductoring has not yet been provided. The ISO may also require PG&E to conduct further studies regarding potential system overload when the project is added to the system. These additional studies will cause further delay in completing the ISO's transmission analysis.

Finally, information regarding Applicant's application to the Delta Diablo Wastewater Treatment facility for an Industrial Discharge Permit will not be available until early February.

Based on Staff's need to review new modifications contained in the AFC Supplement, as well as the new air quality modeling assumptions, the incomplete transmission information, and the pending wastewater permit application, Staff now requests an additional 45 days to February 25, 1999, in which to complete its PSA.


Applicant contends that the project modifications contained in the AFC Supplement were responses to mitigate concerns raised by the City of Pittsburg and/or local residents. Applicant maintains that the schedule should not be compromised as the result of Applicant's responsiveness to local concerns.

Applicant asserts that all areas except air quality have been satisfactorily addressed and proposes four alternative schedules, each with a Decision adoption date of July 30, 1999.{ 2 } These alternatives include: 1) Staff's proposal to delay filing the PSA until February 25; 2) Applicant's proposal to delay the PSA until January 22 to keep the schedule on track; 3) Applicant's proposal to allow a bifurcated PSA, which would not include air quality and public health analyses until after release of the PDOC in February, but would allow for early hearings on all other issues to maintain the 12-month schedule; or, 4) a proposal to eliminate the PSA and file only a Final Staff Analysis in March.


CURE has not identified any new issues arising from the December 7th filings. CURE believes that if the Air District and the ISO file their reports by February 8th , Staff can complete the PSA before March 11 (the 60-day extension from the original January 11 filing date).


The Committee takes administrative notice that the Delta Energy Center recently filed an AFC for another new powerplant project to be located in the city of Pittsburg. (Docket No. 98-AFC-3). As a result of this new project, the Committee expects Staff to include a comprehensive cumulative impacts analysis in the PSA which will likely require additional preparation time.

The parties seem to agree that air quality and transmission issues remain unresolved. Obviously, the PDOC and the ISO's transmission study cannot be completed until the required information is provided. Thus, it is possible that those reports may not be filed by February 8th. The other new information contained in the AFC Supplement, however, may be sufficient, once reviewed, to provide enough data for Staff's analysis.

The Committee may modify the schedule at any time either upon its own motion or that of a party. [20 Cal. Code of Regs., 1709(c)]. Although Applicant's proposal for a bifurcated PSA makes sense in this case, bifurcating the preliminary assessment stage may result in prolonging the 12-month AFC timetable by causing delays in completing the air quality and public health sections. Time would be better spent if Staff completes all of its analyses without dealing with the extra step of drafting a PSA. Accordingly, the Committee hereby eliminates the PSA from the schedule and directs Staff to prepare a single Staff Analysis or FSA, which will be due on March 11, 1999. [20 Cal. Code of Regs., 1747]. The FSA will include the air quality and public health sections.



EVENT DATE Applicant files data responses on EMF reducing measures January 7, 1999 Public workshops on air quality, public health, transmission, January-February, 1999 cumulative impacts, and other topics, as needed Status Report No. 4 due to Committee January 25, 1999 Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) issues February 8, 1999 Preliminary Determination of Compliance (PDOC) California Independent System Operator (ISO) February 8, 1999 issues final transmission study Applicant submits information regarding its February 8, 1999 Application to the Delta Diablo Wastewater Treatment Facility for Industrial Discharge Permit Applicant submits all outstanding data responses February 8, 1999 Status Report No. 5 due to Committee February 15, 1999 Status Report No. 6 due to Committee March 1, 1999 Final Staff Analysis (FSA) released by CEC Staff March 11, 1999 Public Workshops on the FSA March 15-24, 1999 Pre-Hearing Conference Statements due March 25, 1999 Last day to file Petitions to Intervene March 26, 1999 Pre-Hearing Conference March 29, 1999 Written Testimony Filed April 2, 1999 BAAQMD issues Final Determination of April 8, 1999 Compliance (FDOC) Evidentiary Hearings April 12-23, 1999 Commission Adopts Decision July 28, 1999

The Committee recognizes that unforeseen circumstances may affect the schedule. The parties are directed to notify the Committee immediately if such circumstances occur to cause delays in completing the schedule milestones


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

Information concerning other activities in this proceeding is available on the Energy Commission's Internet homepage at: www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/pittsburg


Dated: December 30, 1998

DAVID A ROHY, Ph.D, Vice Chair
Presiding Member

MICHAL C. MOORE, Commissioner
Associate Committee Member


  1. PG&E's Interconnection Study to be reviewed and approved by he California Independent System Operator (ISO); air quality data necessary for the Bay Area Quality Management District's Preliminary Determination of Compliance (PDOC); and Applicant's proposal for wastewater treatment and industrial waste disposal requiring approval and/or permits for the Delta Diablo Sanitation District.

  2. The AFC was deemed data adequate on July 29, 1998.

| Back to Notices Page | Homepage | Calendar | Directory/Index | Search |