NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-0 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-0

NERC Case Notes: Reliability Standard FAC-001-0

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This page contains the NOP (Notice of Penalty) and ACP (Administrative Citation of Penalty) summaries. Click here to read the FFT (Find, Fix and Track) summaries.

Arlington Valley, LLC - AVBA, FERC Docket No. NP13-9 (December 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: 1, 2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (1, 2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (1, 2)

Region: WECC

Issue: AVBA, LLC – AVBA (AVBA) self-reported, as a TO, that it did not document, maintain or publish its facility connection requirements as required (1). As AVBA did not have facility connection requirements, it also did not address the requirements of Reliability Standard FAC-001-0 R2.

Finding: WECC found that the FAC-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability. As AVBA only owned three generating units and one 2.5 mile 500 kV transmission likely, another entity was not likely to request to connect to the AVBA system. Even if another entity were to request a connection, there would be negotiations between that entity and AVBA, which would ensure that the interconnection would proceed without any unsynchronized connection problems or voltage and frequency problems. The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from November 5, 2007 through June 1, 2009 (1 and 2). AVBA stipulated to the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these violations were AVBA's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the violations were not intentional and were promptly mitigated once discovered; and AVBA was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations. In addition, all but one of AVBA's violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregate for 43 violations)

FERC Order: Issued January 30, 2013 (no further review)

Cedar Creek Wind Energy, LLC (CCWE), Docket No. NP12-42 (August 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: 1, 2, 3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (1, 2, 3)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (1, 2, 3)

Region: WECC

Issue: Based on a compliance audit in May 2010, WECC found that CCWE, as a TO, was unable to properly document, maintain and publish its facility connection requirements for generation facilities, transmission facilities and end-user facilities, as required (1). CCWE also did not have a written summary describing its plans to achieve the necessary system performance regarding its facility connection requirements (2). In addition, CCWE did not have sufficient documentation showing that it had properly maintained and updated its facility connection requirements (3).

Finding: WECC found that the FAC-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability. CCWE only owns a 72-mile 230 kV transmission line that connects its wind generation facility to a neighboring entity, and CCWE does not serve any load. As CCWE’s facility is connected to the neighboring entity through a ring bus, any problem on the CCWE line would be isolated and not impact the continuity of the neighboring entity’s system. The neighboring entity operators also have the authorization to undertake necessary actions on the CCWE line. In addition, CCWE is a sole-use facility and has no plans to develop new facility connections (and any new facility connections would be coordinated with the neighboring entity). The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from January 21, 2008 through November 19, 2010. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these were CCWE’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; CCWE was cooperative during the enforcement process (complying with all applicable compliance directives) and did not conceal the violations; the violations were not intentional; the violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregate for 10 violations)

FERC Order: Issued September 28, 2012 (no further review)

Cedar Falls Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP11-109-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: MRO

Issue: As the result of a compliance audit, MRO found that prior to August 14, 2009, Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU), as a Transmission Owner, had not addressed 7 of 16 sub-requirements of FAC-001-0 R2 in its Interconnection Requirements document.

Finding: MRO and CFU entered into a Settlement Agreement in which CFU admitted to multiple violations and agreed to the assessed penalty. MRO determined that this violation did not pose a serious or significant risk to the bulk power system because CFU had not received any interconnection requests. The NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee considered the following in determining the penalty: the violation was the first of the subject Reliability Standard, CFU was cooperative during the compliance enforcement process; there was no evidence of any attempt or intent to conceal a violation; and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors that would affect the penalty amount.

Penalty: $3,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Citizens Electric Corporation, FERC Docket No. NP10-169-000 (September 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (for R1, R2)

Region: SERC

Issue: In May 2009, Citizens Electric Corporation (Citizens) self-certified that it had not sufficiently documented, maintained, and published facility connection requirements as required to ensure compliance with the NERC Reliability Standards, as well as compliance with the appropriate Regional Reliability Organization, sub-regional, Power Pool, and individual Transmission Owner planning criteria and facility connection requirements.

Finding: SERC and Citizens entered into a settlement agreement to resolve the violations, whereby Citizens agreed to pay a penalty of $2,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. SERC found that the violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since Citizens had not received any requests, since the Reliability Standards became mandatory, to interconnect to its single 138 kV line. The duration of the violations was from June 18, 2007 through April 6, 2010. Furthermore, these were Citizens’ first violations of FAC-001-0; Citizens was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not attempt to conceal the violations; and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors present.

Penalty: $2,000

FERC Order: Issued October 29, 2010 (no further review)

City of Rochelle, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: RFC

Issue: City of Rochelle self-reported that it failed to address numerous facilities connection requirements as required by the standard. Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through July 9, 2009.

Finding: Penalty was deemed appropriate because this was Rochelle's first violation of this standard, the violation was self-reported1, and the violation related to a documentation issue that did not pose a serious or substantial threat to the reliability of the bulk power system.

Penalty: $7,500 (aggregate penalty for multiple violations)

FERC Order: 129 FERC ¶ 61,119 (2009); http://www.nerc.com/files/Omnibus_NOP_Order-11132009.pdf

E.ON U.S. Services Inc., FERC Docket No. NP09-2-000 (December 12, 2008)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: SERC

Issue: E.ON failed to provide timely certification of completion of its mitigation plan for an earlier, pre-enforceable standards violation to SERC.

Finding: Duration of violation from December 10, 2007 through February 8, 2008. Penalty recognized (1) E.ON might have subjected the reliability of the bulk power system to additional and reasonably avoidable risk; (2) SERC's efforts in ascertaining completion of a mitigation plan should not have been required and was an unnecessary cost on its compliance monitoring and enforcement resources; (3) E.ON committed to host, finance and provide speakers for a reliability compliance workshop, and lack of relevant compliance history on the part of E.ON.

Penalty: $235,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: 126 FERC ¶ 61,014 (2009), http://www.nerc.com/files/NOP_Order-01092009.pdf

Farmington Electric Utility System, FERC Docket No. NP10-40-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Farmington Electric Utility System ("FEUS") self-reported that its facility connection requirements in its interconnection policy were not compliant with the standard. Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 when the standard became enforceable through February 15, 2008.

Finding: Penalty was deemed appropriate because these were FEUS' first violations of the applicable standards, FEUS self-reported eleven of the violations, and FEUS is a small generation and transmission system that had made a substantial commitment of financial and personnel resources to NERC compliance relative to its size.

Penalty: $40,250 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 3, 2010 (no further review)

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association, FERC Docket No. NP11-253-000 (July 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: FRCC

Issue: During an audit, FRCC determined that although Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association (FKEC) established and maintained facility connection requirements, it failed to publically post the document.

Finding: FRCC assessed a $1,500 penalty for this and other Reliability Standards violations. FRCC determined that the violation posed a minimal risk but did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because there were no interconnection requests during the violation time period, and FKEC had provided its facility connection requests document to the RC, BAs, and TOPs. NERC approved the settlement in an Administrative Citation Notice of Penalty.

Penalty: $1,500 (aggregated for 7 violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 29, 2011 (no further review)

Florida Public Utilities Company, FERC Docket No. NP11-253-000 (July 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: FRCC

Issue: During an audit, FRCC determined Florida Public Utilities Company (FPUC), as a TO, did not have a facility connection requirements document to ensure compliance with NERC Reliability Standards.

Finding: FRCC assessed a $4,500 penalty for this and other Reliability Standards violations. FRCC determined that the violation posed a minimal risk but did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because FPUC did not make any interconnections during the time period of the violation, the sub requirements would have been determined during an engineering study prior to interconnection, and 95% of the applicable transmission line is not within FPUC’s service territory. In addition, FPUC is very small, with only one substation, less than 100 MW of load, and only 39 square miles of service territory. NERC approved the settlement in an Administrative Citation Notice of Penalty.

Penalty: $4,500 (aggregated for 7 violations)

FERC Order: Issued August 29, 2011 (no further review)

Grays Harbor County PUD, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2, R3)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In June 2007, Grays Harbor County PUD (Grays Harbor) self-reported that it had not documented, maintained, or published its facility connection requirements. Therefore, Grays Harbor was also unable to update them or provide the requirements upon request.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since Grays Harbor was actually using the requirements of its Balancing Authority (even though it failed to document the requirements into its own policy). The violations were primarily documentation issues. In addition, the violations were self-reported and these were Grays Harbor's first violations of this Reliability Standard. A mitigation plan has been completed.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Horse Hollow Generation Tie, LLC (HHGT), Docket No. NP12-40 (July 31, 2012)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: TRE

Issue: On September 2 and 14, 2010, HHGT, as a TO, submitted a Self-Certification followed by a Self-Report for violation of FAC-001-0 R1. Following review of HHGT’s December 6, 2010 amended Self-Report, TRE determined that HHGT violated FAC-001-0 R1 because it did not document, maintain and publish facility connection requirements until May 25, 2010. To meet compliance, HHGT submitted appropriate documentation establishing facility connection requirements including an Interconnection Agreement dated June 26, 2009. TRE determined that the 2009 Interconnection Agreement did not ensure compliance because it was only between HHGT and a neighboring TO and did not address the connection requirements for all the facilities owned by HHGT. Additionally, because HHGT did not have a facility connection requirements document per R1, HHGT was also in violation of R2.1 to R2.1.16 of this Standard until May 25, 2010. In turn, in violating R1 and R2, TRE determined that HHGT failed to maintain and update its facility connection requirements as required by R3. The duration of the violation was October 15, 2009 through May 25, 2010.

Finding: These violations only posed a minimal risk to BPS reliability for two reasons. First, although HHGT did not document, maintain and publish facility connection requirements during the violation period, the interconnection point linking HHGT’s 345 kV line to another entity’s substation had adequate facility connection requirements. Second, the facilities not addressed by the facility connection requirements are part of a line that requires coordination with, and permission from, HHGT in order to add any other connections. No requests for interconnection or additions were made to HHGT’s transmission line during the violation period. HHGT neither admitted nor denied TRE’s determinations. In determining the appropriate penalty, TRE considered HHGT’s internal compliance program as a mitigating factor.

Penalty: $14,000 (aggregate for four violations).

FERC Order: Issued August 30, 2012 (no further review)

Indianapolis Power & Light Company, FERC Docket No. NP11-210-000 (June 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Lower

Region: RFC

Issue: During a compliance audit in March 2010, RFC found that Indianapolis Power & Light Company’s (IPL) Facility Connection Requirements for end-user facilities did not incorporate certain mandated procedures, such as those for the notification of new or modified facilities as soon as feasible to those responsible for the reliability of the interconnected transmission system, MW and MVAR capacity at the point of interconnection, and telecommunications or abnormal frequency for its end-user facilities.

Finding: RFC and IPL entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby IPL agreed to pay a penalty of $70,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. RFC found that the FAC-001-0 violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability since there were no new generator or end-user facilities that were connected to IPL’s bulk electric system facilities during the time of the violation. In addition, IPL did possess end-user facility connection requirements at all times. The duration of the FAC-001-0 violation was from June 18, 2007 through January 20, 2010. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that these were IPL’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; IPL was cooperative during the enforcement proceeding and did not conceal the violations; there was a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $70,000 (aggregate for 11 violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 29, 2011 (no further review)

Kissimmee Utility Authority, FERC Docket No. NP11-181-000 (April 29, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: FRCC

Issue: Kissimmee Utility Authority’s (KUA) documentation for its Facility Connections did not cover all of the components necessary to meet the requirements of the Reliability Standard.

Finding: FRCC and KUA entered into a settlement agreement to resolve the violation, whereby KUA agreed to pay a penalty of $1,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. FRCC determined that the violation only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since the relevant documentation was updated within three months of the Reliability Standard entering into force. During that time, no other requests for the documentation were made. The duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 through August 28, 2007.

Penalty: $1,000

FERC Order: May 27, 2011 (no further review)

Klickitat County PUD, FERC Docket No. NP10-184-000 (September 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2 and R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Klickitat self-certified that it was not compliant with the standard because it did not have documentation of facility connection requirements as required by R1, and it did not have facility connection requirements as required by R2. It also did not update or maintain its facility connection requirements as required by R3 because it did not have such requirements in place.

Finding: It was determined by WECC that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because Klickitat did not expect any entity would interconnect with its system, and thus did not have any immediate need to develop the facility connection requirements. Additional factors for the determination of penalty amount included that the violation was an administrative documentation issue.

Penalty: $4,800 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 29, 2010 (no further review)

Lea County Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-93-000 (January 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: SPP determined that Lea County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Lea County) failed to address facility connection requirements for transmission facilities and end-user customer facilities in its facility connections requirements documentation. SPP also found that Lea County failed to address the facility connection requirements of FAC-001-0 R2.1.1 through R2.1.16 for transmission and end-user facilities in its facility connection requirements documentation.

Finding: The NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee (NERC BOTCC) approved a Settlement Agreement, including SPP’s assessment of a $15,000 financial penalty. In reaching this determination, the NERC BOTCC considered the following facts, among others: the violation constituted Lea County’s first violation of the subject NERC Reliability Standards; Lea County cooperated during the compliance enforcement process; Lea County’s compliance program; Lea County did not attempt to conceal a violation or intend to do so; the violations did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system; and there were no other mitigating or aggravating factors or extenuating circumstances.

Penalty: $15,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 2, 2011 (no further review)

Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-266-000 (August 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: FRCC

Issue: During an audit, FRCC determined that Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LCEC) failed to maintain and publish its facility connection requirements as required by applicable standards.

Finding: FRCC found that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because LCEC's FAC-001 Policy/Procedure dated January 1, 2007 sets forth the process for establishing specific facility connection requirements, based on an agreement with LCEC's Balancing Authority and interconnected entity. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 through November 4, 2009.

Penalty: $30,000 (aggregate for 7 violations)

FERC Order: Issued September 30, 2011 (no further review)

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, FERC Docket No. NP10-141-000 (July 6, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: LADWP’s Large Generator Interconnection Policy did not address grounding and safety issues or insulation and insulation coordination as required by R2.

Finding: Duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through May 29, 2008. The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because LADWP required interconnection specifications and reviewed them for technical and safety concerns including issues of grounding, safety and insulation.

Penalty: $225,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued Oct. 8, 2010 (no further review)

Lubbock Power and Light, Docket No. NP11-270 (September 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: During a compliance audit, SPP found that Lubbock Power and Light (Lubbock) did not have documentation of facility connection requirements for prospective generation, transmission, and end-user facilities in violation of R1 and, therefore, could not provide a written summary of its plans to achieve the required system performance throughout the planning horizon in violation of R2. Lubbock also did not maintain and update the documentation of the facility connection requirements and make them available to users of the transmission system, the Regional Reliability Organization or NERC within five days in violation of R3. The violations lasted from January 1, 2009 to October 27, 2010.

Finding: SPP determined that the violations posed a minimal risk, but did not pose a serious or substantial risk, to the reliability of the BPS because Lubbock has a full requirements contract with Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS) that would require it to vet any proposed interconnection to its 230 kV facility with SPS. Moreover, the physical make-up of Lubbock’s 230 kV line limits the potential for any possible interconnections because it is only 8.45 miles long.

Penalty: $14,000 (aggregate for 8 violations)

FERC Order: Issued October 28, 2011 (no further review)

Merced Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP11-10-000 (November 5, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Merced self-reported that it did not have documented facility connection requirements as required by R1. For this reason, it also did not have facility connection requirements per R2.

Finding: It was determined by WECC that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because Merced is a small entity with only one interconnection and an agreement in place regarding connection requirements for that one interconnection. The duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 through February 3, 2009.

Penalty: $8,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 3, 2010 (no further review)

Mesquite Power LLC, FERC Docket No. NP12-35 (June 29, 2012)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R1, R2, R3)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2, R3)

Region: WECC

Issue: In March 2009, Mesquite Power LLC (Mesquite), as a TO, self-certified that it did not have facility connection requirements as required. Therefore, Mesquite had not documented, maintained and published its facility connection requirements (R1); developed facility connection requirements that included all of the criteria listed in the Reliability Standard (R2); or properly maintained and updated its facility connection requirements (R3).

Finding: WECC found that the FAC-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability since Mesquite was coordinating with its BA for all interconnections to its system. The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from November 5, 2007 through March 31, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these were Mesquite’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standard; one of the violations (VAR-002-1 R3) was self-reported; Mesquite was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; Mesquite did have a compliance program in place (which was evaluated as a mitigating factor); there were two violations of the same Reliability Standard (PER-003-0 R1) that demonstrated the repeat nature of the violation (which was evaluated as an aggravating factor); the violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability; and there were no additional aggravating or mitigating factors.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregate for 26 violations)

FERC Order: Order issued July 27, 2012 (no further review)

Milford Wind Corridor Phase I, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP13-40 (June 27, 2013)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: 1, 2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (1, 2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (1, 2)

Region: WECC

Issue: Milford Wind Corridor Phase I, LLC (Milford Wind) self-certified that it did not have documented facility connection requirements (1). As a result, its facility connection requirements did not contain a summary of plans to avoid adverse system performance throughout the planning horizon or address the other requirements of the Reliability Standard (2).

Finding: WECC found that the FAC-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to BPS reliability. Milford Wind’s output is not baseload generation, and if Milford Wind was unable to deliver its generation, the host BA would be able to find replacement generation without there being an adverse impact on BPS reliability. Milford Wind’s generation is non-firm and intermittent, and thus its transmission facilities are limited in use. Milford Wind’s transmission line is radial in nature and is only used to connect Milford Wind’s generation to the bulk power system. The FAC-001-0 violations occurred from May 18, 2010 through March 15, 2012. Milford neither admitted nor denied the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these violations were Milford Wind’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standard and that Milford Wind had a compliance program in place. Milford Wind was also cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations.

Total Penalty: $81,000 (aggregate for 15 violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 26, 2013 (no further review)

Mississippi Delta Energy Agency, FERC Docket No. NP11-65-000 (December 22, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2, R3)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (for R1, R2, R3)

Region: SPP

Issue: In August 2009, the Mississippi Delta Energy Agency (MDEA) self-reported that, as a Transmission Owner, it had not documented, maintained or published its facility connection requirements as required by the Reliability Standard. As a result, MDEA did not possess documented facility connection requirements that contained certain required elements nor did it properly maintain or update its facility connection requirements as mandated.

Finding: SPP and MDEA entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby MDEA agreed to pay a penalty of $9,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures to resolve multiple violations. SPP found that the FAC-001-0 violations did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to bulk power system reliability as there were no requests to connect to MDEA’s 23-mile transmission line. In addition, if there were an interconnection request, MDEA would have applied procedures that are consistent with the RTO’s procedures, as well as with Entergy and Clarksdale’s operational requirements. The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from August 24, 2007 through December 29, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC considered the fact that these violations were MDEA’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the violations were self-reported; MDEA was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not attempt to conceal the violations; there was a compliance program in place (even though this was only considered a neutral factor); and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors.

Penalty: $9,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued January 21, 2011 (no further review)

Modesto Irrigation District, FERC Docket No. NP10-93-000 (March 31, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Modesto Irrigation District (MID) failed to document, maintain or publish its facility connection requirements.

Finding: The alleged violations occurred from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, until December 12, 2007, when MID completed a mitigation plan. Through settlement, no penalty was assessed and MID agreed to undertake a number of activities, including accelerating "Job Task Analysis" development for MID's operators and construction of a back-up control center. In reaching the agreement, WECC considered that it was MID's first violations of this Standard; the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system; MID is a government entity and a small irrigation district; most violations were self-reported; MID did not attempt to conceal the violations; and the violations were not intentional.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued April 30, 2010 (no further review)

National Nuclear Security Administration – Los Alamos National Laboratory, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In June 2007, National Nuclear Security Administration – Los Alamos National Laboratory (NNSAL) self-reported that it had not documented, maintained, or published its facility connection requirements.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since NNSAL did actually have facility connection requirements (even though it failed to document the requirements into a formal policy). The violations were primarily documentation issues. In addition, the violations were self-reported and these were NNSAL's first violations of this Reliability Standard. Even though NNSAL completed its mitigation plan a month and a half late, no penalty was imposed.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

New York State Electric & Gas, FERC Docket No. NP11-199-000 (May 26, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (R1, R2)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (R1, R2)

Region: NPCC

Issue: During an audit, NPCC determined that New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) did not possess adequate documentation regarding the facility connection requirements for transmission or end-user facilities (R1). In addition, NYSEG’s facility connection documents did not sufficiently detail voltage level and MW and MVAR capacity and demand at the point of interconnection. The relevant documentation also did not contain an approval name, signature, or an effective date as required. (R2)

Finding: NPCC and NYSEG entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby NYSEG agreed to pay a penalty of $5,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures. NPCC found that the FAC-001-0 violations only constituted a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since NYSEG did possess a document entitled “Transmission Services IPP Interconnections Operating Standards” that NYSEG used for its facility connection and performance requirements (even though the document was not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Reliability Standard). The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from June 21, 2007 through December 22, 2009.

Penalty: $5,000 (aggregate for 4 violations)

FERC Order: Issued June 24, 2011 (no further review)

NewCorp Electric Resources Cooperative, FERC Docket No. NP11-133-000 (February 28, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1 (R1.2, R1.3)

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: SPP

Issue: During a compliance audit in July 2010, SPP found that New Corp Electric Resources Cooperative (NewCorp), prior to June 23, 2009, did not possess sufficient facility connection requirements that would be needed to respond to connection requests from transmission and end-user facilities. New Corp’s Open Access Transmission Tariff only addressed connection requests from generation facilities.

Finding: SPP and NewCorp entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations. SPP found that the FAC-001-0 violation posed only a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since NewCorp’s affiliate distribution provider was its only transmission customer and there have been no transmission or end-user connections on NewsCorp’s system. The duration of the violation was from August 24, 2007 through June 23, 2009.

Penalty: $4,500 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, FERC Docket No. NP11-159-000 (March 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: WECC determined in the course of an off-site compliance audit that NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (“NextEra”) was in violation of R1 because it did not have a facility connection requirement document for one of its 230 kV transmission facilities; was also in violation of R2 because it did not address any of the sub-requirements in the non-existent facility connection requirement document; and also violated R3 because it could not maintain, update, or make its non-existent document available.

Finding: WECC determined the violation posed a minimal risk and did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the BPS because the facility at issue is a radial line that does not serve any load, and only connects some of NextEra’s generation to the grid. The NERC BOTCC considered the following factors: this was NextEra’s first violation; NextEra was cooperative; there was no evidence of any attempt or intent to conceal the violations; and there were no other mitigating or aggravating factors.

Penalty: $60,000 (aggregated for 4 violations)

FERC Order: Issued April 29, 2011 (no further review)

Overton Power District #5, FERC Docket No. NP10-41-000 (February 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Overton failed to produce documented and published facility connection requirements for its facilities and failed to make such documentation available to applicable entities within five days as required by the standard.

Finding: Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007, when the standard became enforceable, through December 15, 2008. Penalty was determined appropriate because these were Overton's first violations of the standard, and the violations posed low risk to the bulk power system reliability.

Penalty: $10,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 3, 2010 (no further review)

Pend Oreille County Public Utility District No. 1, FERC Docket No. NP11-11-000 (November 5, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: Prior to January 1, 2009, Pend Oreille failed to document, maintain and publish facility connection requirements addressing transmission facilities.

Finding: It was determined by WECC that the violation did not constitute a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because Pend Oreille's system is small and it did have documentation regarding generation facilities and end-user facilities. In addition demand for transmission facilities to interconnect with Pend Oreille's system is low. The duration of violation was from June 18, 2007 through January 1, 2009.

Penalty: $26,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued December 3, 2010 (no further review)

Progress Energy Florida, FERC Docket No. NP12-2 (October 31, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Moderate

Region: FRCC

Issue: Progress Energy Florida (PEF), as a TO, self-reported that it had not incorporated all of the Reliability Standard criteria in its facility connection document.

Finding: FRCC found that the violation constituted only a minimal risk to BPS reliability since the relevant criteria that PEF did not include would have been discussed during the engineering studies for the interconnection. Furthermore, only seven interconnections occurred during the course of the violation and none of them had a relevant impact on the BPS. The duration of the violation was from June 18, 2007 through October 14, 2010. PEF had a compliance program in place, but it was only evaluated as a neutral factor.

Penalty: $75,000 (aggregate for 4 violations)

FERC Order: Issued November 30, 2011 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County, FERC Docket NP10-116-000 (June 2, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: An audit team determined that Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County ("Chelan") did not have interconnection requirements for certain transmission and end-user facilities as required by the standard. In addition, Chelan had generator interconnection requirements but did not include procedures for notification of new or modified facilities to others. While Chelan posted its facility connection requirements on its website, the posted material did not include all the elements required by the standard, so it did not maintain its facility connection requirements as required by R3.

Finding: Duration of the violations from June 18, 2007 when the standards became enforceable through November 28, 2007. The violations did not cause a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because Chelan did post facility connection requirements and it had not received any requests for third party interconnections to its transmission or end user facilities during the period of non-compliance. This was Chelan's first violation of these standards.

Penalty: $35,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 2, 2010 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Lewis County, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: In January 2008, Public Utility District No. 1 of Lewis County (LCPD) self-reported that it had not documented, maintained, or published its facility connection requirements.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because the violations were primarily documentation issues. In addition, there was only a low possibility of any interconnection as the transmission facilities are a remote radial feed from Tacoma Power Mossyrock Switchyard to LCPD Cowlitz Falls Hydroelectric Project and onto the Bonneville Power Administration transmission facilities. The violations were self-reported and these were LCPD's first violations of this Reliability Standard. LCPD has completed a mitigation plan.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County, FERC Docket NP10-118-000 (June 2, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County ("Whatcom") self-certified non-compliance with the standard because it did not have a published document pertaining to facility connection requirements for end user facilities, and its documentation was not organized and made available in a single document as required by the standard.

Finding: Duration of violations from August 10. 2007, the date Whatcom was included in the NERC registry, through October 13, 2009. The violations posed minimal risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because Whatcom is a non-generating small load utility with only one retail customer. The violations were also Whatcom's first of this standard.

Penalty: $20,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 2, 2010 (no further review)

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative, Inc., FERC Docket No. NP11-228-000 (June 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2, R3)

Violation Severity Level: Severe (for R1, R2, R3)

Region: SPP

Issue: During a compliance audit in August 2010, SPP found that Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Rayburn) had not sufficiently documented its interconnection requirements concerning the interconnection of transmission, generation, and end-user facilities (R1). SPP also determined that Rayburn did not possess sufficient documentation regarding other components of its facility connection requirements (R2), including being able to maintain and updates the facility connection requirements and make them available to users of the transmission system (R3).

Finding: SPP found that the FAC-001-0 violations constituted only a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability as no facilities have been interconnected to Rayburn’s transmission system in recent history (as Rayburn’s transmission system consisted of only 100 miles of 138 kV lines needed to service five member cooperatives with a total load of 166 MW). In addition, Rayburn’s documented facility connection requirements did at least partially fulfill the requirements of the Reliability Standard. The duration of the violations was from January 30, 2009 through January 19, 2011.

Penalty: $14,000 (aggregate for 6 violations)

FERC Order: Issued July 29, 2011 (no further review)

Rochester Public Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP11-133-000 (February 28, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: MRO

Issue: Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) was unable to provide to MRO early versions of its facility connection and performance requirements for its generation, transmission and end-user facilities as required by the FAC-001-0.

Finding: Because the violation related to prior versions of RPU’s connection requirements documentation, MRO determined the violation posed a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability because no request for interconnection of a generation, transmission or end-user facility on the RPU transmission system had been received by RPU.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC, FERC Docket No. NP10-2-000 (October 14, 2009)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (for R1, R2)

Violation Severity Level: Not provided

Region: WECC

Issue: Salmon River Electric Coop./PNGC (SREC) self-reported that it did not have a formal procedure to document, maintain, or publish its facility connection requirements.

Finding: WECC found that the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since the violations were primarily documentation issues. In addition, there was only a low possibility of any interconnection as no entity had ever requested to connect to Thompson Creeks Mine's transmission assets (i.e., the facility maintained by SREC). Therefore, to date, there had not been any need for facility connection procedures. The violations were self-reported and these were SREC's first violations of this Reliability Standard. Even though the violations occurred before the Reliability Standards became mandatory, SREC did not timely complete its mitigation plan, turning the violations into post-June 18, 2007 violation. Even though the mitigation plan was completed late, no penalty was imposed.

Penalty: $0

FERC Order: Issued November 13, 2009 (no further review)

Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities, FERC Docket No. NP11-41-000 (November 30, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2, R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: SPP

Issue: Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities ("SBMU") submitted a Self-Certification indicating it was not compliant with Reliability Standard FAC-001-0 because it relied upon the documented interconnection requirements of its Transmission Operator ("TO") and Balancing Authority ("BA") and did not have any documented facility connection requirements and plans of its own. Consequently, it was also not able to make its requirements available upon request within five business days as required by the Standard.

Finding: NERC determined Deficiency Notice of Penalty treatment was appropriate in this case because the violations were documentation in nature and administrative. Moreover, the violations did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because SBMU only had a single 27-mile transmission line and had not received any requests to interconnect its facilities. Even if SBMU had received an interconnection request, it would have had to coordinate with its TO and BA and therefore could have relied upon their interconnection requirements.

Penalty: $1,350

FERC Order: Issued December 30, 2010 (no further review)

Silicon Valley Power (SVP), Docket No. NP13-21 (January 31, 2013)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: 1, 2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium (1, 2)

Violation Severity Level: High (1), Severe (2)

Region: WECC

Issue: SVP, as a TO, self-certified that it did not document, maintain and publish the required planning criteria and facility connection requirements for its transmission and end-user facilities. Instead, SVP only developed facility connection requirements for its generation facilities (1). As SVP did not have facility connection requirements for its transmission and end-user facilities, its facility connection requirements did not satisfy the requirements of the Reliability Standard (2).

Finding: WECC found that the FAC-001-0 violations constituted only a minimal risk to BPS reliability since connections to SVP’s transmission and end-user facilities over 60 kV are prohibited by the Santa Clara City Council Rules and Regulations (SVP is the municipal utility for Santa Clara). SVP also does not have any end-use customers connected to its 115 kV or 230 kV facilities and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is the only transmission connection (which is managed through an Interconnection Agreement). The duration of the FAC-001-0 violations was from May 27, 2011 through July 17, 2012. SVP agreed and stipulated to the violations. In approving the settlement agreement, the NERC BOTCC considered the fact that these were the SVP’s first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards and four of the violations were self-reported. URE was also cooperative during the enforcement process, did not conceal the violations and engaged in voluntary corrective action to remediate the violations. Twelve of the violations posed a minimal risk to BPS reliability, and five of the violations posed a moderate risk, while none of the violations posed a serious or substantial risk to BPS reliability.

Total Penalty: $150,000 (aggregate for 17 violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 1, 2013 (no further review)

Southern California Edison – Transmission & Distribution Business Unit, Docket No. NP10-64-000 (March 1, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: No Serious or Substantial Risk to the Bulk Power System

Region: WECC

Issue: In December 2008, Southern California Edison – Transmission & Distribution Business Unit (SCET) self-reported a violation of Reliability Standard FAC-001-0 R1 since it could not present any published document that fully discussed facility connection requirements for its transmission facilities and end-users.

Finding: WECC found that this violation did not cause a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system since the facility connection requirements were available in the interconnection agreements to other entities. In assessing the penalty, WECC considered the fact that the violations were self-reported; these violations were SCET's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; SCET was cooperative and did not attempt to conceal the violations; and the violations were not intentional. SCET has successfully completed a mitigation plan for the violation of Reliability Standard FAC-001-0 R1.

Penalty: $28,000 (aggregate amount for two violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 31, 2010 (no further review)

TransAlta Centralia Generation, LLC (TACG), Docket No. NP14-15-000 (December 30, 2013)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: 1, 2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: Severe

Region: WECC

Issue: During the course of an off-site compliance audit, WECC found that TACG, as a TO, had not documented, maintained and/or published facility connection requirements in violation of R1. Those circumstances led to a violation of R2 because TACG did not have facility connection requirements, it could not meet the facility rating requirements found in R2.

Finding: These violations were deemed to pose minimal risk to BPS reliability, but not serious or substantial risk. This risk was mitigated because TACG had never received an interconnection request and has merely 1.55 miles of 500 kV of transmission lines available to connect with. Also, TACG has procedures in place that would have triggered facility connection requirements should a party have requested interconnection with TACG. WECC found that policy would have covered the FAC-001-0 R1 and R2 requirements. In determining the appropriate penalty, WECC considered that, regarding the FAC-001 circumstances, TACG has stated to WECC and NERC that the requirements of FAC-001 are not applicable to TACG and has self-certified that FAC-001 is not applicable to it. TACG also has an internal compliance program that WECC considered a mitigating factor. However, the PRC-005-1 R2 violation is the third violation of that Reliability Standard, which was an aggravating factor in penalty assessment.

Total Penalty: $0 (for the two FAC violations; $97,500 for the PRC violation)

FERC Order: Issued January 29, 2014 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-2-000 (October 7, 2010)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2/2.1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: N/A

Region: WECC

Issue: An Unidentified Registered Entity (URE) self-reported a violation for failing to have documented procedures covering all sub-requirements for its facility connection requirements, including procedures for notifying others of new or modified facilities as soon as possible.

Finding: The violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the reliability of the bulk power system because the URE was making the appropriate notifications once changes to its system began.

Penalty: $9,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued November 5, 2010 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-111-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: MRO

Issue: MRO conducted an audit of a Registered Entity in which it determined that the Registered Entity was unable to provide documentation of facility connection requirements for transmission facilities and end-user facilities.

Finding: MRO and the Registered Entity entered into a settlement agreement to resolve multiple violations, whereby the Registered Entity agreed to pay a penalty of $120,000 and to undertake other mitigation measures to resolve the multiple violations. In terms of the FAC-001-0 violation, MRO found that the violation only posed a minimal risk to bulk power system reliability since the Registered Entity did have documented requirements in place for its generation facilities (which could have been modified to accommodate transmission or end-user facilities). In addition, the Registered Entity did not receive any relevant requests from transmission or end-user facilities. The duration of the FAC-001-0 violation was from June 18, 2007 through June 6, 2009. In approving the settlement agreement, NERC found that these were the Registered Entity's first violations of the relevant Reliability Standards; the Registered Entity was cooperative during the enforcement process and did not conceal the violations; the remedies that the Registered Entity adopted in response to the violations were considered a mitigating factor; and there were no additional mitigating or aggravating factors.

Penalty: $120,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-127-000 (February 23, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R2

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High

Region: FRCC

Issue: Unidentified Registered Entity’s (URE) Facility Connection requirements document did not completely address all requirements of R2. Duration of violation was from June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, through June 25, 2009, when the violation was mitigated.

Finding: FRCC Enforcement determined that the violation did not create a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because URE had a Facility Connection Requirements document, it just was not complete, and no system event occurred due to the violation. Further, the NERC Board of Trustees Compliance Committee concluded the penalty appropriate because, with one exception, this was URE’s first violation of the Standards, URE self reported several of the violations, numerous violations of a single standard were considered to be four instances of a single violation as opposed to separate violations, and URE was cooperative during the investigation.

Penalty: $55,000 (aggregate for multiple violations)

FERC Order: Issued March 25, 2011 (no further review)

Unidentified Registered Entity, FERC Docket No. NP11-137-000 (March 30, 2011)

Reliability Standard: FAC-001-0

Requirement: R1, R2 and R3

Violation Risk Factor: Medium

Violation Severity Level: High (R1 and R3), Severe (R2)

Region: WECC

Issue: URE self-reported a pre-June 18, 2007 violation because (1) URE had not included transmission voltage levels in its published facility connection requirements for non-utility generators in violation of R1; (2) because of the violation of R1, the transmission voltage levels could not be addressed in violation of R2; and (3) because URE was in violation of R1 and R2, it could not update and maintain its facility connection requirements or make documentation available to users of the transmission system in violation of R3. Because URE failed to submit its mitigation plan prior to June 18, 2007, the violation became a an enforceable violation. Duration of violation was June 18, 2007, when the Standard became enforceable, through June 5, 2008, when the violations were mitigated.

Finding: WECC Enforcement determined that the violation did not pose a serious or substantial risk to the bulk power system because the URE had established interconnections on an as-needed basis, including regional studies and involvement of other utilities and its regional planning organization. Further, the NERC BOTCC concluded the penalty appropriate because this was URE’s first violation of most of the Standards involved, URE self-reported 28 of 30 violations, and URE was cooperative during the investigation.

Penalty: $106,000 (aggregate for 30 violations)

FERC Order: Issued April 29, 2011 (no further review)