PDFRCW 43.52.360

Operating agencyFormationAdditional projectsAppealsMembership, withdrawalDissolution.

Any two or more cities or public utility districts or combinations thereof may form an operating agency (herein sometimes called a joint operating agency) for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, operating and owning plants, systems and other facilities and extensions thereof, for the generation and/or transmission of electric energy and power. Each such agency shall be a municipal corporation of the state of Washington with the right to sue and be sued in its own name.
Application for the formation of an operating agency shall be made to the director of the department of ecology (herein sometimes referred to as the director) after the adoption of a resolution by the legislative body of each city or public utility district to be initial members thereof authorizing said city or district to participate. Such application shall set forth (1) the name and address of each participant, together with a certified copy of the resolution authorizing its participation; (2) a general description of the project and the principal project works, including dams, reservoirs, power houses and transmission lines; (3) the general location of the project and, if a hydroelectric project, the name of the stream on which such proposed project is to be located; (4) if the project is for the generation of electricity, the proposed use or market for the power to be developed; (5) a general statement of the electric loads and resources of each of the participants; (6) a statement of the proposed method of financing the preliminary engineering and other studies and the participation therein by each of the participants.
Within ten days after such application is filed with the director of the department of ecology notice thereof shall be published by the director once a week for four consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county or counties in which such project is to be located, setting forth the names of the participants and the general nature, extent and location of the project. Any public utility wishing to do so may object to such application by filing an objection, setting forth the reasons therefor, with the director of the department of ecology not later than ten days after the date of last publication of such notice.
Within ninety days after the date of last publication the director shall either make findings thereon or have instituted a hearing thereon. In the event the director has neither made findings nor instituted a hearing within ninety days of the date of last publication, or if such hearing is instituted within such time but no findings are made within one hundred and twenty days of the date of such last publication, the application shall be deemed to have been approved and the operating agency established. If it shall appear (a) that the statements set forth in said application are substantially correct; (b) that the contemplated project is such as is adaptable to the needs, both actual and prospective, of the participants and such other public utilities as indicate a good faith intention by contract or by letter of intent to participate in the use of such project; (c) that no objection to the formation of such operating agency has been filed by any other public utility which prior to and at the time of the filing of the application for such operating agency had on file a permit or license from an agency of the state or an agency of the United States, whichever has primary jurisdiction, for the construction of such project; (d) that adequate provision will be made for financing the preliminary engineering, legal and other costs necessary thereto; the director shall make findings to that effect and enter an order creating such operating agency, establishing the name thereof and the specific project for the construction and operation for which such operating agency is formed. Such order shall not be construed to constitute a bar to any other public utility proceeding according to law to procure any required governmental permits, licenses or authority, but such order shall establish the competency of the operating agency to proceed according to law to procure such permits, licenses or authority.
No operating agency shall undertake projects or conservation activities in addition to those for which it was formed without the approval of the legislative bodies of a majority of the members thereof. Prior to undertaking any new project for acquisition of an energy resource, a joint operating agency shall prepare a plan which details a least-cost approach for investment in energy resources. The plan shall include an analysis of the costs of developing conservation compared with costs of developing other energy resources and a strategy for implementation of the plan. The plan shall be presented to the energy and utilities committees of the senate and house of representatives for their review and comment. In the event that an operating agency desires to undertake such a hydroelectric project at a site or sites upon which any publicly or privately owned public utility has a license or permit or has a prior application for a license or permit pending with any commission or agency, state or federal, having jurisdiction thereof, application to construct such additional project shall be made to the director of the department of ecology in the same manner, subject to the same requirements and with the same notice as required for an initial agency and project and shall not be constructed until an order authorizing the same shall have been made by the director in the manner provided for such original application.
Any party who has joined in filing the application for, or objections against, the creation of such operating agency and/or the construction of an additional project, and who feels aggrieved by any order or finding of the director shall have the right to appeal to the superior court in the manner set forth in RCW 43.52.430.
After the formation of an operating agency, any other city or district may become a member thereof upon application to such agency after the adoption of a resolution of its legislative body authorizing said city or district to participate, and with the consent of the operating agency by the affirmative vote of the majority of its members. Any member may withdraw from an operating agency, and thereupon such member shall forfeit any and all rights or interest which it may have in such operating agency or in any of the assets thereof: PROVIDED, That all contractual obligations incurred while a member shall remain in full force and effect. An operating agency may be dissolved by the unanimous agreement of the members, and the members, after making provisions for the payment of all debts and obligations, shall thereupon hold the assets thereof as tenants in common.
[ 1998 c 245 s 68; 1987 c 376 s 11; 1977 ex.s. c 184 s 6; 1965 c 8 s 43.52.360. Prior: 1957 c 295 s 1; 1955 c 258 s 3; 1953 c 281 s 12.]


Generation of electric energy by steam: RCW 43.21A.610 through 43.21A.642.