(a)(1) Before deciding upon an application for an order approving the biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan, the Commission shall first publish notice to the public of the application and provide for a period of no less than 60 days after publication of the notice for public comment and 14 days after publication of the notice for filing of motions to intervene. The electric company shall provide notice of the application as provided in § 34-909, as this section reads as of May 3, 2014, or as amended or superseded.
(2) The District, OPC, and DDOT shall be a party to the Commission proceeding on the application as a matter of right.
(3) Any other person desiring to be heard on the application shall file a motion to intervene with the Commission requesting to be made a party to the proceeding. The applicant and any party to the proceeding may file an answer to support or oppose the granting of the motion. The Commission shall, by order, approve or deny the motion at its reasonable discretion.
(b)(1) Within 30 days of May 3, 2014, the Commission shall issue an order establishing an expedited discovery schedule that shall be used in all proceedings commenced following the filing of an application for approval of a biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan pursuant to § 34-1313.07. The period for discovery shall commence on the date that the application is filed with the Commission and shall continue for 60 days; provided, that the Commission, in its discretion, may toll the time for periods if it determines that a party has not complied with the discovery rules established pursuant to this section. Any Commission order extending the 60-day discovery period shall also provide for an extension of equal length to the deadline for public comments on the application. The discovery process established by the Commission pursuant to this section shall provide for submission of information requests and reasonable periods for responses on shortened timelines consistent with the 60-day discovery period and the use of all reasonable procedures for expediting the discovery process, such as discovery conferences.
(2) The discovery process shall:
(A) Permit parties to such proceedings to inspect all the relevant data, documents, studies, analyses, and work papers that form the basis of the biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan and any revenue requirements or charges provided therein; and
(B) Afford the parties the rights provided under Chapter 1 of Title 15 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.
(c)(1) The Commission shall decide upon an application for an order approving a biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan based upon the pleadings in the matter and, if no protest or objection is filed in response to the Commission’s public notice of the application, at its discretion, without a hearing.
(2) A formal evidentiary hearing shall be required if contested issues of material fact are present and those issues cannot be resolved by the Commission on the basis of the pleadings and discovery responses filed, if any, in the record of the matter.
(3) The Commission shall, in addition to any other hearing or procedures, convene a public community hearing to receive the testimony and comments of the public. In its decision, the Commission may approve, approve with conditions, or reject the application, in whole or in part, as it considers necessary and appropriate.
(d) The Commission shall expedite its consideration of an application seeking an order approving a biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan. The Commission shall issue its decision on the application no later than 45 days following the deadline for public comment on the application; provided, that if a protest or objection to the application is timely filed with the Commission and can be resolved without an evidentiary hearing, this period for the Commission’s decision is extended by an additional 15 days. The computation of this time may be tolled, at the Commission’s discretion, for periods in which it determines the electric company and DDOT’s joint application is deficient. If an evidentiary hearing is required, the hearing shall, in the Commission’s discretion and based upon the Commission’s evaluation of all relevant factors, commence on the date set by the Commission and be concluded within 45 days of the close of discovery and the Commission shall issue a decision no more than 60 days of the close of the hearing record.