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Ohio Accelerated Transmission Siting (8-OH-b)

In Ohio, a transmission project may qualify for and a developer may choose to request accelerated Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (“Certificate”) review by the Ohio Power Siting Board (“Board”).

Accelerated Transmission Siting Process

8-OH-b.1 – Pre-Application Notification Letter

At least five (5) days before submitting an accelerated Certificate Application, the developer must request a case number and file a pre-application notification letter with the Board. The notification letter must include a general description of the project, an anticipated project schedule, and any requests for expedited processing. If the developer fails to file a pre-application notification letter, and instead files its request for expedited processing along with the Application, the expedited processing of the Application will not begin until five (5) days after its Application is filed. O.A.C. § 4906-6-03(A).

8-OH-b.2 – Letter of Notification Application or Construction Notice Application

An accelerated Certificate Application must be submitted as either a Letter of Notification Application or a Construction Notice Application, depending on the project. See O.A.C. 4906-1-01 App. A. A Letter of Notification Application must be filed at least ninety (90) days before the planned commencement of construction. If the developer requests expedited processing, the Letter of Notification must be filed at least twenty-eight (28) days before planned commencement of construction. A Construction Notice Application must be filed at least ninety (90) days before planned commencement of construction. If the developer requests expedited processing, the Construction Notice must be filed at least twenty-one (21) days before planned commencement of construction. O.A.C. 4906-6-03.

If the developer requests expedited processing of the accelerated Certificate Application, it must follow the requirements laid out in O.A.C. § 4906-6-04 and O.A.C. § 4906-6-05.

The accelerated Application must contain the following:

  • The name of the project and the developer’s reference number, names and reference number(s) of resulting circuits, a brief description of the project, and why the project meets the requirements for a letter of notification or construction notice application.
  • If the project is an electric power transmission line, a statement explaining the need for the proposed facility.
  • The location of the project in relation to existing or proposed lines and substations shown on an area system map of sufficient scale and size to show existing and proposed transmission facilities in the project area.
  • A descriptions of alternatives considered and reasons why the proposed location or route is best suited for the proposed facility.
  • A description of the public information program to inform affected property owners and tenants of the project and the proposed timeframe for project construction and restoration activities.
  • An anticipated construction schedule and proposed in-service date of the project.
  • A map of at least 1:24,000 scale clearly depicting the facility with clearly marked streets, roads, and highways, and an aerial image.
  • A list of properties for which the developer has obtained easements, options, and/or land use agreements necessary to construct and operate the facilities, and a list of properties for which such agreements have not been obtained.
  • Information regarding the technical features of the project;
  • The social and ecological impacts of the project.

O.A.C. § 4906-6-05(B).

8-OH-b.3 to 8-OH-b.4 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The Board or the administrative law judge (ALJ) assigned to the case will review the accelerated Certificate Application for completeness. O.A.C. § 4906-6-06(A). If there are any deficiencies in the accelerated Application, the Board or ALJ will notify the developer and the developer may then resubmit the application with the required information. However, the Application is not considered to be filed until the Board or the ALJ determines that all deficiencies have been corrected. O.A.C. § 4906-6-06.

8-OH-b.5 – File Accelerated Application

If the Application is complete, it will be filed on the date it was submitted to the Board. O.A.C. § 4906-6-06(A).

8-OH-b.6 – Distribute Accelerated Application

Once the accelerated Application has been filed, the developer must do the following:

  • Serve a copy of the accepted, complete application, either electronically or by disk, on the chief executive officer of each municipal corporation, county, township, and the head of each public agency charged with protecting the environment or land use planning in the area in which any portion of the project will be located. The developer must also make hard copies available upon request.
  • Place a copy of the application, or notice of the availability of the application, in the main public library in the area in which the relevant municipal corporations, counties, and public agencies are located.
  • Maintain, on its website, information about how to request a copy of the application.
  • Provide the Board with proof of compliance with these rules with seven (7) of filing the accelerated application.

O.A.C. § 4906-6-07.

8-OH-b.7 – Provide Public Notice for Letter of Notification Application (If Applicable)

Within seven (7) days of the filing of a Letter of Notification Application, the developer must publish public notice in newspapers of general circulation in the project area and must send a letter describing the proposed facility to each property owner and affected tenant. The notice must fulfill the requirements of O.A.C. 4906-6-08.

8-OH-b.8 to 8-OH-b.9 – Conduct Investigation

The Board will conduct an investigation of the Application and submit a staff report setting forth the nature of the investigation and any recommended findings and conditions. O.A.C. § 4906-6-06(B). The report must recommend an automatic approval date that is at least seven (7) days after the report is filed, but no more than ninety (90) days after the accelerated Application was filed. O.A.C. § 4906-6-10(A).

8-OH-b.10 – Does the Board or ALJ Suspend Consideration of the Accelerated Application?

The Board, its executive director, or the ALJ may suspend consideration of the accelerated Certificate Application for up to ninety (90) days for good cause. O.A.C. § 4906-6-09(A). If the Application is suspended, the developer will be notified of the reasons for the suspension and may be asked to provide additional information. O.A.C. § 4906-6-09(B).

8-OH-b.11 – Does the Board Approve the Accelerated Application?

Within ninety (90) days of the date of suspension, the Board will approve, modify, or deny the accelerated Certificate Application. O.A.C. § 4906-6-09(C).

8-OH-b.12 to 8-OH-b.14 – Does the Developer Object to the Report’s Recommendations?

If the developer does not object to the conditions recommended in the Board’s staff report before the automatic approval date set forth in the report, those conditions are deemed automatically adopted by the Board or ALJ. O.A.C. § 4906-6-10(B). The developer may file a written objection or propose an alternative condition to the proposed condition with the Board at least three (3) days before the automatic approval date. That proposed alternative is only effective if it is thereafter recommended by Board staff in an amended report and adopted by the Board within ninety (90) days after the Application is submitted. O.A.C. § 4906-6-10(C); O.R.C. § 4906.03(F).

8-OH-b.15 – Certificate

If the Board does not act upon an accelerated Application on or before the automatic approval date provided in the written report, the accelerated Certificate Application is deemed to be automatically approved, subject to any conditions contained in the written report, on the day after the automatic approval date. O.A.C. § 4906-6-10(B).

Developers may begin construction after the automatic approval date or upon approval by the Board. However, the developer must file a notice of construction with the Board at least seven (7) days before construction if it will begin on a different date than that proposed in the Application. Additionally, the developer must inform affected property owners and tenants of the nature of the project, specific contact information of personnel who are familiar with the project, the proposed schedule for project construction and restoration activities, and a complaint resolution process at least seven (7) days before construction begins. O.A.C. § 4906-6-11.

8-OH-b.16 to 8-OH-b.19– Does the Developer or an Interested Party File an Application for Rehearing of the Board’s Decision?

Any party or any affected person, firm or corporation may file an application for rehearing following the procedures in O.R.C. § 4903.10 within thirty (30) days of the Board’s grant or denial of the Certificate. The application must set forth specific grounds upon which the party or affected person considers the Board’s decision to be unreasonable or unlawful and must be accompanied by a memorandum in support of the application. O.A.C. § 4906-2-32(A). The Board or the ALJ may issue an order granting a rehearing for the purpose of affording the Board additional time to consider the issues raised in the rehearing application. O.A.C. 4906-2-32(E).

8-OH-b.20 – Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

Any party to the case may appeal a final order by the Board to the Ohio Supreme Court, however the party must first submit an application for rehearing to the Board. Notice of the appeal must be served upon the chairman of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission within 60 days after the Board issues its final order. O.R.C. § 4903.13. A notice of appeal may not be delivered via fax or email. O.A.C. § 4906-2-33. The Ohio Supreme Court may permit any interested party to intervene by cross-appeal. O.R.C. § 4903.13.

The Ohio Supreme Court will reverse, vacate, or modify the final order if, upon consideration of the record, it determines that the order was unlawful or unreasonable. O.R.C. § 4903.13.

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