[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission

In the Matter of: ) Docket No. 97-AFC-2
Application for Certification ) NOTICE OF EVIDENTIARY
for the Sutter Power Plant Project ) HEARINGS, NEPA COMMENT HEARING
  ) -and-
_________________________ ) HEARING ORDER


This Notice is to inform you that the Committee designated to conduct proceedings on the Application for Certification for the Sutter Power Plant Project will hold EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS as listed below:

MONDAY, November 2, 1998
Beginning at 9 a.m.
1425 Circle Drive
Yuba City, California
[Wheelchair Accessible]

In addition to the daytime schedule, hearings will be continued in the evening on MONDAY, November 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the following location:

Council Chambers
1201 Civic Center Boulevard
Yuba City, California
[Wheelchair Accessible]

All other Evidentiary Hearings will be held as follows:

TUESDAY, November 10, 1998*
THURSDAY, November 12, 1998
MONDAY, November 16, 1998
All hearings begin at 9 a.m.

1425 Circle Drive
Yuba City, CA 95993
[Wheelchair Assessible]

*In addition to the daytime schedule, hearings will be continued in the evening on TUESDAY, November 10th, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the same location.

The hearing scheduled for Monday, November 16, 1998, will serve as both an opportunity for the public to comment on the project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and to take additional evidence, as needed, concerning air quality matters. The Western Area Power Administration (Western) is the Federal lead agency for review of the project.

Evidence will be presented in the individual topic areas as set forth below:

November 2
November 10
November 12
November 16
Biological Resources Visual Resources as needed Air Quality
Water Resources Land Use   Public Health
Noise Socioeconomics   Additional Public Comment as per NEPA
Transmission Line Engineering      
Traffic and Transportation      
Hazardous Materials      
Enter Stipulations      

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. Such comments will be included in the record of both the state and federal agencies. In addition, public comment on any portion of the environmental analysis contained in the joint state/federal Final Staff Analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (FSA/DEIS) will be received on Monday, November 16, 1998.

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 E-mail: rmendonc@energy.state.ca.us

Technical questions concerning the project should be addressed to Paul Richins, the Commission's Project Manager, at (916) 654-4074 or E-mail: 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 If you require special accommodations, contact Robert Sifuentes at 654-5004, five days prior to the meeting. Information about the project is available on the Energy Commission's web site at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/sutterpower

For information regarding the Federal process or the National Environmental Policy Act, please contact Loreen R. McMahon, Project Manager for Western Area Power Administration at (916) 353-4460. For information on the interconnection to Western's transmission system, please contact Morteza Sabet, Manager of Resources & Planning for Western Area Power Administration, at (916) 353-4489.


A. Evidentiary Hearing Procedures

The purpose of the evidentiary hearings is to establish the factual record in this case through the taking of written and oral testimony as well as documentary exhibits from the parties. The evidentiary hearings are, of necessity, more structured than the informal workshops which have already occurred. All witnesses must file their testimony in writing prior to testifying at the evidentiary hearings. Where appropriate, such as in the area of project alternatives, multiple witnesses may testify as a panel. Witnesses will testify under oath or affirmation and be subject to cross-examination by other parties which have intervened in the case.

At the hearing, a party sponsoring a witness shall briefly establish the witness' qualifications and have the witness orally summarize the prepared testimony before requesting that the testimony be moved into evidence. Relevant documentary exhibits may be offered into evidence at that time as well. At the conclusion of a witness' direct testimony, the Committee will provide the other parties an opportunity for cross-examination, followed by redirect examination and recross as appropriate.

The Commission staff (Staff) shall serve its FSA/DEIS no later than close of business on October 19, 1998. Typically, the Staff relies upon the FSA to serve as its written testimony in a case. The Applicant and other parties shall serve their written testimony no later than the close of business on Friday, October 23, 1998. To the extent that the Applicant, Staff and other intervenors have reached agreement in certain subject areas, however, these parties shall file stipulations on or before October 23, 1998. The Committee is not bound by stipulations entered into by the parties. In numerous subject areas, even if the parties have entered a stipulation, the Committee may require a witness to appear in order to summarize written testimony and be available for questioning. The Committee will also allow time for public comment following the summaries for each subject area.

A number of subject areas, while each important to the siting, construction, and operation of the project, have not generated obvious disputes. Therefore, Applicant, Staff and other parties may submit testimony in these areas based on affidavit. Affidavits must specify all documentary evidence upon which the witness relies. In lieu of requiring the expert witnesses in these areas to be present, a representative with general knowledge of the subject, such as a project manager, shall be available to answer questions. Any person who desires that an expert witness for one of these topic areas be available at the hearing may file a motion with the Committee no later than October 28, 1998.

B. Motion to Set Schedule

On October 6, 1998, Calpine filed a Motion to Set Schedule, proposing a draft schedule for major events leading to the Commission decision and giving argument in support of its schedule. The Committee is well aware of Calpine's substantial efforts to provide additional mitigation to address outstanding issues in the case. However, without having yet heard the evidence for the Applicant's proposal, it is premature for the Committee to assume that the time needed to issue a decision would be reduced by half the time usually required. While this may yet prove to be the case, the Committee must, at this time, in part deny Calpine's motion. We have, however, scheduled for the earliest possible date all matters which occur prior to the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. Furthermore, the Committee intends to conclude the proceeding with all possible dispatch, consistent with our responsibilities to the public.


Final Staff Assessment October 19, 1998
Applicant and Intervenor Testimony and Stipulations Filed October 23, 1998
Evidentiary Hearings November 2 - 16, 1998
Western Public Comment Hearing November 16, 1998
Concurrent Briefs on Contested Issues November 23, 1998

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

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