Energy Facility Siting Council Adopts Temporary Rules for Energy Facility Amendment Process

Jennifer Kalez, 503-480-9239

SALEM — The Energy Facility Siting Council on Thursday adopted temporary administrative rules that govern the state’s energy facility site certificate amendment process.

Energy facilities that fall under Energy Facility Siting Council jurisdiction can submit amendment requests to the Council to change certain aspects of an approved, under construction, or operational facility, such as facility size, equipment type, or other changes. In 2017, the Council updated its administrative rules for amendments to streamline the process and offer additional opportunities for public involvement. The 2017 rules created three types of review processes for amendment requests (Types A, B, and C), with different paths for reviewing the amendments depending on the complexity of a request.

On August 1, 2019, the Oregon Supreme Court invalidated the Council’s adopted amendment rules. The Court found that the Council did not include a written statement on how it would determine if the rules were accomplishing their objective, and that Council exceeded its authority by adopting rules that limited the scope of judicial review of an amendment under the Type B review process.

To address the issues identified by the Supreme Court, Council adopted temporary rules for the amendment process on August 22, which went into effect immediately. The temporary rules will allow Council to continue processing facilities that currently have amendment requests in process, as well as any new amendment requests, in a timely and transparent manner.

Council also approved initiating a permanent rulemaking process to adopt new, permanent rules for the facility amendment process that will replace the temporary rules. The Council will begin a thorough public process for those permanent rules.

Interested Oregonians can follow the process on ODOE’s website or sign up to receive email notices about the rulemaking.