2017 ORS 469.320¹
Site certificate required
  • exceptions

(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (5) of this section, no facility shall be constructed or expanded unless a site certificate has been issued for the site thereof in the manner provided in ORS 469.300 (Definitions) to 469.563 (Court orders for enforcement), 469.590 (Definitions for ORS 469.590 to 469.595) to 469.619 (State Department of Energy to make federal regulations available), 469.930 (Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management) and 469.992 (Civil penalties). No facility shall be constructed or operated except in conformity with the requirements of ORS 469.300 (Definitions) to 469.563 (Court orders for enforcement), 469.590 (Definitions for ORS 469.590 to 469.595) to 469.619 (State Department of Energy to make federal regulations available), 469.930 (Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management) and 469.992 (Civil penalties).

(2) A site certificate is not required for:

(a) An energy facility for which no site certificate has been issued that, on August 2, 1993, had operable electric generating equipment for a modification that uses the same fuel type and increases electric generating capacity, if:

(A) The site is not enlarged; and

(B) The ability of the energy facility to use fuel for electricity production under peak steady state operating conditions is not more than 200 million Btu per hour greater than it was on August 2, 1993, or the energy facility expansion is called for in the short-term plan of action of an energy resource plan that has been acknowledged by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.

(b) Construction or expansion of any interstate natural gas pipeline or associated underground natural gas storage facility authorized by and subject to the continuing regulation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or successor agency.

(c) An energy facility, except coal and nuclear power plants, if the energy facility:

(A) Sequentially produces electrical energy and useful thermal energy from the same fuel source; and

(B) Under average annual operating conditions, has a nominal electric generating capacity:

(i) Of less than 50 megawatts and the fuel chargeable to power heat rate value is not greater than 6,000 Btu per kilowatt hour;

(ii) Of 50 megawatts or more and the fuel chargeable to power heat rate value is not greater than 5,500 Btu per kilowatt hour; or

(iii) Specified by the Energy Facility Siting Council by rule based on the council’s determination relating to emissions of the energy facility.

(d) Temporary storage, at the site of a nuclear-fueled thermal power plant for which a site certificate has been issued by the State of Oregon, of radioactive waste from the plant.

(e) An energy facility as defined in ORS 469.300 (Definitions) (11)(a)(G), if the plant also produces a secondary fuel used on site for the production of heat or electricity, if the output of the primary fuel is less than six billion Btu of heat a day.

(f) An energy facility as defined in ORS 469.300 (Definitions) (11)(a)(G), if the facility:

(A) Exclusively uses biomass, including but not limited to grain, whey, potatoes, oilseeds, waste vegetable oil or cellulosic biomass, as the source of material for conversion to a liquid fuel;

(B) Has received local land use approval under the applicable acknowledged comprehensive plan and land use regulations of the affected local government and the facility complies with any statewide planning goals or rules of the Land Conservation and Development Commission that are directly applicable to the facility;

(C) Requires no new electric transmission lines or gas or petroleum product pipelines that would require a site certificate under subsection (1) of this section;

(D) Produces synthetic fuel, at least 90 percent of which is used in an industrial or refueling facility located within one mile of the facility or is transported from the facility by rail or barge; and

(E) Emits less than 118 pounds of carbon dioxide per million Btu from fossil fuel used for conversion energy.

(g) A standby generation facility, if the facility complies with all of the following:

(A) The facility has received local land use approval under the applicable acknowledged comprehensive plan and land use regulations of the affected local government and the facility complies with all statewide planning goals and applicable rules of the Land Conservation and Development Commission;

(B) The standby generators have been approved by the Department of Environmental Quality as having complied with all applicable air and water quality requirements. For an applicant that proposes to provide the physical facilities for the installation of standby generators, the requirement of this subparagraph may be met by agreeing to require such a term in the lease contract for the facility; and

(C) The standby generators are electrically incapable of being interconnected to the transmission grid. For an applicant that proposes to provide the physical facilities for the installation of standby generators, the requirement of this subparagraph may be met by agreeing to require such a term in the lease contract for the facility.

(3) The Energy Facility Siting Council may review and, if necessary, revise the fuel chargeable to power heat rate value set forth in subsection (2)(c)(B) of this section. In making its determination, the council shall ensure that the fuel chargeable to power heat rate value for facilities set forth in subsection (2)(c)(B) of this section remains significantly lower than the fuel chargeable to power heat rate value for the best available, commercially viable thermal power plant technology at the time of the revision.

(4) Any person who proposes to construct or enlarge an energy facility and who claims an exemption under subsection (2)(a), (c), (f) or (g) of this section from the requirement to obtain a site certificate shall request the Energy Facility Siting Council to determine whether the proposed facility qualifies for the claimed exemption. The council shall make its determination within 60 days after the request for exemption is filed. An appeal from the council’s determination on a request for exemption shall be made under ORS 469.403 (Rehearing on approval or rejection of application for site certificate or amendment), except that the scope of review by the Supreme Court shall be the same as a review by a circuit court under ORS 183.484 (Jurisdiction for review of orders other than contested cases). The record on review by the Supreme Court shall be the record established in the council proceeding on the exemption.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a separate site certificate shall not be required for:

(a) Transmission lines, storage facilities, pipelines or similar related or supporting facilities, if such related or supporting facilities are addressed in and are subject to a site certificate for another energy facility;

(b) Expansion within the site or within the energy generation area of a facility for which a site certificate has been issued, if the existing site certificate has been amended to authorize expansion; or

(c) Expansion, either within the site or outside the site, of an existing council certified surface facility related to an underground gas storage reservoir, if the existing site certificate is amended to authorize expansion.

(6) If the substantial loss of the steam host causes a facility exempt under subsection (2)(c) of this section to substantially fail to meet the exemption requirements under subsection (2)(c) of this section, the electric generating facility shall cease to operate one year after the substantial loss of the steam host unless an application for a site certificate has been filed in accordance with the provisions of ORS 469.300 (Definitions) to 469.563 (Court orders for enforcement).

(7) As used in this section:

(a) “Standby generation facility” means an electric power generating facility, including standby generators and the physical structures necessary to install and connect standby generators, that provides temporary electric power in the event of a power outage and that is electrically incapable of being interconnected with the transmission grid.

(b) “Total energy output” means the sum of useful thermal energy output and useful electrical energy output.

(c) “Useful thermal energy” means the verifiable thermal energy used in any viable industrial or commercial process, heating or cooling application.

(8) Notwithstanding the definition of “energy facility” in ORS 469.300 (Definitions) (11)(a)(J), an electric power generating plant with an average electric generating capacity of less than 35 megawatts produced from wind energy at a single energy facility or within a single energy generation area may elect to obtain a site certificate in the manner provided in ORS 469.300 (Definitions) to 469.563 (Court orders for enforcement), 469.590 (Definitions for ORS 469.590 to 469.595) to 469.619 (State Department of Energy to make federal regulations available), 469.930 (Northwest Interstate Compact on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management) and 469.992 (Civil penalties). An election to obtain a site certificate under this subsection shall be final upon submission of an application for a site certificate. [Formerly 453.325; 1977 c.86 §1; 1979 c.730 §8; 1982 s.s.1 c.6 §1; 1987 c.200 §5; 1991 c.480 §5; 1993 c.569 §4; 1995 c.505 §7; 1999 c.365 §6; 1999 c.385 §1; 2001 c.134 §§3,4; 2001 c.683 §§7,8; 2003 c.186 §§76,77; 2005 c.768 §§1,2; 2007 c.739 §33; 2009 c.751 §7]

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Site certificate require­ment for geothermal pipe­line six inches or greater in diameter which will have ultimate length of longer than five miles, (1979) Vol 40, p 186

Law Review Cita­tions

6 EL 898-900 (1976)

Notes of Decisions

The Energy Facility Siting Council failed to adopt sufficient standards concerning financial ability, qualifica­tions to construct and operate, and power needs. Marbet v. Portland General Electric, 277 Or 447, 561 P2d 154 (1977)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Permits, licenses and certificate require­ments for “executed site certificate,” (1974) Vol 37, p 103; appoint­ment and reappoint­ment of Council members, (1979) Vol 39, p 619

Law Review Cita­tions

13 WLJ 499 (1977); 57 OLR 334 (1978)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 469—Energy; Conservation Programs; Energy Facilities, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors469.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 469, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano469.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.