FERC Electric Transmission Construction Permit (8-FD-d)
FERC regulates construction and modifications of electric transmission facilities located within a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor pursuant to the Federal Power Act and |18 C.F.R. §§ 50.1-50.11.
FERC Electric Transmission Construction Permit Process
8-FD-d.1 – Hold Initial Consultation Meeting
The developer and the Director of FERC's Office of Energy Projects (Director) must hold an initial consultation meeting to discuss the project. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(b). The developer must be prepared to discuss:
- The nature of the project;
- The contents of the developer's Pre-filing Request;
- The status of the developer's progress toward obtaining the information required for the Pre-filing Request;
- The likelihood of whether a third-party contractor being needed to complete the environmental documentation for the project;
- The specifications for the developer's solicitation for prospective third-party contractors; and
- How their project is subject to FERC's jurisdiction under 16 U.S.C. § 824p(b)(1).
8-FD-d.2 – Pre-filing Request
The developer must submit a Pre-filing Request to the Director that includes the following:
- A description of the schedule desired for the project, including the expected application filing date, desired date for Commission approval, and proposed project operation date, as well as the status of any State siting proceedings;
- A detailed description of the project, including location maps and plot plans to scale showing all major components, including a description of zoning and site availability for any permanent facilities;
- A list of the permitting entities responsible for conducting separate Federal permitting and environmental reviews and authorizations for the project, including contact names and telephone numbers, and a list of local entities with local authorization requirements, including information concerning:
- How the applicant intends to account for each of the relevant entity's permitting and environmental review schedules, including its progress in DOE's pre-application process; and
- When the applicant proposes to file with these permitting and local entities for the respective permits or other authorizations;
- A list of all affected landowners and other stakeholders (include contact names and telephone numbers) that have been contacted, or have contacted the applicant, about the project;
- A description of what other work already has been done, including, contacting stakeholders, agency and Indian tribe consultations, project engineering, route planning, environmental and engineering contractor engagement, environmental surveys/studies, open houses, and any work done or actions taken in conjunction with a State proceeding. This description also must include the identification of the environmental and engineering firms and sub-contractors under contract to develop the project;
- Proposals for at least three (3) prospective third-party contractors from which Commission staff may make a selection to assist in the preparation of the requisite NEPA document, if the Director determined a third-party contractor would be necessary in the Initial Consultation meeting; and
- A proposed Project Participation Plan that includes:
- A description of specific tools and actions to facilitate stakeholder communications and public information, including an up-to-date project Web site and a readily accessible, single point of contact within the company;
- A list of all central locations in each county throughout the project area where the applicant will provide copies of all their filings related to the proposed project; and
- A description and schedule explaining how the applicant intends to respond to requests for information from the public as well as Federal, State, and Tribal permitting agencies, and other legal entities with local authorization requirements.
8-FD-d.3 to 8-FD-d.5 – Review the Pre-filing Request for Completeness
The Director reviews the Pre-filing Request for administrative and technical completeness. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(d)(1). The Director ensures that the developer has adequately addressed the requirements of the Pre-filing Request as well as any other requirements established during the initial consultation meeting. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(d)(1). If the Director determines the Pre-filing Request is insufficient, they must notify the developer of the deficiencies and provide a reasonable amount of time for corrections. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(d)(2)).
8-FD-d.6 – Notify Developer of Pre-filing Process Commencement
The Director must notify the developer that their pre-filing process has commenced after receiving a complete Pre-filing Request. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(d). The notice must also designate the third-party contractor, if applicable. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(d). The developer must file monthly status reports on their project activities during the pre-filing process, including stakeholder communications and meetings and status updates on other necessary permit approvals. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(8).
8-FD-d.7 – File a Final Project Participation Plan
The developer must file a final Project Participation Plan within seven (7) days of the pre-filing process commencement. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(1). The developer must include the dates and locations at which they will conduct meetings with stakeholders and FERC staff. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(1).
8-FD-d.8 – Finalize Third-Party Contractor's Contract (If Applicable)
The developer must finalize the third-party contractor's contract, if the project requires one, within 14 days of the pre-filing process commencement. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(2).
8-FD-d.9 – Provide Director's Notice to Stakeholders
The developer must provide the Director's notice commencing the pre-filing process to three groups of stakeholders within 14 days of the Director issuing the notice. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(3). The developer must provide all identified stakeholders with a copy of the Director's notice commencing the pre-filing process. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(3)(i). The developer must also notify all neighboring landowners in compliance with 18 C.F.R. § 50.4(c). 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(3)(ii). The developer must also notify permitting entities and request information detailing any additional information not already required by FERC that the permitting agency may need to reach decisions regarding the project. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(3)(iii).
8-FD-d.10 – Submit Stakeholders Mailing List
The developer must submit a mailing list of all the stakeholders notified of the Director's notice within 30 days of the Director issuing the notice. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(4). The mailing list should specifically include the names of federal, state, tribal, and local jurisdictions' representatives and notes of any affected landowner notifications that were returned to the developer as undeliverable. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(4).
8-FD-d.11 – File Alternatives Summary
The developer must file a summary of all project alternatives they considered or are still under consideration at the time of the filing within 30 days of the Director's notice commencing the pre-filing process. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(5).
8-FD-d.12 – File Updated List of Necessary Permits and Approvals
The developer must file an updated list of all the permits and approvals needed from federal, state, tribal, and local agencies for the project within 30 days of the Director's notice commencing the pre-filing process. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(6). This list should include the past and upcoming deadlines for the permit and approval applications, copies of all the applications the developer has filed to date, and the status of any pending applications the developer has already submitted. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(e)(6).
8-FD-d.13 – File Draft Resource Reports
8-FD-d.14 to 8-FD-d.15 – Is the Information Gathered During the Pre-filing Process Complete?
The Director must determine when the information gathered during the pre-filing process is complete. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(f).
8-FD-d.16 – Application for Construction Permit
The developer may submit an Application for a Construction Permit (Application) once the Director determines the information gathered during the pre-filing process is complete. 18 C.F.R. § 50.5(f). The developer must make the Application in writing to the Director and, at minimum, must include:
- The exact legal name of developer;
- The developer's principal place of business;
- Whether the developer is an individual, partnership, corporation, or otherwise;
- The State laws under which the developer is organized or authorized;
- The name, title, and mailing address of the person or persons to whom communications concerning the application are to be addressed;
- A concise description of applicant's existing operations;
- A concise general description of the proposed project sufficient to explain its scope and purpose that, at a minimum:
- Describes the proposed geographic location of the project and the planned routing of the transmission line;
- Contain the general characteristics of the transmission line including voltage, types of towers, origin and termination points of the transmission line, and the geographic character of area traversed by the line; and
- Includes an overview map of sufficient scale to show the entire transmission route on one or a few 8.5 by 11-inch sheets;
- Verification that the proposed route lies within a national interest electric transmission corridor designated by the Secretary of the Department of Energy under section 216 of the Federal Power Act;
- Evidence that:
- A State in which the transmission facilities are to be constructed or modified does not have the authority to approve the siting of the facilities or consider the interstate benefits expected to be achieved by the proposed construction or modification of transmission facilities in the State;
- The developer is a transmitting utility but does not qualify to apply for a permit or siting approval of the proposed project in a State because the developer does not serve end-use customers in the State; or
- A State commission or other entity that has the authority to approve the siting of the facilities has:
- Withheld approval for more than one year after the filing of an application seeking approval under applicable law or one year after the designation of the relevant national interest electric transmission corridor, whichever is later; or
- Conditioned its approval in such a manner that the proposed construction or modification will not significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce or is not economically feasible;
- A demonstration that the facilities to be authorized by the permit will be used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, and that the proposed construction or modification:
- Is consistent with the public interest;
- Will significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce and protects or benefits consumers;
- Is consistent with sound national energy policy and will enhance energy interdependence; and
- Will maximize, to the extent reasonable and economical, the transmission capabilities of existing towers or structures.
- A description of the proposed construction and operation of the facilities, including the proposed dates for the beginning and completion of construction and the commencement of service.
- A general description of project financing.
- A full statement as to whether any other application to supplement or effectuate the developer's proposals must be or is to be filed by the developer, any of the developer's customers, or any other person, with any other Federal, State, Tribal, or other regulatory body, and if so, the nature and status of each such application;
- A table of contents that must list all exhibits and documents filed with the Application as well as all other documents and exhibits otherwise filed, identifying them by their appropriate titles and alphabetical letter designations. The alphabetical letter designations specified in 18 C.F.R. § 50.7 must be strictly adhered to and extra exhibits submitted at the volition of applicant must be designated in sequence under the letter Z (Z1, Z2, Z3, etc.);
- A form of notice suitable for publication in the Federal Register, as provided by 18 C.F.R. § 50.9(a), which will briefly summarize the facts contained in the application in such a way as to acquaint the public with its scope and purpose. The form of notice also must include the name, address, and telephone number of an authorized contact person; and
- Exhibits A-J as outlined in 18 C.F.R. § 50.7, with each exhibit including a title page showing:
- The applicant's name;
- Title of the exhibit;
- The proper letter designation of the exhibit; and
- If 10 or more pages, a table of contents that cites the component elements or matters contained in the exhibit by page, section number, or subdivision.
8-FD-d.17 to 8-FD-d.18 – Notify Developer of Application Receipt
8-FD-d.19 to 8-FD-d.20 – Is the Application Complete?
The Director must review the Application for administrative and technical completeness. 18 C.F.R. § 50.8(b). If the Application is not complete, the Director may reject the Application without prejudice so that the developer may correct any deficiencies and resubmit a complete Application. 18 C.F.R. § 50.8(b).
8-FD-d.21 – Publish Notice of Complete Application
The Director must publish a notice of a complete Application in the Federal Register that establishes prompt and binding intermediate milestones and ultimate deadlines for the coordination, and review of, and action on Federal authorization decisions relating to, the proposed facilities. 18 C.F.R. § 50.9.
8-FD-d.22 to 8-FD-d.23 – File Petition to Intervene (Optional)
Any persons (including the state in which the project is located, affected tribes, private property owners, and other interested persons) the who wish to participate in the proceeding may file a petition to intervene by the date prescribed in the Federal Register notice. 18 C.F.R. § 50.10; 16 U.S.C. § 824p(d). Any interested regulatory agency that wishes to intervene may file its notice of intervention by the date prescribed in the Federal Register notice. 18 C.F.R. § 50.10. Intervenors may present their views and recommendations regarding the need for and impact of the project. 16 U.S.C. § 824p(d).
8-FD-d.24 – Hold Public Hearing
The Director must provide an opportunity for a hearing before issuing a decision on the Application. 16 U.S.C. § 824p(b).
8-FD-d.25 to 8-FD-d.26 – Review Application for Approval
The Director must review the Application for approval. 16 U.S.C. § 824p(b). The Director may approve the Application if they find that:
- A State in which the transmission facilities are to be constructed or modified does not have authority to:
- Approve the siting of the project; or
- Consider the interstate benefits expected to be achieved by the project or modification of transmission facilities in the State;
- The developer is a transmitting utility under this chapter but does not qualify to apply for a permit or siting approval for the project in a State because the developer does not serve end-use customers in the State; or
- A State commission or other entity that has authority to approve the siting of the project has:
- Withheld approval for more than 1 year after the filing of an application seeking approval pursuant to applicable law or 1 year after the designation of the relevant national interest electric transmission corridor, whichever is later; or
- Conditioned the project's approval in such a manner that the proposed construction or modification will not significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce or is not economically feasible;
- A State in which the transmission facilities are to be constructed or modified does not have authority to:
- The project to be authorized by the permit will be used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce;
- The proposed construction or modification is consistent with the public interest;
- The proposed construction or modification will significantly reduce transmission congestion in interstate commerce and protects or benefits consumers;
- The proposed construction or modification is consistent with sound national energy policy and will enhance energy independence; and
- The proposed modification will maximize, to the extent reasonable and economical, the transmission capabilities of existing towers or structures.
8-FD-d.27 – Construction Permit
The developer must comply with any terms and conditions included in the Construction Permit, examples of which can be found at 18 C.F.R. § 50.11. For example, the developer must file updates on the beginning and completion of construction of the project as well as commencement of service. 18 C.F.R. § 50.11(f).
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