PUBLIC UTILITY REGULATION
SITING OF CERTAIN ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION FACILITIES
61-1705. Application for a route certificate. (1) Each application for a route certificate to construct a transmission facility within a designated national interest electric transmission corridor shall contain the following general information:
(a) The exact legal name of the transmitting utility; its principal place of business; whether the transmitting utility is an individual, partnership, corporation, or otherwise; the state laws under which the transmitting utility is organized or authorized; and the name, title, mailing address and e-mail address of the person or persons to whom communications concerning the application are to be addressed;
(b) A concise description of the transmitting utility’s existing operation;
(c) A concise description of the proposed project sufficient to explain its scope and purpose. The description must, at a minimum: describe the proposed location of the principal project transmission facilities and the planned routing of the transmission line; contain the general characteristics of the transmission line including voltage, types of towers, and origin and termination point of the transmission line; describe the geographic character of areas traversed by the line; and be accompanied by an overview map of sufficient scale to show the entirety of the transmission route on no more than two (2) pages measuring eight and one-half (8.5) inches by eleven (11) inches;
(d) Verification that the proposed route lies within a national interest electric transmission corridor designated by the secretary;
(e) A demonstration that the transmission facility to be authorized by the certificate will be used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, and that the proposed construction or modification is consistent with the standard set out in subsection (2) of section 61-1703, Idaho Code;
(f) A general description of project financing;
(g) A description of the proposed construction and operation of the facilities, including the proposed date for the beginning and completion of construction and the date for commencement of service;
(h) A list of the local governments that have already approved local land use applications for the transmission project under applicable comprehensive plans and land use ordinances;
(i) A full statement as to whether any other permitting application filed in conjunction with the proposed project is outstanding, and if so, the nature and status of each such permitting application;
(j) A full statement as to whether the transmitting utility is requesting the preemption of local governments that have not yet issued a final decision, have denied, or have conditioned land use applications in an allegedly unreasonable or uneconomical manner; and
(k) A table of contents listing all exhibits and documents by their appropriate titles in alphabetical letter designations. A table of contents will list each exhibit and document.
(2) Each application for a route certificate must be accompanied by exhibits containing the following information in substantially the same format.
(a) Exhibit A – Articles of incorporation and bylaws if the transmitting utility is a corporation. If the transmitting utility is not a corporation, then other similar documents showing the business relationship of the transmitting utility.
(b) Exhibit B – State Authorization. Proof that the transmitting utility is authorized to do business in Idaho, a statement showing the date of such authorization, the scope of the business the transmitting utility is authorized to carry on, and all limitations, if any, including an expiration date and renewal obligations.
(c) Exhibit C – Company Officials. A list of the names and business addresses of the transmitting utility’s officers and directors, or similar officials if the transmitting utility is not a corporation.
(d) Exhibit D – Pending Applications and Filings. A list of applications and filings submitted by the transmitting utility that are pending before a federal, state, tribal, or local government permitting entity that affect the proposed transmission project, including explanation of any material effect that the approval or denial of these permits will have on the application for a route certificate.
(e) Exhibit E – Approved or Denied Applications. A list of applications and filings submitted by the transmitting utility to a federal, state, tribal or local government permitting entity that have been granted, conditionally granted, or denied at the time of the application that affect the proposed transmission project, including explanation of any material effect that the approval or denial of these permits will have on the application for a route certificate.
(f) Exhibit F – Local Government Preemption. A list of local government land use applications that are pending, denied or contain approval conditions to which the transmitting utility objects and seeks commission review. The transmitting utility shall indicate whether it seeks commission preemption of specific local government land use decisions or unfinished transmission route proceedings. The transmitting utility has the burden of demonstrating that the local government land use decisions will not be completed in the next sixty (60) days. If the local government land use application was denied or conditioned, the transmitting utility has the burden of demonstrating that the denial or imposed conditions were unreasonable or not economical.
(g) Exhibit G – Map of the Proposed Route. A general location map to scale showing the location of the proposed transmission route in a scale sufficient to advise the public of the exact location of the proposed route.
(h) Exhibit H – Corridor Selection Assessment. The corridor selection assessment shall explain how the transmitting utility selected the proposed route. This exhibit shall disclose whether the transmitting utility evaluated other corridors, including the specific location of such other corridors and the reasons why those corridors were not utilized. The transmitting utility shall also provide a map in a format no larger than eleven (11) inches by seventeen (17) inches showing the selected proposed route and those route alternatives that were discarded.
(i) Exhibit I – Characteristics of the Proposed Route. The transmitting utility shall prepare an exhibit that discloses:
(i) The length of the proposed transmission line;
(ii) The proposed right-of-way width of the proposed transmission including to what extent a new right-of-way will be required or an existing right-of-way will be widened;
(iii) If the proposed transmission route follows or includes a public right-of-way, a description of where the facilities would be located within the public right-of-way, to the extent known. If the transmitting utility might locate all or part of the transmission facilities adjacent to but not within the public right-of-way, describe the reasons to justify locating the transmission facility outside the public right-of-way. The transmitting utility must include a set of clear and objective criteria and adequately demonstrate that its decision to locate the proposed transmission facility outside the public right-of-way is based on those criteria;
(iv) Streams, rivers and wetlands that may be disturbed during construction;
(v) Portions of the route located within lands that require zoning changes, variances or exceptions;
(vi) Whether the proposed transmission line would be outside of areas where historical, cultural or archeological resources are likely to exist, are listed, or determined by the state historic preservation officer to be eligible for listing on the national register of historic places; and
(vii) A description of the transmission structures and their dimensions.
(j) Exhibit J – Construction Schedule. The construction schedule shall include the dates when the transmitting utility proposes to begin construction and the estimated date when construction will be completed. This schedule should be broken down into topics including surveying, exploration or other activities. The transmitting utility shall also provide a map showing all areas that may be temporarily disturbed by any activity related to the design, construction and operation of the proposed transmission facility.
(k) Exhibit K – Map. A map identifying all areas designated for protection by a tribe, the state or federal government including, but not limited to, monuments, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, scenic waterways and similar areas. The map shall identify affected tribal lands and locations that may have cultural significance to any tribe. If the proposed route traverses wetland areas, provide copies of all permits related to such wetlands. The map shall denote all airports and private airstrips within ten thousand (10,000) feet of the centerline of the proposed route. The map shall show all commercial AM radio transmitters and all FM radio transmitters within ten thousand (10,000) feet of the centerline and all microwave relay stations or similar installations within two thousand (2,000) feet of the centerline of the proposed route.
(l) Exhibit L – Affected Landowners. Describe the efforts utilized to notify all affected landowners. Indicate in a quantitative fashion the amount of property already acquired or optioned from affected landowners.
(m) Exhibit M – Soils and Geotechnical Work. Describe the locations along the proposed transmission route where the transmitting utility proposes to perform site specific geotechnical work including, but not limited to, railroad crossings, major road crossings, river crossings, dead ends, or corners. Describe where geological reconnaissance and other site specific studies provide evidence of existing landslides or marginally stable slopes that could be made unstable by the planned construction. This exhibit shall also contain a map showing the location of existing and significant potential geological and soil stability hazards and problems, if any, on the proposed route and in the adjacent vicinity that could adversely affect, or be aggravated by, the construction and operation of the proposed transmission facility.
(n) Exhibit N – Seismic Hazards. The transmitting utility shall include an analysis and assessment of the seismic hazards that may occur along the proposed transmission route.
(3) The transmitting utility shall also provide any other information that the commission requests.
(4) The transmitting utility shall include, with its application for a route certificate, written prefiled testimony that supports the information contained in the application. Such testimony shall be in a form that conforms to the commission’s rules of procedure.
(5) After notice and an opportunity for hearing, the commission shall issue its final order denying, granting, or granting with conditions the application for a route certificate. The commission shall issue its final order no later than twelve (12) months after the application for a route certificate is filed, unless the transmitting utility agrees to an extension in writing.
(6) The transmitting utility will make available copies of its complete application on its project website and at publicly accessible locations in each county. The application will also be available on the commission’s website.
[61-1705, added 2007, ch. 186, sec. 1, p. 538.]