An Ohio administrative law judge (ALJ) on May 23 canceled a June 13 public hearing and a June 27 evidentiary hearing regarding American Transmission Systems, Inc.’s application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the construction of the Wood County 138-kV Reinforcement Project.
As noted in the filing before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), FirstEnergy’s (NYSE:FE) ATSI in December 2018 filed an application with the OPSB for the certificate to build the new transmission line extending about six miles from the existing Lemoyne-Midway 138-kV Transmission Line to the existing Brim substation in northwestern Wood County, Ohio. Alternative routes under consideration would traverse Middleton, Center, and Plain townships, as well as a portion of the City of Bowling Green.
The filing also noted that the ALJ in April issued a procedural schedule in the matter, with staff instructed to file its written report of investigation by May 29; the local public hearing scheduled for June 13 in Bowling Green; and an evidentiary hearing scheduled for June 27.
ATSI and regulatory staff on May 23 filed a joint movant to suspend the procedural schedule, stating that they have had continuing discussions regarding the project since the filing of the application and that as a result of those discussions, staff has requested additional information related to the project’s compliance with Federal Aviation Administration requirements, as well as the related review of the project by the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation (ODOT-OA).
The filing added that ATSI has agreed to provide the requested information, but stated that it will not be able to comply before the staff report filing date of May 29. Correctly noting that the staff report must be filed at least 15 days before the date the application is set for hearing, ATSI and staff further observed that the local public hearing and evidentiary hearings must also be delayed. Therefore, the filing added, in order to ensure that ATSI, staff, and the public have the necessary information to thoroughly evaluate ATSI’s application while still abiding by Ohio law and OPSB orders, ATSI and staff request suspension of the procedural schedule to allow for collection and review of the additional information once it is obtained from ODOT-OA. ATSI and staff represent that they anticipate filing a motion to re-establish a procedural schedule by June 30, the filing said.
The ALJ finds that good cause exists to grant the joint movant to suspend the procedural schedule, the filing noted, adding that the ALJ will establish a new procedural schedule, including new hearing dates, by subsequent entry.
As TransmissionHub reported, according to ATSI, construction of the project is anticipated to begin in February 2020, with an anticipated in-service date of June 2020. According to the company, the estimated applicable intangible and capital costs for the preferred route total about $8.5m.