2017 ORS 469.370¹
Draft proposed order for hearing
  • issues raised
  • final order
  • expedited processing

(1) Based on its review of the application and the comments and recommendations on the application from state agencies and local governments, the State Department of Energy shall prepare and issue a draft proposed order on the application.

(2) Following issuance of the draft proposed order, the Energy Facility Siting Council shall hold one or more public hearings on the application for a site certificate in the affected area and elsewhere, as the council considers necessary. Notice of the hearing shall be mailed at least 20 days before the hearing. The notice shall, at a minimum:

(a) Comply with the requirements of ORS 197.763 (Conduct of local quasi-judicial land use hearings) (2), with respect to the persons notified;

(b) Include a description of the facility and the facility’s general location;

(c) Include the name of an agency representative to contact and the telephone number where additional information may be obtained;

(d) State that copies of the application and draft proposed order are available for inspection at no cost and will be provided at a reasonable cost; and

(e) State that failure to raise an issue in person or in writing prior to the close of the record of the public hearing with sufficient specificity to afford the decision maker an opportunity to respond to the issue precludes consideration of the issue in a contested case.

(3) Any issue that may be the basis for a contested case shall be raised not later than the close of the record at or following the final public hearing prior to issuance of the department’s proposed order. Such issues shall be raised with sufficient specificity to afford the council, the department and the applicant an adequate opportunity to respond to each issue. A statement of this requirement shall be made at the commencement of any public hearing on the application.

(4) After reviewing the application, the draft proposed order and any testimony given at the public hearing and after consulting with other agencies, the department shall issue a proposed order recommending approval or rejection of the application. The department shall issue public notice of the proposed order, that shall include notice of a contested case hearing specifying a deadline for requests to participate as a party or limited party and a date for the prehearing conference.

(5) Following receipt of the proposed order from the department, the council shall conduct a contested case hearing on the application for a site certificate in accordance with the applicable provisions of ORS chapter 183 and any procedures adopted by the council. The applicant shall be a party to the contested case. The council may permit any other person to become a party to the contested case in support of or in opposition to the application only if the person appeared in person or in writing at the public hearing on the site certificate application. Issues that may be the basis for a contested case shall be limited to those raised on the record of the public hearing under subsection (3) of this section, unless:

(a) The department failed to follow the requirements of subsection (2) or (3) of this section; or

(b) The action recommended in the proposed order, including any recommended conditions of the approval, differs materially from that described in the draft proposed order, in which case only new issues related to such differences may be raised.

(6) If no person requests party status to challenge the department’s proposed order, the proposed order shall be forwarded to the council and the contested case hearing shall be concluded.

(7) At the conclusion of the contested case, the council shall issue a final order, either approving or rejecting the application based upon the standards adopted under ORS 469.501 (Energy facility siting, construction, operation and retirement standards) and any additional statutes, rules or local ordinances determined to be applicable to the facility by the project order, as amended. The council shall make its decision by the affirmative vote of at least four members approving or rejecting any application for a site certificate. The council may amend or reject the proposed order, so long as the council provides public notice of its hearing to adopt a final order, and provides an opportunity for the applicant and any party to the contested case to comment on material changes to the proposed order, including material changes to conditions of approval resulting from the council’s review. The council’s order shall be considered a final order for purposes of appeal.

(8) Rejection or approval of an application, together with any conditions that may be attached to the certificate, shall be subject to judicial review as provided in ORS 469.403 (Rehearing on approval or rejection of application for site certificate or amendment).

(9) The council shall either approve or reject an application for a site certificate:

(a) Within 24 months after filing an application for a nuclear installation, or for a thermal power plant, other than that described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, with a nameplate rating of more than 200,000 kilowatts;

(b) Within nine months after filing of an application for a site certificate for a combustion turbine power plant, a geothermal-fueled power plant or an underground storage facility for natural gas;

(c) Within six months after filing an application for a site certificate for an energy facility, if the application is:

(A) To expand an existing industrial facility to include an energy facility;

(B) To expand an existing energy facility to achieve a nominal electric generating capacity of between 25 and 50 megawatts; or

(C) To add injection or withdrawal capacity to an existing underground gas storage facility; or

(d) Within 12 months after filing an application for a site certificate for any other energy facility.

(10) At the request of the applicant, the council shall allow expedited processing of an application for a site certificate for an energy facility with an average electric generating capacity of less than 100 megawatts. No notice of intent shall be required. Following approval of a request for expedited review, the department shall issue a project order, which may be amended at any time. The council shall either approve or reject an application for a site certificate within six months after filing the site certificate application if there are no intervenors in the contested case conducted under subsection (5) of this section. If there are intervenors in the contested case, the council shall either approve or reject an application within nine months after filing the site certificate application. For purposes of this subsection, the generating capacity of a thermal power plant is the nameplate rating of the electrical generator proposed to be installed in the plant.

(11) Failure of the council to comply with the deadlines set forth in subsection (9) or (10) of this section shall not result in the automatic issuance or denial of a site certificate.

(12) The council shall specify in the site certificate a date by which construction of the facility must begin.

(13) For a facility that is subject to and has been or will be reviewed by a federal agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 4321, et seq., the council shall conduct its site certificate review, to the maximum extent feasible, in a manner that is consistent with and does not duplicate the federal agency review. Such coordination shall include, but need not be limited to:

(a) Elimination of duplicative application, study and reporting requirements;

(b) Council use of information generated and documents prepared for the federal agency review;

(c) Development with the federal agency and reliance on a joint record to address applicable council standards;

(d) Whenever feasible, joint hearings and issuance of a site certificate decision in a time frame consistent with the federal agency review; and

(e) To the extent consistent with applicable state standards, establishment of conditions in any site certificate that are consistent with the conditions established by the federal agency. [Formerly 453.365; 1977 c.296 §14; 1977 c.794 §11; 1977 c.895 §1; 1985 c.569 §17; 1993 c.544 §4; 1993 c.569 §8; 1995 c.79 §288; 1995 c.505 §11; 1997 c.428 §2; 2001 c.134 §6]

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.