Loretta M. Lynch is the Assigned Commissioner and Charlotte F. TerKeurst is the assigned ALJ in this proceeding.
Findings of Fact
1. The draft EIR described the route of the Collocation Alternative and identified and discussed its possible environmental impacts at length. Parties were able to, and did, submit extensive and substantive comments on the Collocation Alternative.
2. The route options for the Collocation Alternative added in the FEIR do not constitute significant new information for which recirculation is required.
3. The project alternatives considered in the FEIR constitute a reasonable range of feasible alternatives, as required by the CEQA Guidelines.
4. It is reasonable to use PG&E's March 2003 load forecast in assessing need for the Jefferson-Martin project.
5. The Jefferson-Martin project is needed in order to allow PG&E to continue to reliably meet electric demand in the San Francisco Peninsula Area beginning in 2007, when demand is anticipated to be 1978 MW in the San Francisco Peninsula Area.
6. The Jefferson-Martin project has diversification, economic, and environmental benefits that warrant its construction before 2007.
7. The environmentally superior alternative for the Jefferson-Martin project based on the FEIR consists of Route Option 1B in the southern segment, with one of three crossings of the Crystal Springs Dam, in conjunction with either the Proposed Project's northern underground segment modified to include Route Option 4B rather than Route Option 4A or the Collocation Alternative.
8. It is reasonable to modify PG&E's preliminary EMF management plan for the Jefferson-Martin project, as described in Section VI.C.
9. For the southern portion of the Jefferson-Martin project, the hybrid alternative using Route Option 1B between the Jefferson substation and a new transition tower replacing tower 11/70 west of Trousdale Drive, and PG&E's proposed overhead route north of the transition tower provides the best balance among competing considerations. In particular, it will minimize visual and biological impacts south of the transition tower, avoid impacts on Edgewood Park and the Pulgas Ridge Natural Preserve, avoid Route Option 1B's effects on residences and businesses along Trousdale Drive and El Camino Real and seismic concerns in that area, and eliminate most EMF concerns regarding the southern segment.
10. It is reasonable to allow PG&E to determine which of five options for crossing Crystal Springs Dam to utilize, based on the timing of project construction and the preferences of the SFPUC, the County of San Mateo, and the USFWS.
11. The environmentally superior route consisting of Route Option 1B in the southern segment in conjunction with the Proposed Project's northern underground segment modified to include Route Option 4B rather than Route Option 4A poses less harm to the environment than do the other routes proposed by PG&E and other parties to this proceeding.
12. The Proposed Project's northern underground segment is preferable to the Collocation Alternative because of the risks associated with the Collocation Alternative's construction through contaminated areas and along the Bay and the loss of diversification due to its collocation with the existing underground 230 kV line.
13. Route Option 4B is preferable to Route Option 4A because it will avoid construction impacts to residences along Hoffman and Orange Streets.
14. The approved route consisting of the Trousdale Drive hybrid alternative using Route Option 1B, with five options for crossing Crystal Springs Dam, and PG&E's Proposed Project in the southern segment in conjunction with the Proposed Project's underground northern segment with Route Option 4B reflects community values more accurately than does the environmentally superior route.
15. We are not obligated to choose the least costly route if that route causes greater environmental harm than more costly routes or if some other route most closely reflects the prevalent community values.
16. The Commission has reviewed and considered the information in the FEIR before approving the project.
17. The FEIR identifies significant environmental effects of the route we approve that can be mitigated or avoided to the extent that they become not significant. The FEIR describes measures that will reduce or avoid such effects.
18. The environmental mitigation measures identified in the FEIR, with modifications in Appendix A, are feasible and will avoid significant environmental impacts. The environmental mitigation measures applicable to the approved transmission line route are in Appendix B.
19. As lead agency under CEQA, the Commission is required to monitor the implementation of mitigation measures adopted for this project to ensure full compliance with the provisions of the monitoring program.
20. The Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan in Section G of the FEIR conforms to the recommendations of the FEIR for measures required to mitigate or avoid environmental effects of the project that can be reduced or avoided.
21. The Commission will develop a detailed implementation plan for the Mitigation Monitoring, Compliance, and Reporting Plan.
22. The FEIR identifies no significant environmental impact of the approved route that cannot be mitigated or avoided.
23. We have considered and approve of the discussion in the FEIR covering parks and recreation, cultural and historic resources, environmental impacts generally, and the public comment and response section.
24. The maximum reasonable and prudent cost for the approved project is $206,988,000.
25. The five photographs included in the comments of 280 Citizens on the proposed decision are not needed for our consideration of 280 Citizens's comments.
26. It is reasonable to not require that a Supplemental FEIR be prepared for the San Bruno Mountain and El Camino Real alternative route segments, as described in Section V.B.4.
Conclusions of Law
1. The Commission has jurisdiction over the proposed project pursuant to Pub. Util. Code § 1001 et seq.
2. Recirculation of the FEIR is not required by CEQA because no "significant new information" is contained in the FEIR, as that term is used in CEQA.
3. The motion by the City of South San Francisco and CBE-101 requesting recirculation of the FEIR should be denied.
4. Because the FEIR considered a reasonable range of feasible alternatives, it is not necessary to amend the FEIR as Daly City suggests or to recirculate the FEIR for comments on Daly City's suggested alternative.
5. PG&E's preliminary EMF management plan for the Jefferson-Martin project should be modified as described in Section VI.C.
6. The Commission has authority to specify a "maximum cost determined to be reasonable and prudent" for the Jefferson-Martin project pursuant to Pub. Util. Code § 1005.5.
7. The Commission should approve a maximum reasonable and prudent cost of $206,988,000 for this project.
8. This Commission's determination regarding the maximum reasonable and prudent cost pursuant to § 1005.5 has bearing on the amount of cost recovery PG&E may seek from the FERC.
9. The Commission retains authority to approve PG&E's EMF mitigation plan to ensure that it does not create other adverse environmental impacts.
10. Commission approval of PG&E's application, as modified herein, is in the public interest.
11. EMF mitigation measures, as described in Section VI.C and Section XII, should be adopted and made conditions of project approval.
12. The Jefferson-Martin 230 kV Transmission Line Project Addendum to Final Environmental Impact Report attached as Appendix A should be approved.
13. Project approval should be conditioned upon construction according to the following route:
Beginning at the Jefferson substation, the project should be constructed along a hybrid route commencing with Route Option 1B in the southernmost segment; with PG&E authorized to determine which of five identified options for crossing Crystal Springs Dam to utilize based on the timing of project construction and the preferences of the SFPUC, the County of San Mateo, and USFWS; and transitioning to an overhead configuration at a new transition structure sited at the location of existing tower 11/70;
From the new transition structure, the transmission line should be constructed as proposed in PG&E's Proposed Project until the line transitions underground at a new Glenview Drive transition tower located on a roadway divider between Glenview Drive and Skyline Boulevard west of an existing water tank, on land owned by Caltrans;
From the new Glenview Drive transition tower, the line should be constructed in an underground configuration along Glenview Drive to its intersection with San Bruno Avenue where it should travel east down San Bruno Avenue; and
From San Bruno Avenue, the line should be constructed consistent with PG&E's proposed underground route in the northern segment, modified to include Route Option 4B rather than Route Option 4A, to the Martin substation.
14. Project approval should be conditioned upon use of Mitigation Measure T-9a at the discretion of the City of San Bruno.
15. Project approval should be conditioned upon the completion of the mitigation measures in Appendix B. The mitigation measures are feasible and will minimize or avoid significant environmental impacts. Those mitigation measures should be adopted and made conditions of project approval.
16. Any disputes between PG&E and local governments regarding land use matters should be submitted to the Commission for resolution as provided in Section XIV of G.O. 131-D.
17. After considering and weighing the values of the community, benefits to parks and recreational areas, the impacts on cultural and historic resources, and the environmental impacts caused by the project, we conclude that the CPCN for the Jefferson-Martin project as described in this decision should be approved.
18. Based on the completed record before us, we conclude that other alternatives identified in the FEIR are infeasible, pose more significant environmental impacts, or are less consistent with community values than the route we select in this decision.
19. Pub. Util. Code § 625(a)(l)(A) does not apply to this project. However, PG&E must provide notice pursuant to § 625(a)(l)(B) if and when it pursues installation of facilities for purposes of providing competitive services.
20. The motion of 280 Citizens to reopen the record for receipt of five photographs included in its comments on the proposed decision should be denied
21. The Petition to Intervene of the San Bruno Mountain Coalition should be denied because a Supplemental FEIR for the San Bruno Mountain route alternative will not be prepared.
22. This order should be effective today so that PG&E may proceed expeditiously with construction of the authorized project.