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Arkansas Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (8-AR-d)

A developer must obtain a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need from the Arkansas Public Service Commission (PSC) before constructing a major utility facility. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-510(a)(1) (1973). A major utility facility is defined, in part, as an electric generation plant and associated transportation facilities capable of operating at a capacity of fifty megawatts (50 MW) or more. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-503(6) (1973).


Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need Process

8-AR-d.1 to 8-AR-d.2— Does an Exception Exist?

A Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is not required for:

  • Reconstruction, alteration or relocation of a major utility facility that must be reconstructed, altered, or relocated because of federal, state or county requirements for the purposes of highway transportation, public safety or air and water quality Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-510(c) (1973);
  • Electric transmission lines and facilities to be constructed or operated by a municipal electric utility system and is located within the territory of the municipality Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-510(c) (1973);
  • The replacement or expansion of an existing transmission facility with a similar facility in the same location Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-510(a)(2) (1973); or
  • Upgrading an existing facility to increase capacity if there is no increase in the required right-of-way Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-510(a)(2) (1973).


8-AR-d.3 — Publish Notice of Application

The developer must publish notice of the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need Application (Application) at all public libraries in each county where the project is located. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-513(8) (1973). The developer must also publish public notice twice in the local newspaper. Arkansas PSC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Rule 6.03(b). The newspaper notice must contain a map of the proposed project location and copies of the Application. Arkansas PSC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Rule 6.03(b). Additionally, the developer must send notice of the Application to various Arkansas governmental authorities including; the mayor of each municipality, the county judge, the office of the governor, and the head of state agencies. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-513 (1973).

8-AR-d.4 — Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need Application

The developer must submit the Application to the PSC. The Application must include:

  • A description of the project location;
  • A description of any reasonable alternative locations;
  • A statement of the estimated total cost and proposed method of financing the project;
  • A statement of need for the development; and
  • An environmental impact statement.

Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-511(c) (1973). Additionally, each Application requires an initial filing fee of $500. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-512 (1973).

8-AR-d.5 — Request Agency Comments

After receiving the Application, the PSC must request state agency comments on the development. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-514(a)(1) (1973). Agencies must submit comments within 60 days of receiving the request from the PSC. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-514(a)(2) (1973).

8-AR-d.6 to 8-AR-d.7 — Review Application Materials for Completeness

The PSC determines if the developer failed to include an environmental or economic aspect of the project. If the PSC finds the developer failed to include an important aspect of the project in the Application a letter will be mailed to the developer at least 20 days before the public hearing. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-514(b) (1973).

8-AR-d.8 — Review Agency Comments (If Applicable)

The PSC reviews the agency comments before making a final decision on the Application. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-514(b) (1973).

8-AR-d.9 — Publish Notice of Public Hearing

The PSC must schedule a public hearing between 40 and 180 days after receiving the Application. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-516(a)(1) (1973). Any interested person may petition to be a party in the proceeding. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-517 (1973), Arkansas PSC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Rule 6.04.

8-AR-d.10 to 8-AR-d.11 — Assess Application for Approval

The PSC assesses the Application for approval.

8-AR-d.12 — Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need

The PSC must send each party a copy of the decision within 60 days of the public hearing. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-519(e) (1973).

8-AR-d.13 to 8-AR-d.14 — Appeal Decision (optional)

Any aggrieved party may apply for a rehearing with the PSC. After the rehearing, a party may appeal the decision to the judicial court with jurisdiction. The PSC must send each party a copy of the decision with 60 days of the public hearing. Ark. Code Ann. §23-18-524 (1973).


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