Washington, DC asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland

Q: What are the time limits for seeking judicial review of an order issued by the Maryland Public Service Commission?

The Maryland Public Service Commission recently approved electric rate increases to subsidize two offshore wind projects. In so doing it appears to have violated the Maryland Offshore Wind Act of 2013, which requires that a project must pass a cost-benefit test before the PSC can approve it. The PSC never subjected either project to the cost-benefit test that was described in some detail in the Act.

As an affected electric ratepayer I am adversely impacted by the PSC decision and wish to have it reviewed by the circuit court. But do I have standing? I was not involved in the regulatory proceeding. However, I may be able to find a party that did participate and is willing to appeal. But is it too late?

1 Lawyer Answer
Glenn B. Manishin
Glenn B. Manishin
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Warrenton, VA

A: 1. Timing: You have 30 days to petition for judicial review pursuant to MD Rules R. 7-203.

2. Standing: Under MD Pub Util Code § 3-202, "a party or person in interest" can appeal. Federal law for FCC appeals construes similar language to require that the appellant/petitioner be a party to the regulatory proceeding, but I do not know what MD law says on that subject. One way to cure such a default would be to petition the MPSC for reconsideration, since under § 3-294, "if a rehearing by the Commission is applied for, a proceeding for judicial review may be filed after service of the decision of the Commission that denies the rehearing."

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