The Maryland PSC issued Order No. 9223 on March 10. They set a schedule for the limited purpose of considering preliminary legal issues only. They directed
“the parties to address whether the corporate structure set forth in the application satisfies PUC Article § 7-207(b)(3), and any other preliminary legal issues”
They set the schedule for briefs as follows:
Initial briefs shall be filed by April 9, 2010
Reply briefs shall be filed by April 29, 2010
Of other interest in the order, they stated:
"However, we decline the Company’s invitation to bifurcate the CPCN process into need and non-need proceedings. We will not consider the Company to have filed a complete Application until such time as it files the evidence on which it intends to rely to prove “the need for the project in meeting demands for service.”
PATH's December 21, 2009 second application to the Maryland PSC contained the "old" need arguments claiming that PATH would be needed by 2014. Updated analyses required in the Virginia case showed PATH to not be needed by 2014 and resulted in withdrawal of PATH's application in that state. PATH had asked the Maryland PSC to proceed with all aspects of the case except need, and to allow them to submit updated need information in June of 2010, a request to bifurcate (or split) the case into need and non-need issues. Why didn't they just wait until they had a complete application to submit?
Also in the December 21 application, PATH had re-structured corporate organization to give a 5% share of the newly created "PATH Allegeheny Maryland Transmission Co." to Potomac Edison, a Maryland electric company, so it could file the application under the name of Potomac Edison to meet Maryland's legal requirements for who can file an application. Apparently the Maryland PSC isn't buying that either and has decided to take up this issue.