The public hearing process allows individuals to testify on a pending case before the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB or Board). The public hearing is a formal proceeding, not an informal meeting. In order to facilitate orderly public hearings and accommodate all interested parties, the procedures outlined below must be followed by everyone.
On March 9, 2020, the governor signed Executive Order 2020-01D (Executive Order), declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to protect the well-being of Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19. As described in the Executive Order, state agencies are required to implement procedures consistent with recommendations from the Department of Health to prevent or alleviate the public health threat associated with COVID-19. As a result, the Board’s public hearings are currently being held using remote access technology.
OPSB local public hearings are conducted on Cisco Webex, which facilitates participation by telephone or live video on the internet. If you wish to provide testimony regarding a case or plan to join the Webex event you must pre-register. Registration must be received before 12 p.m. on the day before the hearing.
When registering you will be required to provide your full name, home address, telephone number, and email address (if available) and also provide the case number. Please specify whether you plan to join the Webex event by internet or by telephone and if you plan to offer testimony or view as an attendee. If you plan to attend the Webex event through internet access you must have a computer or smart device with a microphone and speakers, an email address, and reliable internet service.
Those who have registered to testify should be prepared to speak at the start of the hearing. For individuals who are speaking by telephone, the Board’s staff will contact you by telephone when it is time for you to testify and connect you to the public hearing. If you have access problems or experience other technical issues during the local public hearing, immediately use the chat function within Webex or contact the Board’s legal department at (614) 466-6843 for assistance. Virtual local public hearings are also live streamed at www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.
At the beginning of the hearing, the OPSB representatives will explain the purpose for the hearing and invite people from the registration list to present testimony. When it is your turn to speak, you will be asked to state your name and address. Remember to keep your statement brief and to the point.
During the hearing, the administrative law judge presiding over the proceedings will conduct the hearing, and a court reporter will transcribe the hearing. Please respect the rights of other participants. In this regard, anyone who becomes disruptive, or refuses to follow the procedures, may be asked to leave the event. The hearing will end once all witnesses have testified.
If you wish to make a statement, remember to focus your testimony on the issues in the case. Testimony will be considered part of the official record of the case to be reviewed by the Board before they make their final decision. If you give testimony, representatives of the project developer and other parties may ask you questions about your statement.
If you wish to supplement your testimony with an exhibit for the Board’s consideration, a copy of the document, along with a reference to the case number, must be provided to the Board by email at contactOPSB@puco.ohio.gov or by mail at Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
If you have written comments but do not wish to present testimony, or if you have written comments from someone who was unable to attend the hearing, you may submit the comments by email to contactOPSB@puco.ohio.govor by mail to Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215. The written comments will be filed in the case record.