Subchapter G. COMMISSION REVIEW OF SITING AND
CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION LINES


Sec.


57.71.    Application.
57.72.    Form and content of application.
57.73.    [Reserved].
57.74.    Filing and service of application and notice of filing.
57.75.    Hearing and notice.
57.76.    Determination and order.
57.77.    Effective date.

Authority

   The provisions of this Subchapter G issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504 and 1501, unless otherwise noted.

Notes of Decisions

   Siting regulations outlining the procedure for locating and constructing high voltage transmission lines do not require consolidation with transaction agreement proceedings. Barensfeld v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 624 A.2d 809 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1993).

§ 57.71. Application.

 Upon the application of a public utility for authorization to locate and construct a HV transmission line or any portion thereof, upon approval of the application by the Commission first had and obtained, and upon compliance with existing laws, it shall be lawful for a public utility to commence construction of the HV transmission line or portion thereof.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  57.71 issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. §  501.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.71 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice); 52 Pa. Code §  57.1 (relating to definitions); 52 Pa. Code §  57.72 (relating to form and content of application); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.3101 (relating to scope).

§ 57.72. Form and content of application.

 (a)  Applications shall be in conformity with §  1.31 (relating to form of documentary filings generally). Supporting exhibits such as maps, photographs and other engineering materials may be on paper not exceeding 28 inches by 40 inches.

 (b)  The application shall be signed by a person having authority with respect thereto and having knowledge of the matters therein set forth and shall be verified under oath.

 (c)  An application shall contain:

   (1)  The name of the applicant and the address of its principal business office.

   (2)  The name, title and business address of the attorney of the applicant and the person authorized to receive notice and communications with respect to the application if other than the attorney of the applicant.

   (3)  A general description—not a legal or metes and bounds description—of the proposed route of the HV line, to include the number of route miles, the right-of-way width and the location of the proposed HV line within each city, borough, town and township traversed.

   (4)  The names and addresses of known persons, corporations and other entities of record owning property within the proposed right-of-way, together with an indication of HV line rights-of-way acquired by the applicant.

   (5)  A general statement of the need for the proposed HV line in meeting identified present and future demands for service, of how the proposed HV line will meet that need and of the engineering justifications for the proposed HV line.

   (6)  A statement of the safety considerations which will be incorporated into the design, construction and maintenance of the proposed HV line.

   (7)  A description of studies which had been made as to the projected environmental impact of the HV line as proposed and of the efforts which have been and which will be made to minimize the impact of the HV line upon the environment and upon scenic and historic areas, including but not limited to impacts, where applicable, upon land use, soil and sedimentation, plant and wildlife habitats, terrain, hydrology and landscape.

   (8)  A description of the efforts of the applicant to locate and identify archaeologic, geologic, historic, scenic or wilderness areas of significance within 2 miles of the proposed right-of-way and the location and identity of the areas discovered by the applicant.

   (9)  The location and identity of airports within 2 miles of the nearest limit of the right-of-way of the proposed HV line.

   (10)  A general description of reasonable alternative routes to the proposed HV line, including a description of the corridor planning methodology, a comparison of the merits and detriments of each route, and a statement of the reasons for selecting the proposed HV line route;

   (11)  A list of the local, State and Federal governmental agencies which have requirements which shall be met in connection with the construction or maintenance of the proposed HV line and a list of documents which have been or are required to be filed with those agencies in connection with the siting and construction of the proposed HV line.

   (12)  The estimated cost of construction of the proposed HV line, and the projected date for completion.

   (13)  The following exhibits:

     (i)   A depiction of the proposed route on aerial photographs and topographic maps of suitable detail.

     (ii)   A description of the proposed HV line, including the length of the line, the design voltage, the size, number and materials of the conductors, the design of the supporting structures and their height, configuration and materials of construction, the average distance between supporting structures, the number of supporting structures, the line to structure clearances and the minimum conductor to ground clearance at mid-span under normal load and average weather conditions and under predicted extreme load and weather conditions.

     (iii)   A simple drawing of a cross section of the proposed right-of-way of the HV line and any adjoining rights-of-way showing the placement of the supporting structures at typical locations, with the height and width of the structures, the width of the right-of-way and the lateral distance between the conductors and the edge of the right-of-way indicated.

     (iv)   A system map which shows in suitable detail the location and voltage of existing transmission lines and substations of the applicant and the location and voltage of the proposed HV line and associated substations.

   (14)  A statement identifying litigation concluded or in progress which concerns property or matter relating to the proposed HV line, right-of-way route or environmental matters.

   (15)  Additional information as the Commission may require.

 (d)  Letter of notification in lieu of application:

   (1)  A letter of notification may be filed with the Commission in lieu of the application process set forth in § §  57.71—57.76 for the following:

     (i)   An HV line which is proposed to be located entirely on an existing transmission line right-of-way, so long as the size, character design or configuration of the proposed HV line does not substantially alter the right-of-way.

     (ii)   An HV line which is proposed to be located entirely within a public road.

     (iii)   An HV line which is proposed to be located entirely within applicant’s existing transmission line right-of-way and the property of the sole customer to be served by the line, so long as the size, character, design or configuration of the proposed HV line does not substantially alter the right-of-way.

     (iv)   A line for which the voltage is proposed to be increased above its present levels, so long as the size, character, design or configuration of the proposed HV line does not substantially alter the right-of-way.

     (v)   An HV line which is to be reconductored or reconstructed so long as the size, character, design or configuration of the proposed HV line does not substantially alter the right-of-way.

     (vi)   An HV line having a proposed route of 2 miles or less.

   (2)  The applicant shall file with the Commission the original of the letter of notification and an affidavit of service showing the identity of those served under paragraph (3).

   (3)  At the time of filing, the applicant shall serve a copy of the letter of notification by registered or certified mail upon those who would have otherwise been entitled to receive a copy of an application or notice of filing an application as set forth in §  57.74 (relating to filing and service of application and notice of filing).

   (4)  A letter of notification shall contain:

     (i)   The information described in subsection (c)(1)—(3), (5) and (6).

     (ii)   The anticipated construction commencement date and the proposed in-service date of the project.

     (iii)   Evidence to show that the size, character, design and configuration of the proposed HV line will not substantially alter its right-of-way where the letter is filed under paragraph (1)(i)—(v).

     (iv)   A statement identifying the filing date on which the filing of the letter of notification was or is to be made, together with substantially the language set forth in paragraph (5).

   (5)  The Commission will review and, by order, approve or disapprove a letter of notification. If the Commission approves a letter of notification, the HV line shall be located and constructed without the application process set forth in this subchapter. If the Commission does not approve the letter of notification, its order shall direct the applicant to comply with the application process set forth in this subchapter.

 (e)  The Commission or the presiding officer may—upon the petition of any party, upon the Commission’s own motion, or upon the presiding officer’s own motion—waive one or more or all of the requirements in this subchapter. The petition shall clearly state the requirement sought to be waived and the reasons therefor.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  57.72 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504, 523, 1301, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.72 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; amended January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131; amended January 10, 2014, effective January 11, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 249. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (354103) to (354104), (205841) to (205842) and (363007).

Notes of Decisions

   Section 57.72(c)(7) does not require an application contain an actual study of the environmental impact of an HV line as proposed; rather, §  57.72(c)(7) requires that if a study has been performed, the application must contain a description of the study. Section 57.72(c)(8) does not require an application identify certain archeological, historic, scenic, sites within 2 miles; rather, §  57.72(c)(8) requires that the application describe the applicant’s efforts to locate and identify such sites. In considering whether a utility has complied with §  57.72(c)(1), if the record establishes the route was reasonable, considering all factors, it will be upheld. Moreover, the mere existence of an alternative route does not invalidate the utility’s route. The exemption for HV lines of 2 miles or less from the application process in §  57.72(d)(1)(vi) raises the presumption that an HV line of 2 miles or less has a minimal adverse environmental impact. Energy Conservation Council of Pennsylvania v. Pub. Util. Comm’n, 995 A.2d 465, 478-83 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice); 52 Pa. Code §  57.74 (relating to filing and service of application and notice of filing); 52 Pa. Code §  69.3101 (relating to scope); 52 Pa. Code §  69.3105 (relating to route evaluation and siting); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.3106 (relating to environmental filing requests).

§ 57.73. [Reserved].


Source

   The provisions of this §  57.73 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; reserved January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (50512) to (50514).

§ 57.74. Filing and service of application and notice of filing.

 (a)  Filing. The applicant shall file with the Commission the original of the application. An affidavit of service showing the identity of those served under subsections (b) and (c) shall accompany the original application filed with the Commission.

 (b)  Copies. At the time of filing, the applicant shall serve a copy of the application by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, upon the following:

   (1)  The chief executive officer, the governing body and the body charged with the duty of planning land use in each city, borough, town, township and county in which any portion of the HV line is proposed to be located.

   (2)  The president of the public utility, other than the applicant, in whose service territory any portion of the HV line is proposed to be located.

   (3)  The Department of Environmental Resources, Attention: Bureau of Environmental Planning; Post Office Box 2357, 101 S. Second Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120.

 (c)  Notice.

   (1)  At the time of filing, the applicant shall serve a notice of filing and a map of suitable detail showing the proposed route of the proposed facility by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, upon the following:

     (i)   The Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Room 1200 Transportation and Safety Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120.

     (ii)   The Chairman of the Historical and Museum Commission, Post Office Box 1026, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120.

     (iii)   Other local, State or Federal agencies designated in §  57.72(c)(11) (relating to form and content of application).

     (iv)   The persons, corporations and other entities designated in §  57.72(c)(4), unless they are served with a copy of the application under §  57.75(i) (relating to hearing and notice).

   (2)  The notice of filing shall contain a statement identifying the filing, the date on which the filing was or is to be made, a description of the proposed line, the design voltage, the number of route miles, the right-of-way width and the location of the proposed HV line within each township traversed and a statement that a copy of the application is available for public examination as provided in subsection (d).

 (d)  Examination. On the day of filing of the application, the applicant shall make a copy of the application available for public examination during ordinary business hours at a convenient location within a county in which any part of the proposed HV line will be located.

 (e)  Additional notice. The applicant shall provide an additional notice and shall serve such additional copies of the application without cost as the Commission may require.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  57.74 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504, 523, 1301, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.74 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; amended January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131; amended January 10, 2014, effective January 11, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 249. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (363007) to (363008).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice); 52 Pa. Code §  57.72 (relating to form and content of application); 52 Pa. Code §  57.75 (relating to hearing and notice); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.3101 (relating to scope).

§ 57.75. Hearing and notice.

 (a)  Upon the filing of an application, the Commission will set the time and place for hearing or hearings of the application and will thereupon require the applicant to cause the weekly publication for two consecutive weeks of a notice of hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within each municipality in which the HV line is proposed to be located. The publication of the notice of hearings shall begin at least 45 days before the date set for the commencement of the hearings. The notice of hearing for publication shall contain a brief description of the proposed HV line, its location, a statement of the date, time and place of the hearing and of its purpose and a statement as to where and when a copy of the application is available for public examination.

 (b)  The Commission will notify each person or agency designated in §  57.74(b) and (c) (relating to filing and service of application and notice of filing), parties granted leave to intervene under subsection (c), and parties under subsection (i) of the time and place of hearings on the application. After the initial hearing, further hearing notices will be given by the Commission.

 (c)  Where it appears desirable, the Commission or the presiding officer may provide for the grouping of parties with substantially similar interests for the purpose of serving notices and other documents. If a group does not designate a representative for the service of notices and documents, the presiding officer may designate a representative. Notice and documents shall be served only on the designated representative. This subsection may not be construed, however, to limit the right of a party to the proceeding to file motions, briefs, and the like with the presiding officer or Commission when appropriate.

 (d)  A request for leave to intervene shall be in writing and shall state briefly the interest of the intervenor and the objections to be raised. Upon proper request, the Commission will allow the timely intervention of any of the persons or agencies listed in §  57.74(b) and (c). Upon proper request, the Commission may allow the timely intervention of another party deemed to have a substantial interest in the proceeding or whose intervention will aid the Commission in its consideration of the application.

 (e)  At hearings held under this section, the Commission will accept evidence upon, and in its determination of the application it will consider, inter alia, the following matters:

   (1)  The present and future necessity of the proposed HV line in furnishing service to the public.

   (2)  The safety of the proposed HV line.

   (3)  The impact and the efforts which have been and will be made to minimize the impact, if any, of the proposed HV line upon the following:

     (i)   Land use.

     (ii)   Soil and sedimentation.

     (iii)   Plant and wildlife habitats.

     (iv)   Terrain.

     (v)   Hydrology.

     (vi)   Landscape.

     (vii)   Archeologic areas.

     (viii)   Geologic areas.

     (ix)   Historic areas.

     (x)   Scenic areas.

     (xi)   Wilderness areas.

     (xii)   Scenic rivers.

   (4)  The availability of reasonable alternative routes.

 (f)  Upon the order of the Commission or the presiding officer, the applicant may amend its application prior to the closing of the record, if every party, utility, agency or municipality affected by the amendment is given reasonable notice thereof and an opportunity to present evidence with respect to the amendment.

 (g)  Upon petition of the applicant, setting forth the circumstances which require the prompt availability of an HV line, the Commission may grant expedited consideration of the application. The Commission will give to the hearing and decision of expedited applications preference over other applications filed under this subchapter and will decide the same as speedily as possible.

 (h)  If no protests or petitions to intervene other than that of the Commission staff or petitions to intervene which support an application have been received by the Commission 7 days prior to the hearing scheduled under subsection (a), the applicant may move, and the presiding officer may order, that the case be submitted on the applications, exhibits, written testimony and briefs of the applicants and written testimony, exhibits or briefs filed by the Commission’s staff. The motion may not be granted over the protest of the Commission’s staff, but, in such a case, hearings shall be held. To move for a decision without hearing, the applicant shall have filed written testimony and exhibits at least 30 days prior to the date of hearing. The applicant shall also have given notice that it may make a motion under this subsection in its notice of hearing published as provided for in subsection (a).

 (i)  Eminent domain:

   (1)  Proceedings on eminent domain applications for the same HV line are entitled to be consolidated with the proceeding on the HV line’s siting application.

   (2)  An eminent domain application for which consolidation with a siting application is desired under subsection (a) shall be considered by the presiding officer at the hearing on the siting application, and the Commission shall issue an order granting or denying the eminent domain application; provided that, prior to the hearing, the public utility filing the eminent domain application serves a copy of the proposed HV line’s siting application upon the persons, corporations or other entities having a property interest sought to be acquired by the eminent domain application.

   (3)  Unless the applicable eminent domain application has been withdrawn by the public utility, a person, corporation or other entity which is served a copy of the siting application as required by subsection (b) shall be a party to the proceeding on the siting application.

   (4)  A portion of the record of a proceeding under this subchapter may be admitted into the record of a subsequent proceeding on an eminent domain application for the same HV line, upon reasonable notice by motion plainly identifying the matters offered. If only part of the record is offered, a party may require the movant to introduce portions relevant to the part introduced and a party may introduce other portions.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.75 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; amended January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (50515) to (50516).

Notes of Decisions

   Section 57.75(e) does not require the Commission to analyze the environmental impact of the 502 Facilities; instead, it describes the type of evidence that the Commission will accept and not consider in deciding whether to grant or deny an HV transmission line application. Energy Conservation Council of Pennsylvania v. Pub. Util. Comm’n, 995 A.2d 465, 478-83 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice); 52 Pa. Code §  57.72 (relating to form and content of application); 52 Pa. Code §  57.74 (relating to filing and service of application and notice of filing); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.3101 (relating to scope).

§ 57.76. Determination and order.

 (a)  The Commission will issue its order, with its opinion, if any, either granting or denying the application, in whole or in part, as filed or upon the terms, conditions or modifications, of the location, construction, operation or maintenance of the line as the Commission may deem appropriate. The Commission will not grant the application, either as proposed or as modified, unless it finds and determines as to the proposed HV line:

   (1)  That there is a need for it.

   (2)  That it will not create an unreasonable risk of danger to the health and safety of the public.

   (3)  That it is in compliance with applicable statutes and regulations providing for the protection of the natural resources of this Commonwealth.

   (4)  That it will have minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the electric power needs of the public, the state of available technology and the available alternatives.

 (b)  A Commission order granting a siting application will be deemed to include a grant of authority, subject to the provisions of law, to locate and construct the proposed HV transmission line within a corridor consisting of the area of 500 feet on each side of the centerline of the proposed HV transmission line unless the applicant requests and the Commission approves a corridor of a different size. A proposed HV transmission line may not be constructed outside the corridor, except upon petition to and approval by the Commission.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.76 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; amended January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (50516) to (50517).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice); 52 Pa. Code §  57.72 (relating to form and content of application); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.3101 (relating to scope).

§ 57.77. Effective date.

 This subchapter is effective on January 8, 1983, and is applicable to every HV line or portion thereof which is not in regular permanent service on the effective day of this subchapter.

Source

   The provisions of this §  57.77 adopted May 19, 1978, effective May 20, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1403; amended April 4, 1980, effective April 5, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 1439; amended January 7, 1983, effective January 8, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 131. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (50517) and (78469) to (78470).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  5.14 (relating to applications requiring notice).



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