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Florida Transmission Siting Certification (8-FL-a)

In Florida, a developer may need a Transmission Siting Certification (“Certification”) from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to construct a transmission line. Fla. Stat. § 403.522 (22). “Transmission lines” are defined as “structures, maintenance and access roads, and all other facilities that need to be constructed, operated, or maintained for the purpose of conveying electric power” with a capacity of 230 kV or more. Fla. Stat. § 403.522 (22).

A developer does not need a Certification if:

  • The transmission line has been certified under the Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act for generation facilities;
  • The developer has a vested right based upon existing law to construct transmission lines;
  • The transmission lines are constructed within established rights-of-way, including “rights-of-way established at any time for roads, highways, railroads, gas, water, oil, electricity, or sewage any other public purposes”; or
  • The transmission lines are less than 15 miles long or located within a single county.

Fla. Stat. § 403.524(2).


The DEP regulates transmission siting Certification pursuant to Florida Electric Transmission Line Siting Act. Florida – Florida Department of Environmental Protection Application Instruction Guide, Electrical Transmission Lines.


Transmission Siting Certification Process

8-FL-a.1 – Application for Transmission Siting Certification

A developer must submit a complete Application for Transmission Siting Certification (“Application”) to the DEP. The Application must include, at minimum, the following:

  • Maps of the proposed project;
  • A description of the specific starting point and ending point of the transmission line, including substations, power plants, transmission networks or rights-of-way differentiating between those proposed and those existing;
  • Indication of whether the Florida Public Service Commission (“PSC”) has determined the need for a proposed substation in a particular area;
  • A description of the proposed transmission line design including voltage, capacity under normal and emergency conditions, approximate spans, and electrical clearances;
  • Illustrations of the typical types of transmission structures proposed including profiles of structures and conductors;
  • A detailed discussion of the planning approach and reasons for selecting the proposed alignment of transmission line corridor, including the width of the corridor requests and the number and size of transmission lines to be proposed and located on a particular right-of-way;
  • Identification of major alternative corridors and explanation of why alternative corridors were not selected;
  • Reasoning for substation locations;
  • Cost projections including a general cost estimate or estimated cost range for the project;
  • Information on boundaries of impacted municipalities including zoning and land use plans;
  • Information on required easements;
  • A description of the cultural, natural landmarks, archaeological sites, and historic sites impacted by the proposed project;
  • A description of the types of vegetation occupying areas five acres or more from the area of the proposed project;
  • A characterization of any impacted surface water bodies or wetlands;
  • Identification of known endangered species within or near the proposed project;
  • A detailed description of proposed construction techniques for towers, foundations, road construction, and types of equipment used for the proposed project, including potential issues with erosion and mitigation measures;
  • A description of the solid wastes resulting from construction;
  • A description of the anticipated changes to vegetation, wildlife, and aquatic life from construction;
  • A description of the impacts on the proximate human populations arising from construction noise or inconveniences;
  • A description of construction impacts on regional, scenic, cultural, natural landmarks, archaeological and historic sites;
  • A description of post-construction impacts; and
  • All required Application fees pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 403.5365.

DEP Application Instruction Guide; Fla. Stat. § 403.5251.

8-FL-a.2 – Provide Names of Additional Agencies and Persons

The DEP must provide the developer and the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (“Division”) with “names and addresses of any additional agencies or persons entitled to notice and copies of the [A]pplication and amendments” within seven (7) days of receiving the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5251.

8-FL-a.3 – Request for Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

The DEP must submit a request for an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) to the Division within seven (7) days of receiving an Application whether the Application is complete or not. Fla. Stat. § 403.525(1).

8-FL-a.4 to 8-FL-a.5 – Designate ALJ

The Division must designate an ALJ to conduct the hearings considering the Application within seven (7) days of receiving the request for ALJ. Fla. Stat. § 403.525(1). The Division must provide notice to the DEP when the Division assigns an ALJ to conduct the hearings. Fla. Stat. § 403.525(1).

8-FL-a.6 to 8-FL-a.7 – File Copy of Application

Upon receiving notice that the Division has designated an ALJ, the DEP must immediately file a copy of the Application and all supporting documents with the ALJ. Upon receipt of the Application materials, the ALJ must assign the Application a docket number. Fla. Stat. § 403.525(1).

8-FL-a.8 to 8-FL-a.9 – Prepare Proposed Schedule

The DEP must prepare a proposed schedule of dates for determining completeness of the Application, submitting statements of issues, submitting final reports, and other significant dates during the Certification process within 15 days of the developer submitting an Application. Fla. Stat.§ 403.5251. The DEP must provide notice of the proposed schedule to the developer, the ALJ, and the agencies entitled to notice of the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5251.

8-FL-a.10 – Order Establishing Schedule

The ALJ must issue an order establishing a schedule for the matters addressed in the DEP’s proposed schedule and other appropriate matters. Fla. Stat. § 403.5251.

8-FL-a.11 – Provide Public Notice of the Application

The DEP and developer must provide public notice of the Application in newspapers of general circulation within counties impacted by the proposed project no more than 21 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363. The public notice must provide:

  • A description of the proceedings;
  • A description of the impacts of Certification outlined in Fla. Stat. § 403.531; and
  • Information about the date by which notice of intent to be a party or petition for intervention must be filed.

Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.12 – Provide Individual Notice of the Application

The developer must provide individual written notice of the Application by certified mail or hand delivery to all local landowners whose property is located within one-quarter mile of the proposed project boundary within 45 days of the developer filing the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.13 – List of Notified Landowners

The developer must file a list of notified landowners and residences with the DEP no later than 60 days after filing an Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.14 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The impacted state agencies and DEP must review the Application for technical and administrative completeness.

8-FL-a.15 – Statement of Completeness with Recommendations

The impacted state agencies must file a statement of completeness with the DEP with recommendations concerning the completeness of the Application within 30 days of the developer filing the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.16 to 8-FL-a.17 – Review Statement of Completeness with Recommendations

The DEP must review the statement of completeness with recommendations and file a statement of completeness with the Division, developer, and all other participants in the proceeding regarding the DEP’s position on the completeness of the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.18 to 8-FL-a.19 – Does DEP Determine the Application is Complete?

If the DEP determines the Application is complete the developer should proceed to 8-FL-a.32. If the DEP determines the Application is incomplete, the developer must file with the Division, parties participating in the proceeding, and the DEP a Response Statement:

  • Withdrawing the Application;
  • Providing additional information necessary to make the Application complete;
  • Contesting the DEP’s statement of completeness; or
  • Agreement with the DEP and requesting additional time to provide information necessary to make the Application complete.

Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.20 to 8-FL-a.22 – Does the Developer Contest the Statement of Completeness?

If the developer does not contest the statement of completeness, the developer should proceed to 8-FL-a.26 to submit supplemental Application materials. If the developer contests the DEP’s determination on the completeness of the Application, the ALJ must schedule a hearing on the statement of completeness. Any substantially affected person who is not the developer, the DEP, and an agency with jurisdiction over the proposed project, and wishes to participate in the proceeding may move to become a party in the hearing on the issue of completeness no later than ten (10) days before the date of the hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252. Parties to proceedings have rights and privileges throughout the hearing process, including but not limited to:

  • Requesting disqualification of the ALJ;
  • Conducting cross-examination when testimony is taken or documents are made part of the record;
  • Enforcing subpoenas, orders directing discovery, or orders imposing sanctions;
  • Requesting a scheduling order; and
  • Requesting hearing transcripts.

Fla. Stat. § 120.569; Fla. Stat. § 120.574.

8-FL-a.23 to 8-FL-a.24 – Hold Hearing on Statement of Completeness

The ALJ must hold the hearing as soon as possible, but no later than 21 days after the DEP files the statement of completeness. The ALJ must make a decision on the statement of completeness within seven (7) days of concluding the hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.25 – Does the ALJ Determine the Application is Complete?

If the ALJ determines that the Application is complete, the developer does not need to submit any supplemental information and the original Application is complete. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.26 to 8-FL-a.27 – Supplemental Application Materials

If the ALJ determines that the Application is not complete, the developer must either withdraw the Application or supplement the Application with the materials necessary to complete the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252. The impacted state agencies must review the supplemental Application materials for completeness. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.28 to 8-FL-a.31 – Recommendations on Completeness

The impacted state agencies may file recommendations on whether the agency believes the Application is complete within 14 days after the developer submits the additional information. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252. The DEP must review the agency recommendations and make a determination on whether the Application is complete within 21 days of receiving supplemental Application materials. Fla. Stat. § 403.5252.

8-FL-a.32 – Preliminary Statement of Issues

The impacted state agencies must submit a preliminary statement of issues to the DEP, the developer, and all parties to the proceeding no later than 15 days after the Application is filed. Fla. Stat. § 403.526. Impacted agencies include the following:

Fla. Stat. § 403.526. All impacted agencies required to provide preliminary statements on the issues and reports are also parties to the proceeding considering the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.33 to 8-FL-a.35 – Does a Local Government Intend to Hold an Informational Public Meeting?

If a local government or regional planning council plans to hold an informational public meeting, then the local government or regional planning council must provide notice to all proceeding parties at least 15 days before the meeting. Fla. Stat. § 403.5272. The local government or regional planning council must also publish public notice of the meeting in a newspaper of general circulation in the counties in which the proposed project is located at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.36 to 8-FL-a.38 – Hold Informational Public Meeting

Any local government or regional planning council whose jurisdiction is crossed by a proposed project may hold one informational public meeting on any matter associated with the Application proceeding. The local government or appropriate regional planning council must hold the public meeting considering the Application no later than 55 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.5272. During the informational public meeting, the local government or regional planning council informs the public about the proposed project, the public comments on the proposed project, and the local government or regional planning commission formulates its recommendation on the proposed project. Fla. Stat. § 403.5272. The developer and DEP are required to attend the informational public meeting. Fla. Stat. § 403.5272.

8-FL-a.39 – Provide Public Notice of the Certification Hearing

The DEP and the developer must provide public notice of the Certification in newspapers of general circulation within counties crossed by the proposed project at least 65 days before the date set for the Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363. Public notice regarding the Certification hearing must include:

  • A description of the proceedings;
  • A description of the impact of Certification outlined in Fla. Stat. § 403.531; and
  • Information about the date by which notice of intent to be a party or petition for intervention must be filed.

Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.40 – Report on Application

Every impacted agency must file a report with the DEP on the Application no later than 90 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.526. Each report must contain the following:

  • Notice of any nonprocedural requirements not listed in the Application;
  • Recommendation for approval or denial of the Application; and
  • Proposed conditions of Certification listing specific statutes, rules, or ordinances authorizing the proposed condition. Fla. Stat. § 403.526.

8-FL-a.41 to 8-FL-a.43 – Request for Public Hearing (Optional)

Impacted municipalities may a request a public hearing no later than 50 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.527. The ALJ must determine the date of, and schedule, the public hearing no later than five (5) days after receiving the request for public hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.44 to 8-FL-a.46 – Review State Agency Reports

The DEP must review the state agency reports and prepare a project analysis containing a compilation of agency reports and summaries and file the project analysis with the ALJ no later than 115 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.526. The DEP must provide all parties to the proceeding with a copy of the project analysis. Fla. Stat. § 403.526. The project analysis must include the following:

  • Statement indicating whether the proposed transmission line is in compliance with DEP and impacted agency rules;
  • Studies and reports;
  • Comments received by agencies or people; and
  • Recommendations of the DEP regarding proposed Certification conditions.

Fla. Stat. § 403.526.

8-FL-a.47 – Notice of Intent

All impacted agencies must file a notice of intent to be a party at least 30 days before the Certification hearing considering the Application to participate as a party in the Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.527. The impacted agencies may waive their right to participate in the proceedings by failing to file a notice of intent to be a party. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.


8-FL-a.48 – Intervene as a Party

Entities wishing to participate in the Certification hearing as a party may intervene as a party no later than 30 days before the date set for the Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.527. The following entities may intervene as a party in the hearing considering the Application:

  • Any agency with jurisdiction over the proposed project;
  • Domestic nonprofit corporation or association formed to promote conservation of natural beauty, protect the environment, preserve historical sites, promote consumer interests, represent labor or industrial groups, or promote comprehensive planning or orderly development of the area in which the proposed project is to be located; and
  • Any person whose substantial interests are affected and being determined by the proceeding.

Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.49 to 8-FL-a.52 – Do all the Parties Agree There are no Disputed Issues of Material Fact or Law?

If all the parties to the proceeding agree that there are no disputed issues of material fact or law, the DEP or developer may request cancellation of the Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

The DEP or the developer may request that the ALJ cancel the Certification hearing and relinquish jurisdiction to the DEP no later than 29 days before the Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.527. The ALJ must review the request and issue an order granting or denying the request for hearing cancellation within five (5) days. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.53 to 8-FL-a.54 – Does the ALJ Grant the Request?

If the ALJ grants the request to cancel the Certification hearing, the DEP and the developer must publish public notice of the cancellation in newspapers of general circulation within counties impacted by the proposed project at least three (3) days before the date of the originally scheduled Certification hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.5363.

8-FL-a.55 to 8-FL-a.56 – Review Application for Approval

Upon cancellation of the Certification hearing, the DEP reviews the Application for approval. The DEP must issue a final order on the Application within 40 days. Fla. Stat. § 403.529.

8-FL-a.57 to 8-FL-a.58 – Does the DEP Approve the Application?

If the DEP approves the Application, and grants the Transmission Siting Certification, the developer may proceed with the project in compliance with all applicable state and local laws. Fla. Stat. § 403.529.

8-FL-a.59 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

A party to the proceeding adversely impacted by a final DEP decision on the Application may appeal the decision to the Florida court of appeals where the DEP is located within 30 days of the DEP issuing the final order. Fla. Stat. § 120.68.

8-FL-a.60 to 8-FL-a.61 – Hold Public Hearing (If Applicable)

If an impacted local government requests a public hearing, the ALJ must hold a public hearing on the Application in that municipality before or during the Certification hearing to provide members of the public who are not parties the Certification hearing an opportunity to testify and provide comment on the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.62 to 8-FL-a.63 – Hold Certification Hearing

If the ALJ does not grant the request to cancel the Certification hearing, the ALJ must hold a Certification hearing no later than 145 days after the developer files the Application. Fla. Stat. § 403.527. If no impacted municipalities request a public hearing within 50 days after the Application is filed, members of the public who are not parties to the Certification hearing and who reside within the impacted municipality may testify during the formal Certification hearing as the ALJ deems appropriate. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.64 to 8-FL-a.65 – Review Application for Recommendation

The ALJ reviews the Application for recommendation and files the hearing transcript with the Division. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.66 – Recommended Decision on the Application

The ALJ must issue a recommended decision on the Application within 45 days of filing the hearing transcript with the Division. Fla. Stat. § 403.527.

8-FL-a.67 to 8-FL-a.68 – Hold Public Hearing on the Application

The Florida Siting Board (“Siting Board”) holds a hearing considering the Application. The public may comment on the Application at the public hearing. Fla. Stat. § 403.529. The Siting Board includes the Governor and the Cabinet. Fla. Stat. § 403.503(8).

8-FL-a.69 to 8-FL-a.70 – Review Application for Approval

The Siting Board reviews the Application for approval. In determining whether to approve or deny an Application, the Siting Board considers whether the proposed transmission line construction, operation, and maintenance:

  • Ensures electric power system reliability and integrity;
  • Meets electrical energy needs of the state in an orderly economical, and timely fashion;
  • Complies with applicable nonprocedural requirements of agencies;
  • Is consistent with applicable provisions of local government comprehensive plans, if any; and
  • Effects a reasonable balance between the need for the transmission line as a means of providing reliable, economically efficient electric energy, as determined by the Florida Public Service Commission and the impact upon the public and the environment resulting from the location of the transmission line and the construction, operation, and maintenance of the transmission lines. Fla. Stat. § 403.529.

The Siting Board and Governor must make a decision on the Application within 60 days of receiving the ALJ’s recommended decision. Fla. Stat. § 403.529.

8-FL-a.71 to 8-FL-a.72 – Does the Siting Board Approve the Application?

The Siting Board may approve the recommended decision in whole, with conditions as the Siting Board deems appropriate, or deny the Certification stating the reasons for issuance or denial. Fla. Stat. § 403.529. If the Siting Board denies the Application, the Siting Board must state in writing the actions the developer must take to secure approval. Fla. Stat. § 403.529. The issuance or denial of the Certification is a final administrative action. Fla. Stat. § 403.529.

8-FL-a.73 – Transmission Siting Certification

A Transmission Siting Certification may include conditions that constitute variances and exemptions from DEP and state agency nonprocedural standards or rules, which otherwise would be applicable to the location of the proposed project. Fla. Stat. § 403.531.

8-FL-a.74 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

A party to the proceeding adversely impacted by a final Siting Board decision on the Application may appeal the decision to the Florida court of appeals where the Siting Board is located within 30 days of the Siting Board issuing the final decision. Fla. Stat. § 120.68.


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