The standard application used by the OPSB is described below. Download an interactive chart with links to Ohio law and OPSB administrative rules that govern this process.
Pre-Application Conference OAC 4906-3-02, This is an optional step in which the applicant schedules a meeting with Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) staff to discuss its intentions of filing an application with the OPSB.
Pre-Application Notification Letter OAC 4906-3-03(A) The applicant must send a letter to the OPSB with a description of the project, information about the following public information ,meeting, and a list of anticipated waivers of OPSB rules it will be requesting. This letter must be sent to the OPSB 15 days prior to the public information meeting.
Typically, at this time the applicant requests a case number granted in the PUCO docket and the public can begin to file comments on the record for the case. The public can submit comments on the docket throughout the review process as well as through the life of any certificated facility.
Public Information Meeting OAC 4906-3-03(B)(1)&(2) No more than 90 days prior to submission of the application to the OPSB, the applicant will hold a public meeting in the project area and present a map of the project location, as well as a summary of their application. The applicant will solicit written comments from the attendees and these comments must be summarized and submitted with the application to the OPSB. If substantial changes are made to the project after the meeting the OPSB executive director can require another public information meeting.
Between 21 to 7 days prior to the date of the public information meeting, public notice must be published in a locally circulated newspaper and address project need, schedule, design, and other pertinent data.
At least 21 days prior to the public information meeting the applicant must send a letter to each affected property owner and tenant. This letter must describe the certification process, information on how to participate in the proceeding and how to request notification of the OPSB’s public hearing.
Application & Completeness
Submission ORC 4906.06 & OAC 4906-2-02 The applicant will submit the application to the OPSB.
Completeness OAC 4906-3-06 The OPSB will review the application and issue a letter to the developer within 60 days of the application filing to determine if it contains the necessary information to proceed with the investigation.
Hearing dates set after the application are deemed “complete”. An OPSB administrative law judge (ALJ) is assigned to the case and will set hearing dates.
Intervenor - the intervention process allows for an affected entity or individual to formally participate in the OPSB proceedings on the application.
There are two types of intervenors:
- Intervention as a Right OAC 4906-2-12(A)(1) certain affected municipal and county officials can formally intervene by placing an appropriate intervention notice on the docket
- Interventions by Motion OAC 4906-2-12(B) Any affected party may file a motion to intervene. The affected party must demonstrate good cause to be approved to intervene.
An intervenor, as a party to the case, can participate in all stages of the application process. An intervenor may appeal a OPSB a decision. Once they have exhausted their appeals, they can further appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
First Public Notice OAC 4906-3-09(A)(1) Within 15 days of the application being accepted as complete, the applicant will provide written notice to the appropriate parties in accordance with OAC 4906-3-07, and to each affected property owner.
The notice will include:
- Complete copy of the application
- Map showing the location and layout of the facility
- List of officials served with copies of complete application
- List of public libraries which were sent copies or notices of complete application and other readily accessible locations where the application can be found (e.g. websites, OPSB contact info)
- Statement with docket number which informs that a complete certificate application is now pending before the OPSB
- Statement setting forth the eight criteria listed in ORC 4906.10(A)
- Copy of ORC 4906.07, with time and place of the public and adjudicatory hearings
- Division (C) of ORC 4906.08 with deadline for filing a notice of intervention or petition of leave to intervene
Staff Investigation and Report ORC 4906.07(C) OPSB begins the in-depth analysis of the application as guided by the eight criteria outlined in ORC 4906.10 (A). OPSB relies on internal expertise as well as on various state and federal agencies to provide specialized expertise, guidance and review of relevant portions of the application for potential impacts.
The OPSB staff provides its findings and recommendations, including conditions, in a “staff report”. The staff report is due 15 days prior to the scheduled public hearing and typically is submitted between 60 and 90 days after the letter of completeness has been issued. The exact dates are determined by law and depend on the timeframes established by the administrative law judge in each case.
"1. The basis of the need for the facility if the facility is an electric transmission line or gas pipeline
2. The nature of the probable environmental impact
3. That the facility represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives, and other pertinent considerations
4. In the case of an electric transmission line or generating facility, that the facility is consistent with regional plans for expansion of the electric power grid of the electric systems serving this state and interconnected utility systems and that the facility will serve the interests of electric system economy and reliability
5. That the facility will comply with Chapters 3704., 3734., and 6111. of the Revised Code and all rules and standards adopted under those chapters and under section 4561.32 of the Revised Code. In determining whether the facility will comply with all rules and standards adopted under section 4561.32 of the Revised Code, the board shall consult with the office of aviation of the division of multi-modal planning and programs of the department of transportation under section 4561.341 of the Revised Code
6. That the facility will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity
7. In addition to the provisions contained in divisions (A)(1) to (6) of this section and rules adopted under those divisions, what its impact will be on the viability as agricultural land of any land in an existing agricultural district established under Chapter 929. of the Revised Code that is located within the site and alternative site of the proposed major utility facility. Rules adopted to evaluate impact under division (A)(7) of this section shall not require the compilation, creation, submission, or production of any information, document, or other data pertaining to land not located within the site and alternative site
8. That the facility incorporates maximum feasible water conservation practices as determined by the board, considering available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives"
Organizations consulted by OPSB:
- Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
- Ohio Department of Agriculture
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
- Ohio Department of Health
- Ohio Development Services Agency
- Ohio Department of Transportation
- Ohio Department of Transportation – Aviation
- State Historic Preservation Office
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- US Army Corp of Engineers
Second Public Notice OAC 4906-3-09(A)(2) At least seven days but no more than 21 days prior to the public hearing, the applicant will provide written notice to parties to the case and to each affected property owner. This notice will also be published in a general circulation newspaper near the project.
The notice will include:
- Name and description of the project
- Map showing the location and general layout of facility
- A statement with the docket number that explains a certificate is now pending before the OPSB
- Date, time and location of the public and adjudicatory hearings
- Notification that the public will be given the opportunity to comment
- Reference to the date of the first public notice
Public Hearing ORC 4906.07(A) & OAC 4906-2-09 The OPSB will hold a public hearing in an area near the project location. During this hearing, members of the public may offer sworn testimony for the OPSB to consider.
Adjudicatory Hearing ORC 4906.07(A) & OAC 4906-2-09 Parties may present expert witnesses to support their position and may cross-examine witnesses under oath. The administrative law judge presides over the hearing at the OPSB offices and can issue subpoenas, examine witnesses, and require expert or factual testimony to be offered.
Decision & Appeals
Legal Briefs and Reply Briefs At conclusion of the adjudicatory hearing, the administrative law judge will set deadlines for briefs and reply briefs, which serve as final arguments in the case.
Board Decision ORC 4906.10 & OAC 4906-2-30 The OPSB members issue a ruling at a public meeting. The Board can approve, deny, or approve with conditions, an application. A ruling of approved or approved with conditions results in a “certificate of public need and convenience” being granted to the applicant for the specific project.
Application for Rehearing ORC 4903.10 & OAC 4906-2-32 All parties to the case may request a rehearing within 30 days of the OPSB’s decision.
Supreme Court Appeal ORC 4903.13 & OAC 4906-2-33 Parties to the case may file an appeal of the OPSB’s final rehearing decision to the Supreme Court of Ohio within 60 days.