The terms 'Permit' and 'Certification' are
defined by statutes.
1. What is the difference between a 'permit'
and a 'certification'?
Permits are typically authorizations to construct or
operate a facility. State, regional and local
permits may be required for any given facility.
Certifications for energy facilities cover almost
every aspect of the facility as an all-in-one
license for construction and operation of energy
facilities. As such, the state pre-empts the
issuance of any other type of permit for the
facility, except for local zoning and building.
Certification is granted for the life of the
2. Is a certification issued by the Florida
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)?
DEP coordinates the certification process. The
Siting Board (i.e., the Governor and Cabinet) issues
3. Does DEP work with other agencies in
developing proposed Conditions of Certification
Yes. DEP works with local, state and federal
agencies, local governments, community and
environmental organizations, and the general public
to develop Conditions of Certification.
4. Can the public participate in the
demonstrating that he or she, or his or her property
is substantially affected by the proposed
certification, a person may request to become a
party to certification proceeding. The public may
present information at a public hearing if the
presiding judge allows such testimony. The public
may also submit written comments to DEP’s Siting
Coordination Office at 3900 Commonwealth Blvd., M.S.
48, Tallahassee, Florida 32399
5. Does the DEP have compliance and
enforcement authority regarding certifications?
Yes. If a facility
violates a Conditions of Certification, DEP (or a
DEP designated state agency) can take enforcement
6. After having been granted, can a
certification be altered?
Yes. Certification can be altered in three ways:
1. Amendment, which is a material change
to the application for site certification that
does not require a change in the final order or
Conditions of Certification. Amendments can be
authorized by the Siting Coordination Office.
2. Modification, which is a substantive
change in the certification order including any
substantive change in the Conditions of
Certification. Proposed modifications are
reviewed by all affected agencies and are issued
by DEP or the Siting Board after public notice.
3. The Siting Board may issue a revised order
and Conditions of Certification, or revoke a
certification. However, the Board typically
delegates much of this authority to theDEP
Siting Coordination Office.
7. Who determines that a power plant is
The utility typically decides when a new
facility is needed. For projects subject to the
Florida Electrical Power Plant Siting Act, the
utility justifies the need for a new facility to the
Florida Public Service Commission, which
8. Which power plants are subject to the Power
Plant Siting Act?
All power plants built
after October 1, 1973 by regulated electric
utilities in Florida, using solar energy or steam
turbines to generate 75 MW or more of electric power
are subject to the Power Plant Siting Act.
9. Which transmission lines are subject to the
Transmission Line Siting Act?
Most transmission lines conducting 230 kV or more
are subject to the Transmission Line Act.
Exceptions: Transmission lines with construction
limited to established rights-of-way, are less than
15 miles long, or that do not cross a county line
are exempt from the Transmission Line Siting Act.
Transmission lines certified under the Power Plant
Siting Act are also exempt from the Transmission
Line Siting Act.
10. What is the difference between a
transmission line and a distribution line?
Transmission lines conduct 69 or more kV and
deliver electric power over long distances from
power plants to sub-stations.
Distribution lines conduct less than 69 kV and
deliver electric power from substations to
residential and commercial users.
11. Who determines that a transmission line is
The utility typically determines
when a new transmission line is necessary to
transmit bulk power from one location to another.
For projects subject to the Transmission Line Siting
Act, the utility justifies the need for a new
transmission line to the
Florida Public Service Commission, which
12. Who regulates the location of transmission
lines not subject to a Siting Act?
The locations of transmission lines not subject to
the Transmission Line Siting Act and Power Plant
Siting Act are subject to any local permitting
requirements that apply. Utilities will also need to
file for an Environmental Review Permit with DEP.
Additionally, all transmission lines must meet
electric and magnetic field (EMF) requirements,
regulated by DEP. Companies (primarily utilities)
that construct or operate transmission lines are
responsible for demonstrating compliance with the
Can alternate corridor routes be proposed under either the Power
Plant or Transmission Line Siting Act?
Yes. alternate corridor routes can be filed under
the TLSA, but only if allowed by the applicant under
the PPSA. The following are statutory requirements
that a proponent must follow if filing an alternate
1. File notice of intent to be a party or motion
to intervene, as appropriate - See Section
403.508(3) F.S. (PPSA) or Section 403.527(2), F.S.
2. File notice of proposed alternate corridor,
including map, description, and statement of reasons
the proposed alternate corridor should be certified
- See Section 403.5271(1)(a), F.S.
3. If the proposed alternate corridor is accepted
for consideration by the Department and the
applicant, proponent of alternate corridor must file
a complete application with data supporting proposed
alternate corridor and, under PPSA, application fee
($750 per mile within existing linear right-of-way;
$1000 per mile outside existing linear right-of-way)
- See Sections 403.5271(1)(d) and 403.518(6), F.S.
4. Public notices:
a. In newspaper - See Section
b. Delivered to landowners and
residences - See Section
403.5115(7)(a-b), F.S. (PPSA) or Section
403.5363(6)(a-b), F.S. (TLSA)
5. Proponent of alternate corridor has burden to
prove that the alternate corridor can be certified
at certification hearing before Administrative Law
Judge - See Section 403.5271(3)(b), F.S.
14. What is EMF?
Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are force fields
created when electricity moves through a conductor
such as wire. Electric and magnetic fields are
associated with high-voltage transmission lines,
secondary power lines, and home wiring and lighting.
Electric and magnetic fields also arise from motors
and heating coils in electronic equipment and
15. What are the health risks from EMF?
The body of research which has been compiled over
the past 20+ years leads to the conclusion that
there exists no statistically significant
correlation between electromagnetic fields generated
by transmission lines and health effects. For more
information visit the
National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.
16. How are EMF regulated?
DEP regulates EMF for electrical transmission lines.
State standards establish a maximum magnitude for
both electric and magnetic fields allowed at the
edge of a transmission line right-of-way. These
standards apply to all new transmission lines
constructed in Florida. Utilities are responsible
for submitting compliance reports to the Siting