Update: Formal comment period established
On June 16, 2022, the OPSB issued proposed rules to amend Ohio Administrative Code 4906-1 through 4906-7. Stakeholders and the public have another opportunity for participation in the rulemaking process by filing formal written comments regarding the draft rules on the proposed rules by Aug. 5, 2022 and reply comments by Sept. 2, 2022.
A copy of the proposed rules is available online in the record for OPSB case number 21-902‑GE‑BRO.
Once all comments have been considered, the OPSB will issue an order approving final rules and directing the rules to be filed with Ohio Legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).
Once new rules or changes to existing rules are approved by the OPSB, the proposed rules are filed for JCARR review. JCARR reviews proposed new, amended, and rescinded rules to ensure that:
- The rules do not exceed the scope of the OPSB’s statutory authority.
- The rules do not conflict with the OPSB’s existing rules or those of another rulemaking agency.
- The rules do not conflict with the intent of the Legislature in enacting the statute under which the rule is proposed.
- The OPSB has submitted a complete and accurate summary and fiscal analysis of the proposed rule, amendment, or rescission.
- The OPSB has demonstrated through the business impact analysis, recommendations from the Common Sense Initiative office, and the memorandum of response that the regulatory intent of the proposed rule or revised proposed rule justifies its adverse impact on businesses in this state, if any.
Effective date of new rules
The effective date of a rule is determined by two different factors:
- The date on which the rule leaves JCARR jurisdiction (which lasts 65 days from the date of original filing or 30 days from the date of refiling); and
- The date on which the OPSB files the rule in final form with JCARR.
The OPSB assigns an effective date which cannot be less than 10 days from the date of final filing.
Initial stakeholder process
The OPSB held three stakeholder meetings in 2020 and has received informal comments from a wide range of stakeholders.
- Chris Aichholz
- American Society of Landscape Architects - Ohio
- American Wind Energy Association
- Ceres BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) Network
- Champaign County Prosecutor's Office
- Citizens for Greene Acres
- Ed Clark
- Columbus Partnership
- W. Susan Dempsey
- EDP Renewables
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- Kevin Ledet, Greenwich Neighbors United
- Neighbors Opposed to Pipeline Extension
- ODOT Office of Aviation
- Ohio Historic Preservation Office
- Ohio University
- Stephen Ploetz
- Walt Poffenbaugh, Huron County anti-wind interests
- Chris Popa
- State Rep. Bill Reineke
- Steve Rusk - Comments | NREL presentation
- State Rep. Bill Seitz
- Seneca Anti-Wind Union
- Seneca County Prosecutor
- Union Neighbors United
- Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio (USSEC) | USSEC #2
The OPSB held three public workshops to gather input regarding administrative rules. The workshops were an opportunity for the OPSB to receive feedback from interested stakeholders and the public before draft rules are issued for comment. While the Board invited comments on all rules in Ohio Administrative Code 4906-1 through 4906-7, the Board highlighted the combination of Ohio Administrative Code Chapters 4906-4 and 4906-5, which address certificate applications for electric generation facilities, electric transmission facilities, and gas pipelines. Further, the Board is considering implementing a rule that is specific to applications for electric generation facilities associated with solar panels. The workshops were webcast live at www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.
Oct. 4, 2021, at 10 a.m.
Web-based workshop 1
Oct. 4, 2021, at 1:30 p.m.
Web-based workshop 2
Oct. 8, 2021, at 9:30 a.m.
Workshop discussion topics
- Should Ohio Adm. Code 4906-4 (Certificate Applications for Electric Generation Facilities) be combined with Ohio Adm. Code 4906-5 (Certificate Applications for Electric Transmission Facilities and Gas Pipelines)?
- What additional information, if any, should be included in a proposed project summary?
- What additional information, if any, should be included in the project description and project schedules that are currently required by Ohio Adm. Code 4906-4-03?
- In regard to a proposed electric transmission line or gas pipeline, what information should an applicant provide in relation to the public interest, convenience, and necessity of the project?
- In regard to project siting, what information should an applicant file to support its consideration of public involvement as to the site/route selection process?
- For all applications, what information should an applicant file in the public docket in regard to public interaction and complaint resolution surrounding significant preconstruction and pre-operation project developments?
- Consistent with R.C. 4906.221 to 4906.222, what information should a wind or solar facility applicant file regarding its decommissioning plans?
- What information should an applicant file in regard to communications with local government contacts within a project area?
- What information should an applicant file in support of its compliance with environmental and aviation regulations?
- What information should an applicant file in regard to its planned management of noxious weeds, irrigation system mitigation, field drainage system mitigation, and storm water runoff management?
- What information should an applicant file in regard to its mitigation of communication system impacts?
- The Board is considering implementing a rule to address solar facilities. General areas for consideration include setbacks, landscape and lighting design, perimeter fencing requirements, and operational noise. What requirements should exist as to these issues? What other issues, if any, should be considered for inclusion in this rule?
- The Board is reviewing its fee procedures in consideration of implementing a monthly, rather than completely upfront, payment mechanism. What information is helpful regarding the consideration of this issue?