Overland’s Comments on St. Cloud-Monticello DEIS

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 26, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

Hot off the press… due today, but hey, they’re filed 45 minutes early, a record for moi!

Overland’s Comments on St. Cloud-Monticello DEIS

Attachment A – Sandok 4-3-09

Attachment B – Feasibility of 500kV Underground Cables

Attachment C – SW MN 345kV Exhibit 35-Application, Appendix 7

Attachment D – CapX CoN Exhibit 76 – MCEA IR3

Advisory Task Forces for Hampton – Rochester – Alma route

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 25, 2010 @ 11:33 am

Now’s the time!  Moments ago, the Public Utilities Commission ordered that MOES report back to them with a plan for Citizen Advisory Task Forces on the Hampton-Rochester-Alma route.  YES!

This is good because recently, they’ve been letting Commerce’s MOES do the whole thing, at their discretion, and they have been screwing up — not appointing Task Forces, unreasonable limiting scope of task force work, not taking important information into account until it’s so late that it’s a struggle to inform the routing process.  Many of you on this list have experience this and more, with utter frustration.


If you’re along the proposed CapX 202o Hampton-Rochester-Alma route:

1) Contact the Minnesota Office of Energy Security’s Energy Facility Planning project manager and send in a request for a Citizens Advisory Task Force.

2) Contact your township, city and county officials and ask them to do the same.


burl.haar@state.mn.us (copy PUC with your request so they know)

Request a Task Force for your area and another one for the proposed river crossing.

This is your task for today!!!  Thanks!!!

Xcel’s response to NoCapX’s LaCrosse filings

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 24, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

Here we go. Tomorrow is the PUC meeting, where the completeness, public advisor and Citizen Task Forces will be addressed.  You can watch online by CLICKING HERE and then click the small navy blue “Watch Webcast” button.

There are three questions on the agenda tomorrow:

  • Should the Commission accept the route permit application as complete?
  • If complete and accepted, should the Commission allow EFP to name a public advisor?
  • Should the Commission authorize EFP to develop a charge and convene an advisory task force?

As you know, MOES staff filed these comments:

MOES Staff Briefing Papers – CapX LaX

HA-RUMPH!!  sO Yesterday we fired off a few shots across the bow:

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Comment on Completeness

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Intervention

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Order for Joint Environmental Review

And today, Xcel fired off this Reply, stating we’ve got our collective heads implanted regarding the statutory requirement of two distinct routes, and that the state’s MOES and federal RUS should work together on a joint Environmental Impact Statement.  And on the other hand, they have no issue with multiple Task Forces and our Intervention:

Xcel’s Response to NoCapX 2020 Motion

A couple of hours before that, Paula Maccabee sent this in as an individual, not in the course of representing anyone on this LaCrosse part of CapX:

Maccabee Letter to PUC – LaCrosse Routing Feb 24 2010

And it’s my understanding that several have asked for Citizen Task Forces along different parts of the route.  We’ll see.   Maybe you will too!  Again, to watch online, CLICK HERE and then click the small navy blue “Watch Webcast” button.

URGENT – Update on CapX LaCrosse

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 23, 2010 @ 8:29 am

ATTENTION!!! See PUC Docket for Thursday!

URGENT – donations needed.  Please go to www.nocapx2020.info and use Paypal in the upper right corner to send $$$ towards our efforts.
Or send directly to Legalectric, P.O. Box 176, Red Wing, MN  55066.

Why URGENT?  Because as of today, we’re embarking on the next leg of this CapX journey, and need some support!

A few people have asked for an update on the CapX 2020 LaCrosse line.

NoCapX 2020 and United Citizen Action Network have Intervened and filed several requests:

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Comment on Completeness

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Intervention

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Order for Joint Environmental Review

Yes, the LaCrosse transmission line has been applied for:

CapX 2020 LaX Route Permit Page

To see the full docket, thus far, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, click on “Search eDockets” and search for docket 09-1448.

And here is the OES Staff Briefing Papers, just out February 17:

MOES Staff Briefing Papers – CapX LaX

READ THE STAFF BRIEFING PAPERS!  A single solitary task force is recommended for the “Pine Island” area.  There are people in the “Pine Island” area concerned, for sure, but what about Hampton, LaCrescent, Kenyon, Zumbrota… it’s as absurd as their recommendation for the Brookings line of a Task Force for Dakota County only… give me a break.

But that’s not the weirdest part.  They are NOT doing joint environmental review with RUS.  Why not?  Because MOSE might have to do a REAL EIS?  Might have to comply with NEPA?  Oh, no, can’t have that… right…

And what’s going on with that RUS EIS anyway?  Hmmmmm… better check in with Stephanie Strength!  Will report back.

And it’s on the agenda for the Thursday, February 25, 2010 meeting of the Public Utilities Commission meeting.

Gentlewomen, prepare to intervene!

Comments due on CapX St. Cloud-Monticello DEIS

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 7:50 am

Here we go again on one more link in the CapX 2020 chain, chain, chain…

(btw, the common name for this is off-base, electricity goes from St. Cloud to Monticello, not the other way around, so I refuse to use the name they gave it).

Comments are due on the St. Cloud-Monticello DEIS on Friday, February 26, 2010 by 4:30 p.m.

Send Comments to:

OES Project Manager
David Birkholz

You can also send comments through the Commerce Dept. link:


And the DEIS?  It’s more of the same, so Comments are important:


For full docket, go to www.puc.state.mn.us, click “Search eDockets” and then search for 09-246.

This St. Cloud to Monticello process has been more of the same — important comments and information raised at public meetings and Task Force meetings have not been addressed; agency comments have not been addressed (remember the USFWS and DOT fiasco on the Brookings line?); local units of government have not been sufficiently notified of their rights and public participation opportunities… great, just great… here we go again.

SO, it’s important to weigh in here… again…

DOT RoW bill introduced

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 18, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

Below – Town meetings scheduled for Senate District 25, in the middle of the CapX 2020 Brookings line.

And now…

Folks, meet SF 2589, authored by Sen. Yvonne Prettner-Solon, chair of Senate Energy:

SF 25890

S.F. No. 2589,  as introduced – 86th Legislative Session (2009-2010)   Posted on Feb 11, 2010

1.1    A bill for an act
1.2    relating to utilities; regulating the granting of route permits for high-voltage
1.3    transmission lines; amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216E.03, by
1.4    adding a subdivision.

1.6    Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 216E.03, is amended by adding a
1.7    subdivision to read:
1.8    Subd. 7a. Preferred routes for high-voltage transmission lines. The commission
1.9    shall, to the extent consistent with the policies of subdivision 7, give preference, in the
1.10    following priority, to routes that utilize to the greatest extent:
1.11        (1) existing utility corridors; and
1.12        (2) highway or railway right-of-way.

1.15    (a) The Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Transportation must
1.16    cooperate in developing and implementing processes and policies to efficiently implement
1.17    the policy in new Minnesota Statutes, section 216E.03, subdivision 7a, that assigns a
1.18    preference for routing high-voltage transmission lines in highway rights-of-way. The
1.19    policies and procedures must include:
1.20        (1) involvement of the Department of Transportation in the transmission planning
1.21    and route permitting process; and
1.22        (2) the issuance of permits by the Department of Transportation to use the
1.23    right-of-way contemporaneously with or prior to the issuance of route permits.
2.1    (b) The commission must report any statutory amendments required by the policies
2.2    and procedures to the energy policy committees of the legislature by January 15, 2011.

2.3    Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.
2.4    Sections 1 and 2 are effective the day following final enactment.

In addition to Prettner Solon, co-authors are Sen. Dahle and Sen. Koch.

Senator Kevin Dahle will be holding town hall meetings this Saturday Feb. 20 at the following times and locations:

LeSueur Town Hall meeting
10am, Saturday 2/20 at the  LeSueur Public Library

Belle Plaine Town Hall meeting
Noon, Saturday 2/20 at the Public Library

Arlilngton Town Hall meeting
3:30, Saturday 2/20 at the  Arlington City Hall chambers

Brookings schedule change

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 17, 2010 @ 9:24 pm

There’s a change to the Brookings schedule, this afternoon ALJ Luis shifted the schedule back four days to allow for response to our NoCapX 2020 and U-CAN Motion to Compel.

Here’s the email that came over the wire:

Counsel and Parties – With the receipt of Ms. Overland’s Motion to Strike in the CapX2020 Brookings to Hampton matter, I have reexamined the posthearing deadlines for filings in this proceeding :  To ensure that the Motion is addressed promptly and the resultant interruption of the parties’ workflow is minimized, the following deadlines are adopted:

– February 22, 2010, for responses to the Motion to Strike
– March 8, 2010, for Intervenors’ Proposed Findings of Fact
– March 16, 2010, for Reply Briefs (all Parties), and OES’s Final Comments

This email is being eFiled to provide notice to the public of the new deadlines.

Richard C. Luis,   Administrative Law Judge

Motion to Strike CapX’s Feb 8 filing

Filed under:Nuts & Bolts,Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 16, 2010 @ 8:57 am


Just now, I’ve filed a Motion to Strike the Applicant’s “Comment” filed at the close of business February 8, 2010, the deadline.  Why?  Because they’re filing 3/4″ of stuff at the very end of everything, there’s no way to do Discovery, there’s no way to cross them, and what really did it for me was the graphic “birds-eye view” of transmission blowout.  Look at this and play “What’s wrong with this picture?”

attachment4-fullCan’t see it?  Try this, and you can blow it up all you want:

CapX – Feb 8 – Attachment 4

This was an issue in Susquehanna-Roseland, with even wider blowout range, due to the much longer ruling span:

PSEG Blowout Chart

In their filing, they go on about:

A.    Minnesota River Crossings
B.    Route Width
C.    Myrick Alignment Alternative, Bimeda, Inc.
D.    MNDOT Right-of-Way
E.    Sky Harbor Airpark
F.    Kruger Property
G.    Right-of-Way for Lyon County – Minnesota Valley 115kV Line
H.    Installation of Second Set of Davit Arms
I.    Fiber Optic Cable in Shield Wire
J.    Insulin Pumps
K.    Buffalo Herds
L.    Honeybees

And the problem, as I see it, is that there’s so much here that they’ve known for a long time and haven’t disclosed, and instead they kept up the fiction, through the public hearings, through the evidentiary hearings, that the LeSueur Crossing was the “Modified Preferred” route when, instead, there were clearly identified problems that would rule out that crossing, and the Belle Plaine crossing, as the “alternate” didn’t get the attention it needed when attention was misfocused on LeSueur.  There was not a public hearing in Belle Plaine, and there was no EIS “meeting” (they’re not hearings anymore) in Belle Plaine.  So, folks… what’s wrong with this picture…

Applicants’ “Comment” Letter

Attachment 1 – 1a of 3

Attachment 1 – 1b of 3

Attachment 1 – 2 of 3

Attachment 1 – 3a of 3

Attachment 1 – 3b of 3

(2 is missing, I have to break it down to upload it — later!)

(3 is missing, I have to break it down to upload it — later!)

Attachment 4 – Birds-eye View

Attachment 5 – Valberg on Honeybees

I’m weawwy weawwy tired of these utilities thinking they can just dump whatever they’ve got at the last minute , that they can withhold information developed in meetings with agencies, that they know that there’s a problem and they don’t disclose… that is sooooo naughty.

Produce maps at the hearings, “supplemental” testimony, on and on and on… PSEG’s no different, these guys all operate from the same playbook.

Just couldn’t let this last one slide…


ANSWER: What’s wrong with the above “birds-eye” graphic is that their measurements of blowout start from the centerline, and not the point where the transmission line is actually connected — so their numbers are shy by about 20 feet…

Comments coming in…

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on February 8, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

Again, this is the final day for Comments to Judge Luis on the Brookings-Hampton routing docket.

Send to Judge Luis today, before 4:30, and put in subject line: Comment CapX Brookings 08-1474

Here’s what just came in:

MnDOT Comment Letter 2-8-10


A little birdie just told me that others will follow shortly…

… and here it is:

US FWS Eagle Info Letter Feb 8, 2010

TODAY – last day for Brookings public comments

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 7:14 am

clockringingWake up and write your comments!  This is it, the deadline is TODAY!

When you send your comments to the judge, be sure to put “Brookings 08-1474” in the subject line and at beginning of comment!


Judge Richard C. Luis

Office of Administrative Hearings

P.O. Box 64620

St. Paul, MN

fax 651-361-7936

e-mail capx.oah@state.mn.us

What to write about?  There’s a lot, some of which you know best if it’s your land, your community, that they want to run it through.

Some things that jump out at me are:

  • Late or no notice that landowners are directly affected, i.e., chosen for preferred route – some notices went out as late as the end of December AFTER the public hearings were over!
  • There was no Citizen Advisory Task Force for the western end of the line, despite requests, only the eastern and river crossing areas were allowed a Task Force!  Commerce did not do adequate job of promoting and soliciting input.  Should have formed Task Force and notified necessary local governments that they should appoint members.
  • Take into account US Fish & Wildlife comments, that any river crossing should be non-areial
  • Take into account DOT comments: No crossing of scenic easements.
  • Cost is not disclosed in sufficient detail.
  • EMF levels are improperly calculated, based on utility information that was not independently verified, despite provision of information that should lead them to KNOW that modeling results are WAY LOWER than potential EMF levels.
  • Focus was on LeSueur crossing which applicant and Commerce knew or should have know was not workable.
  • Focus on LeSueur kept focus off of Belle Plaine – no EIS or Public Comment Hearings were held there.  Belle Plaine probably doesn’t even know what’s coming!

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace