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APRIL 9, 1996

Item 1 Minutes

Submittal of the minutes of the August 8, 1995 Cabinet meeting.


Item 2 Sunshine Pipeline Company Final Order

REQUEST: Entry of a Final Order adopting two orders from the Division of Administrative Hearings (Stephen Menton, Hearing Officer) closing the file and addressing reimbursement issues with respect to the now withdrawn Sunshine Pipeline natural gas transmission pipeline certification application.

COUNTIES: Dixie, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Hardee, Hernando, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Leon, Levy, Madison, Marion, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sumter, Taylor, Walton, Washington

APPLICANT: Sunshine Pipeline Company

LOCATION: A 528-mile long natural gas pipeline, beginning south of Crestview in Okaloosa County and ending in Polk County. The proposed pipeline corridor encompassed parts of twenty-one counties, twenty-two incorporated cities and towns, four water management districts, seven regional planning councils, and one water supply authority.

STAFF REMARKS: On July 30, 1993, the Sunshine Pipeline Company (Sunshine) filed a site certification application for a natural gas pipeline to be processed under the Natural Gas Pipeline Siting Act, pursuant to sections 403.941-9425, F.S. The matter was referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH).

On April 3, 1995, Sunshine submitted a Notice of Application Withdrawal to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and on April 4, 1995, Sunshine filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and Request for Refund of Application Fee. DEP filed a Notice of Acceptance of Withdrawal on April 10, 1995. Sixteen "affected agencies" along the proposed pipeline corridor timely filed for and are seeking reimbursement from the unused portion (34%) of Sunshine's application fee. Some of these reimbursement requests were disputed in part, and Sunshine, pursuant to sections 403.9421(5)(a)1 and (5)(b), F.S., disputed the statutory allocation of 50 percent and 16 percent of its application fee to DEP and DOAH, respectively. On December 18, 1995, the hearing officer entered two orders. The hearing officer's first order, Order on Refund Requests and Reimbursement Issues, denied Sunshine's request for refund of application fee and operated to disperse the application fee as set forth above. The second order, Order Closing File, ended DOAH's participation in the matter. There were no exceptions filed regarding the two orders rendered by the hearing officer. A final order from the Siting Board adopting the two DOAH orders is now necessary so that the reimbursement issues can be finally resolved and the "affected agencies" paid. The Final Order is technically required under Chapter 120, F.S., to close out the case. The Final Order adopts the Hearing Officer's two orders in total.

(See Attachment 2, Pages 1-22)