Olman Utility Legislation Signed by Governor Taft

(Columbus) State Representative Lynn Olman (R-Maumee) announced Wednesday that Governor Bob Taft has signed House Bill 133, legislation to improve the public utility construction process.

As Chairman of the House Public Utilities Committee and a member of the Ohio Power Siting Board, Rep. Olman introduced House Bill 133 to update portions of the 30-year-old utility construction law.

“We became aware of inadequacies in the process a year or so ago and the recent Select Committee on Energy Policy highlighted several key factors in improving the process by which utilities build new power facilities here in Ohio,” said Rep. Olman. “We needed to give the Power Siting Board more flexibility to work with utilities when setting plans for a new power facility.”

The bill establishes a hearing process and civil penalty for any utility who violates a provision of their power siting certificate. Prior law allowed only for criminal prosecution for any violation of a utility’s building certificate.

“We had an instance where a subcontractor mistakenly cleared an acre of trees on their site,” Rep. Olman said. “Seeking criminal penalties for a violation of this type just didn’t fit.”

Rep. Olman said other changes in the bill are designed to streamline the power siting process and improve the likelihood of new power generating facilities being constructed in Ohio.

“In a competitive electric market, all customers will benefit from additional electric generation that keeps the cost of electricity low,” added Rep. Olman.

The effective date of the bill is April 8, 2004.

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© Copyright 2008 State Representative Lynn Olman. All rights reserved.


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