At its June 18, 2015 monthly Commission meeting, FERC issued a final rule adopting revisions to Rule 508 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure which eliminate the requirement that participants in FERC trial-type evidentiary hearings provide paper copies of all exhibits introduced as evidence. According to FERC, the final rule facilitates a shift toward electronic hearing procedures, while still retaining the option to provide exhibits in paper form.
The final rule explains that the elimination of the paper-filing requirement furthers the Commission’s efforts to substitute electronic communication and information storage for paper means. FERC recognized that, because the Administrative Law Judges recently adopted a revised practice that removes the need for providing paper copies at hearings (see December 18, 2014 edition of the WER), it is no longer necessary or efficient to require participants to submit paper copies of each exhibit. Additionally, FERC noted that the changes adopted in the final rule will assist the Presiding Judge(s) in compiling and transmitting the hearing record to the Commission in electronic format.
The final rule is effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which, as of the date of this report, had not yet occurred.
A copy of the final rule is available here.