Expedited processing for certain natural gas energy facilities
(1) Notwithstanding the expedited review process established pursuant to ORS 469.370 (Draft proposed order for hearing), an applicant may apply under the provisions of this section for expedited review of an application for a site certificate for an energy facility if the energy facility:
(a) Is a combustion turbine energy facility fueled by natural gas or is a reciprocating engine fueled by natural gas, including an energy facility that uses petroleum distillate fuels for backup power generation;
(b) Is a permitted or conditional use allowed under an applicable local acknowledged comprehensive plan, land use regulation or federal land use plan, and is located:
(A) At or adjacent to an existing energy facility; or
(B)(i) At, adjacent to or in close proximity to an existing industrial use; and
(ii) In an area currently zoned or designated for industrial use;
(c)(A) Requires no more than three miles of associated transmission lines or three miles of new natural gas pipelines outside of existing rights of way for transmission lines or natural gas pipelines; or
(B) Imposes, in the determination of the Energy Facility Siting Council, no significant impact in the locating of associated transmission lines or new natural gas pipelines outside of existing rights of way;
(d) Requires no new water right or water right transfer;
(e) Provides funds to a qualified organization in an amount determined by the council to be sufficient to produce any required reduction in emissions as specified in ORS 469.503 (Requirements for approval of energy facility site certificate) (2)(c)(C) and in rules adopted under ORS 469.503 (Requirements for approval of energy facility site certificate) for the total carbon dioxide emissions produced by the energy facility for the life of the energy facility; and
(f)(A) Discharges process wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility that has an existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, can obtain an industrial pretreatment permit, if needed, within the expedited review process time frame and has written confirmation from the wastewater facility permit holder that the additional wastewater load will be accommodated by the facility without resulting in a significant thermal increase in the facility effluent or without requiring any changes to the wastewater facility National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit;
(B) Plans to discharge process wastewater to a wastewater treatment facility owned by a municipal corporation that will accommodate the wastewater from the energy facility and supplies evidence from the municipal corporation that:
(i) The municipal corporation has included, or intends to include, the process wastewater load from the energy facility in an application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit; and
(ii) All conditions required of the energy facility to allow the discharge of process wastewater from the energy facility will be satisfied; or
(C) Obtains a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or water pollution control facility permit for process wastewater disposal, supplies evidence to support a finding that the discharge can likely be permitted within the expedited review process time frame and that the discharge will not require:
(i) A new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, except for a storm water general permit for construction activities; or
(ii) A change in any effluent limit or discharge location under an existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System or water pollution control facility permit.
(2) An applicant seeking expedited review under this section shall submit documentation to the State Department of Energy, prior to the submission of an application for a site certificate, that demonstrates that the energy facility meets the qualifications set forth in subsection (1) of this section. The department shall determine, within 14 days of receipt of the documentation, on a preliminary, nonbinding basis, whether the energy facility qualifies for expedited review.
(3) If the department determines that the energy facility preliminarily qualifies for expedited review, the applicant may submit an application for expedited review. Within 30 days after the date that the application for expedited review is submitted, the department shall determine whether the application is complete. If the department determines that the application is complete, the application shall be deemed filed on the date that the department sends the applicant notice of its determination. If the department determines that the application is not complete, the department shall notify the applicant of the deficiencies in the application and shall deem the application filed on the date that the department determines that the application is complete. The department or the council may request additional information from the applicant at any time.
(4) The State Department of Energy shall send a copy of a filed application to the Department of Environmental Quality, the Water Resources Department, the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the State Department of Agriculture, the Department of Land Conservation and Development, the Public Utility Commission and any other state agency, city, county or political subdivision of the state that has regulatory or advisory responsibility with respect to the proposed energy facility. The State Department of Energy shall send with the copy of the filed application a notice specifying that:
(a) In the event the council issues a site certificate for the energy facility, the site certificate will bind the state and all counties, cities and political subdivisions in the state as to the approval of the site, the construction of the energy facility and the operation of the energy facility, and that after the issuance of a site certificate, all permits, licenses and certificates addressed in the site certificate must be issued as required by ORS 469.401 (Energy facility site certificate) (3); and
(b) The comments and recommendations of state agencies, counties, cities and political subdivisions concerning whether the proposed energy facility complies with any statute, rule or local ordinance that the state agency, county, city or political subdivision would normally administer in determining whether a permit, license or certificate required for the construction or operation of the energy facility should be approved will be considered only if the comments and recommendations are received by the department within a reasonable time after the date the application and notice of the application are sent by the department.
(5) Within 90 days after the date that the application was filed, the department shall issue a draft proposed order setting forth:
(a) A description of the proposed energy facility;
(b) A list of the permits, licenses and certificates that are addressed in the application and that are required for the construction or operation of the proposed energy facility;
(c) A list of the statutes, rules and local ordinances that are the standards and criteria for approval of any permit, license or certificate addressed in the application and that are required for the construction or operation of the proposed energy facility; and
(d) Proposed findings specifying how the proposed energy facility complies with the applicable standards and criteria for approval of a site certificate.
(6) The council shall review the application for site certification in the manner set forth in subsections (7) to (10) of this section and shall issue a site certificate for the facility if the council determines that the facility, with any required conditions to the site certificate, will comply with:
(a) The requirements for expedited review as specified in this section;
(b) The standards adopted by the council pursuant to ORS 469.501 (Energy facility siting, construction, operation and retirement standards) (1)(a), (c) to (e), (g), (h) and (L) to (o);
(c) The requirements of ORS 469.503 (Requirements for approval of energy facility site certificate) (3); and
(d) The requirements of ORS 469.504 (Facility compliance with statewide planning goals) (1)(b).
(7) Following submission of an application for a site certificate, the council shall hold a public informational meeting on the application. Following the issuance of the proposed order, the council shall hold at least one public hearing on the application. The public hearing shall be held in the area affected by the energy facility. The council shall mail notice of the hearing at least 20 days prior to the hearing. The notice shall comply with the notice requirements of ORS 197.763 (Conduct of local quasi-judicial land use hearings) (2) and shall include, but need not be limited to, the following:
(a) A description of the energy facility and the general location of the energy facility;
(b) The name of a department representative to contact and the telephone number at which people may obtain additional information;
(c) A statement that copies of the application and proposed order are available for inspection at no cost and will be provided at reasonable cost; and
(d) A statement that the record for public comment on the application will close at the conclusion of the hearing and that failure to raise an issue in person or in writing prior to the close of the record, with sufficient specificity to afford the decision maker an opportunity to respond to the issue, will preclude consideration of the issue, by the council or by a court on judicial review of the council’s decision.
(8) Prior to the conclusion of the hearing, the applicant may request an opportunity to present additional written evidence, arguments or testimony regarding the application. In the alternative, prior to the conclusion of the hearing, the applicant may request a contested case hearing on the application. If the applicant requests an opportunity to present written evidence, arguments or testimony, the council shall leave the record open for that purpose only for a period not to exceed 14 days after the date of the hearing. Following the close of the record, the department shall prepare a draft final order for the council. If the applicant requests a contested case hearing, the council may grant the request if the applicant has shown good cause for a contested case hearing. If a request for a contested case hearing is granted, subsections (9) to (11) of this section do not apply, and the application shall be considered under the same contested case procedures used for a nonexpedited application for a site certificate.
(9) The council shall make its decision based on the record and the draft final order prepared by the department. The council shall, within six months of the date that the application is deemed filed:
(a) Grant the application;
(b) Grant the application with conditions;
(c) Deny the application; or
(d) Return the application to the site certification process required by ORS 469.320 (Site certificate required).
(10) If the application is granted, the council shall issue a site certificate pursuant to ORS 469.401 (Energy facility site certificate) and 469.402 (Delegation of review of future action required by site certificate). Notwithstanding subsection (6) of this section, the council may impose conditions based on standards adopted under ORS 469.501 (Energy facility siting, construction, operation and retirement standards) (1)(b), (f) and (i) to (k), but may not deny an application based on those standards.
(11) Judicial review of the approval or rejection of a site certificate by the council under this section shall be as provided in ORS 469.403 (Rehearing on approval or rejection of application for site certificate or amendment). [2001 c.683 §15; 2011 c.298 §1]
Note: 469.373 (Expedited processing for certain natural gas energy facilities) was added to and made a part of 469.300 (Definitions) to 469.563 (Court orders for enforcement) by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
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