Transmission lines deliver electric power
over long distances from power plants to sub-stations.
The Transmission Line Siting Act (TLSA), ss.
403.52-.5365, F.S., is the state’s centralized process for
licensing electrical transmission lines which;
- are 230 kV or larger;
- cross a county line; and,
- are 15 miles or longer.
An applicant can request to use the act for a line less than
15 miles long or if within one county.
If a line is to be constructed entirely within certain
rights-of-way, the Act may not apply, however this does not
relieve the utility from the obligation to obtain the necessary
individual permits and approvals. This exemption is
date-dependent if it is for a transmission line as defined in
the Transmission Line Siting Act. If the right-of-way is for a
transmission line, that transmission line right-of-way must have
been created before October 1, 1983. If the right-of-way is for
a road, railroad, gas, water, oil, sewage and such (but not a
transmission line), the exemption applies regardless of the date
The procedural rule is Ch. 62-17, Part II, F.A.C., [62-17.510
through 62-17.760]. An application guide is also available.
All nonprocedural rules that would otherwise apply to such a
facility will apply to a certified facility. See the
list for the lines that are certified under the Transmission
Line Siting Act.
Similarities and Differences between Transmission Line and
Power Plant Siting
The Transmission Line Siting Act is similar to the Power Plant
Siting Act. Both require Siting Board (Governor & Cabinet)
certification and that the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) act as lead agency as well as address its own
jurisdictional interests. In both laws, certification covers
other agency permits and life-of-the-facility certification.
Both also provide opportunity for public involvement.
Most of the steps, and points when districts and divisions
must participate, remain the same. The time provided for the
transmission line siting certification process is shorter than
the power plant siting certification process.
Two main differences between the Transmission Line Siting Act
and the Power Plant Siting Act:
1. There is no Land Use and Zoning hearing for transmission
2. Parties to the TLSA proceeding can propose corridors
alternate in location to the ones proposed by the applicant
(the corridor is an area in which the right-of-way will be
located). After review, alternate corridors may be the one
(or a variation thereof) certified. See the TLSA flowchart.
Alternate Corridor Provision
The Alternate Corridor Provision provides affected persons the
opportunity to address concerns about project location. Since
transmission line corridors can be up to a mile wide and several
hundred miles long, many alternates can be proposed and must be
Because of this consideration, and because a corridor is
initially what is proposed for certification, an exact
right-of-way location can seldom be reviewed during the
proceedings. Thus, the Post-certification Review is used
extensively in the Transmission Line Siting Act following
right-of-way selection. Most impacts under Post-certification
Review concern line location in relation to wetlands.
Corridor and right-of-way location raises more than wetlands
issues. The public is frequently concerned about health and
safety effects from electric and magnetic fields (EMF). DEP
regulates Transmission Line EMF and the Siting Coordination
Office which administers the program can answer questions about
Florida's EMF regulations as they pertain to Transmission Lines.
Land ownership is also sometimes a concern. Utility companies
typically offer to buy land necessary for a project at fair
market value and an agreeable sale is negotiated. However,
certification does empower the company with the right of eminent