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Recap of today's meeting at the APA
November 17, 2011 - Jessica Collier
Phew, what a day.
After sitting through the entire adjudicatory hearing, this month's meeting is going to be a whole lot of review. But it's good to review, and it's interesting to see what the APA staff pulls out as the important points.
After reviewing ex parte communication rules and the criteria on which commissioners must make their decision, as well as hearing an hour-long review of the project application, the board quickly decided to affirm AFL O'Connell's rulings on three appealed issues. Then staff launched into presentations on several of the issues examined in the hearing.
They quickly dealt with Issues 3, 4 and 7, then spent much of the afternoon dealing with the various parts of Issue 1.
They mainly followed the hearing staff's lead from their closing brief, dealing with the same topics that hearing staff did and emphasizing the same points. They found quotes that highlighted the main arguments, often giving one side of an issue then giving an idea of responses from the other side.
Meanwhile, commissioners asked a ton of questions, the bulk of which staff couldn't immediately answer. The answers need to come from the hearing record, which makes it much more difficult for staff to answer immediately, so Mary Palmer typed out the questions so staff could find the answers and bring them back to commissioners in December. It's a tedious process.
At the end of the day, I saw Paul Van Cott, who told me he had to watch what happened all day, "in case there's a lawsuit or something." ("In case???" I said.) Seems like it would be really frustrating to watch the meeting, knowing the record so well and not being able to give the correct response himself.
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