[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission



In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 97-AFC-2
)
Application for Certification ) NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY
for the SUTTER POWER PLANT ) of the
PROJECT (SPP) ) PRESIDING MEMBER'S
___________________________________ ) PROPOSED DECISION

On January 20, 1999, the Committee assigned to the above captioned proceeding published its Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD). The PMPD contains the findings and conclusions based on the evidence of record and recommends approval of the SPP under specified Conditions of Certification in accordance with the Commission's regulations, and subject to actions pending before the Sutter County Board of Supervisors.

To obtain a copy of the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision, send a self-addressed mailing label to the Commission's Publications Unit, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-13, Sacramento, CA 95814, refer to Publication No. P800-99-004.

The document can also be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.

The Committee will conduct a public Conference to receive comments and suggested revisions to the document as follows:

THURSDAY, February 11, 1999
Beginning at 10 a.m.
Veterans Memorial Community Building
1425 Circle Drive
Yuba City, California
(Wheelchair Accessible)


Applicant, staff and all intervenors in this case wishing to participate at this Conference, shall serve written copies of their comments to the Proof of Service List to be received no later than 5 p.m. on February 8, 1999. The Committee will also consider any written comments from the public received before the hearing as well as those comments made at the hearing.

In addition to participating at this Conference, any person may submit written comments upon the PMPD during the thirty-day comment period that ends on February 19, 1999. Written comments must be filed with the California Energy Commission Docket Unit, 1516 Ninth Street, MS-4, Sacramento, CA 95814. Reference Docket No. 97-AFC-2.

For information on how to participate in this proceeding, contact Roberta Mendonca, the Commission's Public Adviser, at 654-4489 or toll free, (800) 822-6228 or E-mail: rmendonc@energy.state.ca.us. If you require special accommodations, contact Robert Sifuentes at 654-5004. Paul Richins, Regulatory Project Manager, can answer technical questions concerning the proposed project at 654-4074 or E-mail: prichins@energy.state.ca.us. Address any legal or procedural inquiries to Gary Fay, Hearing Officer, at 654-3893 or E-mail: gfay@energy.state.ca.us.



Dated: January 20, 1999 ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION



_____//SIGNED//_____ _____//SIGNED//_____
MICHAL C. MOORE, Commissioner WILLIAM J.KEESE, Chairman
Presiding Member Associate Member




[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission



In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 97-AFC-2
)
Application for Certification for ) COMMITTEE ORDER
the Sutter Power Plant Project (SPP) )
___________________________________ )



The Committee hereby submits the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision (PMPD) pursuant to Title 20, California Code of Regulations, section 1749. The PMPD recommends approval of the Sutter Power Plant project on the condition that the Applicant achieves conformity with Sutter County land use plans and demonstrates that it has obtained permission for the project's natural gas pipeline to cross the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge. The PMPD is based upon the evidentiary record of the proceedings (Docket No. 97-AFC-2) including the detailed technical environmental analysis performed by Commission staff and the Western Area Power Administration, pursuant to Title 20, California Code of Regulations, sections 1742 through 1742. The PMPD was developed in accordance with Title 20, California Code of Regulations, sections 1748 through 1752.5. It contains a summary of the proceedings and the evidence presented, the rationale for the Committee's findings and identifies the Conditions imposed on the project. The PMPD includes the narrative text, specific Conditions of Certification, Compliance Verifications, general Conditions of Compliance, and Appendices, in addition to detailed findings and conclusions in each subject area. Pursuant to Title 20, California Code of Regulations, section 1752, the PMPD specifically finds:

FINDINGS

  1. The project conforms to the Commission's integrated assessment of need for statewide power demand adopted in the 1996 Electricity Report.

  2. The project complies with all applicable health and safety standards.

  3. The project complies with all air and water quality standards.

  4. With the exceptions noted below, the project complies with all other applicable local, state, and federal laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.

  5. The project does not comply with the Sutter County General Plan and applicable zoning. This non-compliance can be corrected or eliminated if the Sutter County Board of Supervisors grants a General Plan amendment and zoning change. The Applicant has pending a request for the required amendment and zoning change.

  6. The project as mitigated will avoid any substantial environmental impact on the nearby Sutter National Wildlife Refuge and will be consistent with the primary land use of the refuge.

  7. The Applicant must establish that it has the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the project's natural gas pipeline to cross the Sutter National Wildlife Refuge in order for the Committee to make an affirmative finding required by California Code of Regulations, Title 20, section 1752(g)(3).

  8. The Committee has recommended necessary modifications, mitigation measures, conditions and other specific measures to ensure that the project will be designed, constructed and operated in a manner to protect environmental quality, to ensure safe and reliable operation and to comply with applicable laws, ordinances, regulations and standards.

  9. The Committee recommends that the Commission grant a license to construct and operate the project once the matters mentioned in Findings 5 and 7 above are resolved.


ORDER

The Commission is not able find that the project complies with local ordinances as required by law, unless the Applicant is successful in achieving a General Plan amendment and zoning change from Sutter County. To assist in Sutter County's determination of whether or not to grant such a change, the Sutter County Board of Supervisors intends to make use of the analysis of the Sutter Power Plant project carried out and adopted by the California Energy Commission. In order to allow both the Board of Supervisors and the Commission to carry out their respective duties in an orderly manner, the Committee proposes, after a public hearing and comment period, to present a Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision to the full Commission for consideration and possible adoption at the regularly scheduled business meeting of March 17, 1999. If the Commission approves the Revised PMPD, it will: 1) fully document all environmental impacts of the project and will serve as the environmental review of the project for the Sutter County Board of Supervisors; 2) find that as mitigated, the project will have no significant impacts on the environment; 3) find that the project meets all engineering and safety standards; and, 4) find that the project conforms to the state's integrated assessment of need for electric generation.

However, since the county has yet to determine whether the project will conform with local land use ordinances, the Committee proposes that Commission consideration of the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision not include final project certification and a license to construct and operate. Rather, if the Applicant is successful in gaining the necessary General Plan amendment and rezone from the county, it must then return to the Commission following the Board of Supervisors action to seek a final Commission Decision certifying the project. The Committee proposes that these matters be scheduled in advance to avoid delays due to required public notice periods. Thus, when Sutter County Board of Supervisors rules on the General Plan amendment and zoning change it will have before it the full environmental, engineering, and demand analysis adopted by the Commission. When the Commission considers final certification of the project it will have before it Sutter County's ruling on the proposed General Plan amendment and zoning change.

The Committee directs the parties to comment on this proposal in their comments on the PMPD.



Dated: January 20, 1999 ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION



_____//SIGNED//_____ _____//SIGNED//_____
MICHAL C. MOORE, Commissioner WILLIAM J.KEESE, Chairman
Presiding Member Associate Member




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