EPA gives CapX Bemidji-Grand Rapids EIS “EC-2”

Filed under:Bemidji-Grand Rapids — posted by admin on August 2, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) prepared by MOES as a joint MOES/Rural Utilities Service Environmental Impact Statement.

To see the DEIS, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, then “Search eDockets” and then to docket 07-1327.

The result of the EPA’s review?  EPA gave it the raspberries, an EC-2 rating:

EPA Comments on DEIS – April 15, 2010

EC-2 – that means the DEIS needs more information

I started copying snippets to post here, but the EPA cited problem after problem, there are so many, and such obvious issues, such as jurisdictional issues where the EIS claims the state has jurisdiction over NPDES permits on reservations, when it’s the EPA that has jurisdiction; inaccurate information about the St. Regis Superfund site…  Pretty basic stuff.

Do read the entire letter–> EPA Comments on DEIS – April 15, 2010 .  This is an example of why it is important to have public comment after we’ve had a chance to review the FEIS and the comments of those who know what to look for, know the lingo, know the law.

Public Comment period requested

Filed under:Bemidji-Grand Rapids — posted by admin on @ 12:01 pm

NoCapX 2020 and United Citizen Action Network have requested that public comments on the CapX 2020 Bemidji-Grand Rapids transmission line be open until at least September 7, 2010, which is one week after the FEIS is due to be released.

Request for Public Comment to September 7, 2010

Please contact Judge Lipman, by email preferably, and ask that the Public Comment period be extended:

Eric Lipman                  eric.lipman@state.mn.us
Administrative Law Judge
Office of Administrative Hearings
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

I’m still digging around in theCapX 2020 Bemidji-Grand Rapids transmission line docket.  What I’m finding is disturbing — at first the state process, Certificate of Need (07-1222) and Routing (07-1327), were a joint proceeding.

To view the entire dockets, go to www.puc.state.mn.us and then “Search eDockets” and search for 07-1222 (CoN) or 07-1327 (Routing).  Remember that the Energy Facilities Permitting site for the Bemidji-Grand Rapids is NOT the official site, it’s the PUC eDockets site, as above!

And a part of that is the joint Minnesota/Commerce and federal/Rural Utilities Service EIS.   Look what happened — on PUC initiative, the state joint process was bifurcated, which eliminated the RUS from the need equation.  Very slick…  First the PUC says to MOES, “hey, this Certificate of Need is simple and the Routing is a mess, so separate them out,” and MOES says, “sure, WTF!” and then MOES issues first the scope for the Certificate of Need “Environmental Report” which is nothing… and then MOES issues the scope for the Routing Environmental Impact Statement.”  Read carefully the “Agency Comments” below, which were first made public, filed in the PUC’s eDockets, A YEAR AND A HALF after they were filed with MOES.  These federal agency comments were filed before the state’s bifurcation to limit the scope of the EIS, the EPA comments, read them carefully, those were filed in September, 2008!

Feb 10, 2009 PUC Burl Haar to Commerce Bill Glahn

Feb 12, 2009 Commerce Bill Glahn to PUC Burl Haar

March 3, 2009 Scoping Decision – ER – Glahn separates CoN & Routing Environmental Review

March 31, 2009 Scoping Decision – Routing EIS

April 20. 2010 MOES files agency comments from 2008

RUS Notice of Availability of DEIS – Federal Register March 3, 2010

The FEIS still isn’t out, and the end of last week, ALJ Lipman issued a
revised scheduling order:

Fourth Prehearing Order – July 28, 2010

… replacing this Third Prehearing Order March 16, 2010

And here’s the specifics:

4phosnippet

Do you see anything there about Public Comment after the EIS?  Under the terms of the Third Prehearing Order, Public Comment closed May 3, 2010, and the Final EIS wasn’t even out yet!  Oh… my…

So NoCapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network have requested Public Comment be open until September 7, 2010.

Request for Public Comment to September 7, 2010

We’ve asked for at least a week after the FEIS is released, and if it’s not available on September 2, as scheduled, for a week after it is available to the public.

Again, please contact Judge Lipman, by email preferably, and ask that the Public Comment period be extended:

Eric Lipman                  eric.lipman@state.mn.us
Administrative Law Judge
Office of Administrative Hearings
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace