Energy Facility Siting Council Approves New Amendment Rules

After many meetings with a variety of stakeholders, the Energy Facility Siting Council approved a rulemaking project that governs requests for amendments to facility site certificates. The Council approved the new rules at its October 19 meeting in Portland.

We last mentioned the proposed rule changes to facility amendments on our blog back in August. Our goals were to enhance opportunities for public participation while minimizing increases in review times. The approved rules do not alter the substantive aspects of how the Council’s rules and standards apply to the review of a request for an amendment.

The approved rules now provide three paths that an amendment request may take:

  • Type A: This is the Council’s default process and is intended for reviewing more significant changes proposed by energy facility site certificate holders in a request for amendment. This process includes a mandatory public hearing.
  • Type B: This review process is intended for less significant changes and has fewer steps. The certificate holder must receive staff permission to go down this path.
  • Type C: This review process, which also requires staff permission, is only for unanticipated and unavoidable circumstances when a facility is under construction. It has two major phases. Phase one results in a very fast temporary decision by Council with limited input to give the certificate holder the ability to act quickly, if the request is approved. Phase two picks up midway in the Type A or Type B process to include full input and review and could result in a final decision that differs from the temporary decision.

“Amendments represent about half of the requests we receive, so it was important to review the rules thoroughly,” said Todd Cornett, Assistant Director of ODOE’s Siting Division. “We offer a big ‘thank-you’ to all of those who contributed to this project by reviewing proposed rules and providing comments.”

The amended rules went into effect on October 24, 2017.

Council staff have recently embarked on another rulemaking project related to Public Health and Safety Standards for Wind Facilities. A rulemaking advisory committee held its first meeting November 2 to discuss possible improvements. To get more information on that project, or other current or past rulemakings at the Oregon Department of Energy, please visit our Rulemaking webpage.

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