MOES answers Marshall malfeasance/misfeasance charges

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket — posted by admin on December 22, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

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The Dept. of Commerce Office of Energy Security filed its responsive submission after the charges of malfeasance and or misfeasance raised at the Marshall Public Hearing regarding its failure to establish a Citizen Advisory Task Force and the manner in which that failure was accomplished and the manner in which they declined the opportunity to make it right after similar charges at the 3/30/09 Scoping meeting also held in Marshall.  Here it is:

Ex 43 – MOES Memo re: CATF Process

MOES Memo – Attachment A – MOES Briefing Papers 1/27/09 PUC Mtg

MOES Memo – Attachment B – Affidavit of Scott Ek

MOES Memo – Exhibit 1 – Petitions prior to PUC meeting

MOES Memo – Exhibit 2 – List & letters

MOES Memo – Exhibit 2 – List only

MOES Memo – Exhibit 3 – Replies to letter

MOES Memo – Exhibit 4 – Specific Requests for CATF

MOES Memo – Exhibit 5 – Marshall EIS Scoping Transcript 3-30-09

MOES Memo – Exhibit 6 – Twp route proposals

MOES Memo – Attachment C – Draft Public Participation Plan

MOES Memo – Attachment D – PUC Meeting Transcript 1-27-09

MOES Memo – Attachment E – PUC Order – SHORT

Attachment D is the PUC transcript that I ordered, and which MOES did not and instead appropriated.  That 1/27/09 meeting was pretty intense, and reveals how hard it was to get a Task Force beyond one for Dakota County, or to get a Task Force at all, because Commerce was advocating for “Focus Groups.”  Read that transcript and see for yourself.  I’d argued for multiple Task Forces, knowing that the River Crossings needed review, that between the river and I-35 there were many people wanting input, and I knew there were people further west.  This line is so long that it’s important to make the effort to let people be heard… but nooooooooooooooooooo…

Again, read that transcript.  Look at all the dancing that’s going on.

Then read the March 30, 2009 transcript from the afternoon Marshall meeting and ask yourself why, when confronted with affected landowners wanting input, when confronted with township government officials who had requested a Task Force and been denied, why wouldn’t they make the effort between 3/30/09 and 6/30/09 (when the Scoping decision was issued) to make it happen?  To make something happen?  But nooooooooooo… and so here we are.  It’s not like they didn’t have warning and a way to fix it.

Subpoena Denied

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket — posted by admin on @ 4:22 pm

Subpoena Denial

I have considered Ms. Overland’s subpoena request. After review of the oral argument on this issue at the end of the proceedings on December 18, and the filings (public comments) on record to date from the USFWS, I conclude that compelling the personal testimony of either potential witness would be unduly burdensome and is unnecessary to the development of a complete record in this case.

… sigh…

2009 Annual Power Plant Siting Act Hearing

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket — posted by admin on @ 5:16 am

I’ve been ranting at these meetings for over a decade now…

Once more with feeling, here we go…

Deja vu all over again…

For those of you who have experienced how the Power Plant (transmission too) Siting Act works and doesn’t work, here is your opportunity to tell them in technicolor.  Does it do any good?  Well, not that I can see, other than a way to keep your blood pressure odown.  There’s supposed to be a report to the PUC, but typically minutes and comments aren’t posted until just before the next one, a year late.  Unfortunately, I feel pretty strongly that it’s one way open to register my disgust at how the system is worked by the utilities and by the Dept. of Commerce, how the people in the footprint of these projects are being trampled, the concept of notice goes out the window, environmental review is a farce, it’s so bad that if I wasn’t hypotensive I’d blow a gasket, as it is, it’s just aerobic exercise, but anyway, I feel a compulsion to weigh in.  Gotta exhaust all administrative options — color me exhausted, but not completely — not yet!

The comments I made last year reflect my exhaustion and exasperation:

2008 PPSA Annual Hearing Notes

Here’s Bob’s notice that arrived in the inbox:

Public Hearing

Annual Review of Power Plant Siting Act Programs

Tuesday, December 29, 2009    10:00 AM
3rd Floor Large Hearing Room
121 7th Place East
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101

Notice of Annual Hearing

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will convene the annual public hearing on the Power Plant Siting and Transmission Line Routing Program from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2009, in the Large Hearing Room at the Commission’s offices on the third floor of the Metro Square Building, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101.

The annual hearing is required by Minnesota Statute 216E.07, which provides that:

The commission shall hold an annual public hearing at a time and place prescribed by rule in order to afford interested persons an opportunity to be heard regarding any matters relating to the siting of large electric generating power plants and routing of high-voltage transmission lines. At the meeting, the commission shall advise the public of the permits issued by the commission in the past year.

While the Commission has multiple statutory authorities for the permitting of several types of energy infrastructure, the scope of the annual hearing is limited to the above cited statute and associated administrative rules in Minn. Rule 7850. The purpose of the hearing is not to take testimony regarding open dockets before the Commission.

The Commission has prepared an Agenda for the meeting, which is available on its webpage at www.puc.state.mn.us (click on December 29 under Upcoming Events). Docket number E999/M-09-1351 has been opened for creation of a record in this matter.

AGENDA

I.          Introductions
II.        Overview of Programs
A. Public Utilities Commission – Facility Permitting Unit
B. Office of Energy Security – Energy Facility Permitting Unit
C. Role of Other State Agencies

III.       Projects Reviewed
A. Projects completed in 2009
B. Pending and anticipated projects

Electric Facilities Subject to Power Plant Siting Act
1. Generating Plants
2. Transmission Lines
IV.       Public Questions and Testimony
V.        Adjourn

At the hearing the public will be afforded an opportunity to be heard through presentation of oral or written statements. Written statements and relevant exhibits may also be submitted for inclusion in the annual hearing record by eFiling (see PUC website link above) or by delivery to the Commission’s offices at the address above by the close of business on February 1, 2010.

The staff recognizes that the time and location may make it difficult for all interested persons to attend, and emphasizes that written comments are encouraged and will be given equal consideration.

The report of the 2008 Annual Hearing is available at in edockets for Docket 08-1426. Direct all inquiries and written comments regarding the annual hearing to: Bret Eknes, Phone 651-201-2236, email: bret.eknes@state.mn.us.

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Here are some comments that have come over the wire in the last couple of days:

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace