How often does the CEC override CEQA?
March 17, 2010 9:33 PM   Subscribe

Has the California Energy Commission ever issued a CEQA statement of overriding consideration on a power plant siting case?

Looks like they might do this with the Ivanpah solar plant; I want to know if this is rare.
posted by rzperllian to Law & Government (1 answer total)
I imagine this is what you were talking about?

First, I thought I would provide a few general resources that might be helpful in case my more specific resources don't resolve your question.

You can see a list of all power plant licensing cases filed since 1996 here:

You can search for specific CEC legislation here:

Just in case you haven't seen it, here is a copy of the FSA and Draft Environmental Impacts Statement document for the Ivanpah Solar Plant:

In specific, you might check out this report (CEQA considerations):

You might also find these reports interesting:
"Fulfilling California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Responsibilities for Greenhouse Gas Impacts in Power Plant Siting Applications"

"Technical Advisory - CEQA AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Addressing Climate Change Through California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Review"

It looks like they may have issued a statement of overriding consideration for the Beacon Solar Power Project in Kern County:


From link above: "It is because of these benefits and the concerns regarding the adverse impacts that global warming will have upon the state and our environment, including desert ecosystems, that staff believes it would be appropriate, and the evidentiary record supports, the Energy Commission making a finding of overriding considerations consistent with CEQA Guideline Section 15093 and section 1755 of the Energy Commission’s siting regulations, if the Energy Commission adopts staff’s proposed mitigation measures/conditions of certification."

Also, while this is not a power plant, the CEC did utilize a CEQA to prevent Chevron from building a refinery in 2009:

So, I'm not entirely sure whether or not they've ever issued an overriding consideration for another power plant before Ivanpah (besides possibly the Beacon Power Project); this seems to be a rather new strategy (though it appears to be used often with non-power plant projects, e.g., development projects). Hope this was helpful!
posted by BombasticBibliophile at 7:16 PM on March 31, 2010

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