Role of the Air District
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (air district) will play a key role in the California Energy Commission (CEC) process and in determining how the proposed Community Power Plant's impacts on air quality are mitigated. As a power generating facility with a generating capacity of more than 50 megawatts, the Community Power Plant is subject to the jurisdiction of the CEC, which has overall responsibility for assessing potential impacts, including those related to air quality.
While the CEC is the final authority for determining whether construction and operation of the proposed plant should be granted, the CEC cannot and will not make this determination until the air district has first completed its own independent assessment of the plant's potential impacts and compliance with applicable air laws. The process for accomplishing this is through the issuance of a Determination-Of-Compliance (DOC) report.
The DOC, which is functionally equivalent to the air district's more familiar Authority-To-Construct permit, must be completed and provided to the CEC before any final decision is made by the CEC commissioners. No project brought before the CEC has ever been approved when the local air district has not provided its approval via the DOC report. In short, the air district's review is an independent process, and the Community Power Plant cannot go forward without this agency's approval.