Committee Ruling Regarding Eligibility for Expedited Review
[California Energy Commission Letterhead]


STATE OF CALIFORNIA

Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission



In the Matter of:                   )      Docket No. 01-AFC-16
                                    )
Application for Certification       )
of the GWF TRACY PEAKER PROJECT     )      APPLICATION COMPLETE
IN SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY               )      (DATA ADEQUATE)
                                    )
BY GWF ENERGY LLC                   )      OCTOBER 17, 2001
____________________________________)

 

COMMITTEE RULING REGARDING ELIGIBILITY FOR EXPEDITED REVIEW

 

Summary

This ruling grants Applicant's request for an expedited decision under Public Resources Code section 25552, subject to timely provision of necessary information and compliance with Air District requirements.

Background

Applicant seeks review of its Application for Certification (AFC) under the four-month expedited review process described in Public Resources Code section 25552. Said section provides that within 25 days after acceptance of an AFC, the Commission or a Committee of the Commission must determine whether the AFC qualifies for an expedited decision. [Pub. Resources Code, 25552, subd. (b)(2).] On Wednesday, October 17, 2001, the Energy Commission accepted Applicant's AFC and appointed a Committee to conduct proceedings on the AFC.

The Committee issued its Preliminary Committee Schedule on October 22, 2001, directing Commission staff to provide its recommendation regarding whether Applicant's AFC should be reviewed under the four-month expedited process. Staff's recommendation was to be provided by November 1, 2001, and Applicant was to file its response five days later, on November 6, 2001.

On November 2, 2001, Commission staff filed its recommendation that the project be reviewed under the four-month expedited review process, even though staff identified several potential issues (Air Quality, Socioeconomics and Transmission System Engineering) that still needed to be addressed. On the basis of information currently before it, and in anticipation of sufficient documentation from Applicant of required labor contracts, Staff believes the project is eligible for expedited decision because conditions of approval can be imposed on the project to assure compliance with Public Resources Code section 25552.1 Staff also believes that all potential issues identified by staff can be mitigated. Applicant has not filed a response.

Waste Management

On October 31, 2001, concurrent with issuance of the Staff's Issue Identification Report, the County of San Joaquin Department of Public Works submitted a letter via facsimile in which it advised that Applicant was required to complete the County's Construction & Demolition Debris Waste Diversion Plan and the Solid Waste Operations Plan. These plans address the quantities of both solid and hazardous waste generated during the construction phase, the amount and types of materials to be recycled, reused or disposed, and the projected waste generation when the project becomes operational. The plans will serve as the Applicant's Solid Waste Management plan. The County also advised that Applicant was required to provide a narrative response to the Requirements for Collection and Recycling and the location and space for recycling bins.

Discussion

To qualify for the expedited four-month process, an AFC must satisfy the requirements of Public Resources section 25523 and describe conditions of certification that assure the project will comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards (LORS) and will not result in significant adverse effects on the environment or public health and safety. [Pub. Resources Code, 25552, subd. (e)].

Modeling based on Applicant's revised construction impact analysis indicates that there will be a significant increase to existing PM10 ambient air quality violations as a result of the construction of this project. There is also concern that some of the modeling assumptions may underestimate the impact of other pollutants. Therefore, in conjunction with Commission staff's data requests, Applicant is directed to revise its emission estimates to correct these errors and omissions and to provide its revised estimates to Commission staff by November 13, 2001.

Public Resources Code section 25552, subdivision (d)(3) requires an Applicant to contract with a general contractor and contract for an adequate supply of skilled labor to construct, operate, and maintain a thermal power plant. In conjunction with Staff's data requests, Applicant is directed to submit evidence of a contract with a California licensed general contractor and contract(s) with one or more sources of skilled labor by November 13, 2001.

A complete interconnection study is required in order to analyze the reliability impacts of the Tracy Peaker Project, and identify the interconnection facilities and any downstream facilities necessary to support interconnection of the project to the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) system and/or any other transmission owner's system. Applicant is directed to prepare a System Impact Study that analyzes the transmission system impacts of a 169 megawatt interconnection under 2002 summer peak and spring (off-peak) system conditions. This study should be coordinated with adjacent transmission owners (i.e., SMUD, MID, TID and Western) and submitted to Commission staff by November 13, 2001.

Pursuant to Public Resources Code section 25552, subdivision (e)(3) an AFC must include a description of the proposed conditions of certification that will result in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local LORS. San Joaquin County has expressed concern regarding potential impacts and handling of waste resulting from construction and/or operation of the project and has requested that Applicant comply with its local requirements. Applicant is therefore directed to complete the County's Construction & Demolition Debris Waste Diversion Plan and the Solid Waste Operations Plan and to provide a narrative response to the County's Requirements for Collection and Recycling and the location and space for recycling bins no later than December 7, 2001.

We believe that project eligibility for an expedited decision turns on whether Applicant is likely to succeed in meeting the requirements of Public Resources Code section 25523. This depends on whether Applicant is likely to provide evidence of sufficient mitigation that would support a finding of no significant impacts to the environment or public health and safety.

Applicant must provide timely and complete data responses to allow Staff sufficient time to complete its analyses. Applicant's delays in meeting deadlines for requested information will result in a commensurate slip in the schedule.

In addition, it must be noted that this proceeding cannot be concluded until Applicant submits a Final Determination of Compliance (FDOC) from the Air District. Applicant shall provide evidence of all other necessary agency reviews at the Committee's evidentiary hearings, if feasible, but no later than the Commission hearing on the Presiding Member's Proposed Decision. The parties shall be aware that any evidence to be presented at the hearings must be identified in the prehearing conference statements and filed in accordance with the evidentiary hearing notice.

The Committee will issue a schedule for the expedited review process following the previously noticed public informational hearing and site visit on November 28, 2001.

Committee Ruling

Applicant's request for an expedited decision on the AFC pursuant to Public Resources Code section 25552 is granted subject to timely provision of data responses, relevant agency reviews, and the Final Determination of Compliance. Applicant's delays in submitting requested information will result in a commensurate slip in the schedule.

Applicant shall provide revised air quality emission estimates to Commission staff by November 13, 2001.

Applicant shall submit evidence of a contract with a California licensed general contractor and contract(s) with one or more sources of skilled labor by November 13, 2001.

Applicant shall provide a System Impact Study that analyzes the transmission system impacts of a 169 megawatt interconnection under 2002 summer peak and spring (off-peak) system conditions by November 13, 2001.

Applicant shall complete San Joaquin County's Construction & Demolition Debris Waste Diversion Plan and the Solid Waste Operations Plan and shall provide a narrative response to the County's Requirements for Collection and Recycling and the location and space for recycling bins no later than December 7, 2001.

 

 

1Staff notes that one requirement imposed by Public Resources Code section 25552, subdivision (e)(5) (that the project convert to either a combined cycle or cogeneration within three years) was suspended by the Commission at its October 17, 2001, Business Meeting.

 

Dated November 9, 2001, at Sacramento, California.

 

ENERGY RESOURCES CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

 


ROBERT PERNELL
Commissioner and Presiding Member
GWF Tracy Peaker Project Committee


ROBERT A. LAURIE
Commissioner and Associate Member
GWF Tracy Peaker Project Committee






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