The commission will receive as a bench exhibit any public comment filed, or otherwise submitted by nonparties, in connection with an adjudicative proceeding. The exhibit will be treated as an illustrative exhibit that expresses public sentiment received concerning the pending matter. The commission may convene one or more public comment hearing sessions to receive oral and written comments from members of the public who are not parties in the proceeding. When the commission conducts a public comment hearing, the presiding officer will make an opening statement explaining the purpose of the hearing and will briefly summarize the principal issues in the matter. The presiding officer will administer an oath to those members of the public that indicate a desire to testify concerning their views on the issues. The presiding officer will call each member of the public who wishes to testify, will inquire briefly into the identity and interests of the witness, and will provide an opportunity for a brief statement by the party. Typically, public witnesses may expect to have three to five minutes to make an oral statement. Oral statements may be supplemented by written comments.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 80.04.160. 03-24-028 (General Order R-510, Docket No. A-010648), § 480-07-498, filed 11/24/03, effective 1/1/04.]