CPSD and NBVS have resolved the issues of concern via their proposed Settlement Agreement, which includes NBVS's commitment to file an amended application with more complete disclosures (already filed with the Commission on January 25, 2011) and requires NBVS to pay a penalty of $12,000. CPSD agreed to withdraw its protest upon adoption by the Commission of the Settlement Agreement.
We review this uncontested settlement pursuant to Rule 12.1(d), which requires that, prior to approval, the Commission must find a settlement "reasonable in light of the whole record, consistent with the law, and in the public interest."
CPSD and NBVS are the only parties to A.10-04-003, and represent the only affected interests. Nothing in the Settlement Agreement contravenes any statutory provisions or prior Commission decisions. NBVS's application, the Protest, Reply, Amended Application, and Motion and attached Settlement Agreement, provide sufficient information for the Commission to assess the reasonableness of the Settlement Agreement. Nothing in the Settlement Agreement contravenes the law; NBVS accepts the authority of the Commission, and agrees that it will meet its regulatory and legal obligations and responsibilities in California. Although NBVS maintains that its failure to comply with our regulations was inadvertent, it acknowledges that it did fail to comply, and as a result, it will pay a fine to the General Fund.
The Settlement Agreement resolves a potentially time-consuming and disruptive dispute and avoids future litigation. The benefits to the public, including the payment to the General Fund, and avoidance of litigation, clearly outweigh the benefits of continued litigation with its associated cost and uncertainty of outcome.
We conclude that the Settlement Agreement is reasonable in light of the record as a whole, consistent with the law, and in the public interest. Accordingly, we adopt the Settlement Agreement.