[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

In the Matter of:


Docket No.: 97-AFC-2


Application for Certification ) GRANTING LIMITED REOPENING
for the Sutter Power Plant Project ) OF EVIDENTIARY RECORD and
________________________________ ) NOTICE OF HEARINGS


This ORDER is the Committee's response to the Motion by the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau for an Order to Reopen Evidentiary Record, dated February 22, 1999. (hereafter "Motion".) This ORDER grants a limited reopening of the evidentiary record to allow the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau (hereafter "Farm Bureau") and other parties the opportunity to file testimony and present a single witness on project impacts related to aerial application of seed, fertilizer, and chemicals. While no party is required to file testimony or present a witness, any party desiring to file supplemental testimony must serve copies of the testimony on all other parties no later than Monday, March 1, 1999. Any witness presented by a party shall testify at the Committee Hearing previously noticed for Wednesday, March 10, 1999. The witness must orally give direct testimony, under oath, and then be available for cross-examination by any other parties.

We take this action because of the considerable local interest in this issue. We are not, however, persuaded that we are legally compelled to do so. For example, in its Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion to Reopen the Evidentiary Record the Farm Bureau cites Title 20 California Code of Regulations section 1754(b) in support of its Motion. This provision applies to consideration of a Proposed Decision by the full Commission, rather than by a Committee conducting a siting case. Nevertheless, the Farm Bureau asserts that due process requires that the Committee reopen the record to accommodate the Farm Bureau's request. We disagree.

Due process requires that parties have notice of hearings and an opportunity to be heard at those hearings. Since July 28, 1998, when the Committee issued its Notice of Prehearing Conference, the Farm Bureau and all other parties have known that the deadline for seeking intervenor status was August 19, 1998, the date of the Prehearing Conference. While numerous parties intervened prior to the deadline, the Farm Bureau chose not to do so. Their Petition to Intervene was filed long after the deadline, on November 13, 1998. Over the Applicant's objections, the Committee granted limited intervenor status at the evidentiary hearing on November 16, 1998. Limited intervention was granted in spite of the extreme lateness of the Farm Bureau's Petition to Intervene which threatened to delay the case schedule as specified in Public Resources Code section 25540.6(a). In addition, Farm Bureau representative Russell Young agreed that the Farm Bureau Petition did not include a request to present their own witnesses, but rather, he requested merely that they be allowed to cross examine the witnesses of other parties. (11/16/98 RT 106.) Notwithstanding these facts, the Committee will accommodate the Farm Bureau by granting it the opportunity to sponsor a witness at this late date in the proceeding.

However, the fact that the Committee will receive evidence from the Applicant and Commission staff on March 10, 1999, regarding emission reduction credits, presents an opportunity for the Committee to also receive the Farm Bureau's testimony without jeopardizing the case schedule to the prejudice of other parties.


Evidence regarding project impacts on aerial application of agriculture materials (crop-dusting) will be heard at the evidentiary hearing previously noticed to take place as follows:

WEDNESDAY, March 10, 1999
Beginning at 9 a.m.
Bonanza Inn [Best Western]
Convention Center, Room A
1001 Clark Ave.
Yuba City, California

In addition, the Committee anticipates bringing the Revised Presiding Member's Proposed Decision to the full Energy Commission at the regularly scheduled business meeting on:

WEDNESDAY, March 17, 1999
Beginning at 10 a.m.
California Energy Commission
First Floor Hearing Room A
1516 9th Street
Sacramento, California

Members of the public and interested agencies are invited to attend all of the evidentiary hearings. Time will be reserved at each hearing to allow members of the public to comment.

The Commission's Public Adviser, Roberta Mendonca, is available to assist interested individuals or groups and to provide information on participating at these hearings. She may be reached at (916) 654-4489 or, toll free, 1-800-822-6228 or email: pao@energy.state.ca.us

If you require special accommodations, contact Robert Sifuentes at (916) 654-5004, five days prior to the meeting.

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

Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to Paul Richins, the Commission's Project Manager, at (916) 654-4074 or email: prichins@energy.state.ca.us

Questions of a legal or procedural nature should be directed to Gary Fay, the Hearing Officer, at (916) 654-3965 or E-mail: gfay@energy.state.ca.us

Information about the project is available on the Energy Commission's web site at:


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

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