Oronoco Twp. files Petition to Intervene

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 26, 2011 @ 4:27 pm


Oronoco Township has filed a Petition to Intervene in the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse routing docket, a Petition that hauntingly familiar:

Petition for Intervention – Oronoco Township

Compare it with the one I filed for NoCapX 2020 and United Citizens Action Network (U-CAN).  It’s nearly word-for-word identical, a cut and paste of  our February 23, 2010 Petition:

NoCapX 2020 & U-CAN Petition for Intervention


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!  Charles Caleb Colton

Flattery is the best form of imitation!  George W. Bush

… whatever…

You’ll note that there’s a RED button on the Oronoco Township site that says “NoCapX 2020” and leads to their CapX page:

Oronoco Township CapX 2020 page

McGhie & Betts presentation to Oronoco Town Board 4/4/11

To be clear, there is no connection whatsoever between NoCapX 2020 and Oronoco Township.  NoCapX 2020 and U-CAN are long-term intervenors in FOUR (4) CapX 2020 dockets, and commentors in two more, represented by moi, Carol A. Overland.  Oronoco Twp. has just jumped on the train, and are represented by Rod Krass, the attorney who wrote the superb brief for many U-CAN members in their appeal of the MinnCan pipeline permit.

MinnCan Pipeline – Unpublished Appellate Case

Fargo – St. Cloud Route Recommendation Released

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud — posted by admin on April 25, 2011 @ 1:36 pm


Just out, haven’t even read it yet:

ALJ’s Recommendation

Wisconsin Hampton-LaCrosse application resubmitted

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on April 21, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

This happened quite a while ago, and I’d downloaded it — apologies for taking so long to get this posted!

As you know, the earlier application was rejected by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission as incomplete.  Since then, they’ve filed piles o’ files:

Incompleteness Response Index

Redline Application

Revised Appendix E – Xmsn Studies & Cost

Revised Appendix R – Land Use Plans – Part 1

Revised Appendix R – Land Use Plans – Part 2

Maps 59-85

Maps 86-116

A lot of responses to Information Requests have also been filed:

IR Response 01-10 and 02-2

IR Response 01-76 Magnetic Field Calculations

IR Response 01-07 – 01-

IR Responses 01-8, 01-11 and 02-1

To look at all filings, CLICK ON PSC’s SITE HERE and scroll down and search for PSC Docket 05-CE-136.

Hampton-LaX Xcel Testimony Filed!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Laws & Rules — posted by admin on April 19, 2011 @ 8:10 am


Xcel filed its Direct Testimony, and it’s really Direct Testimony Lite:

Hillstrom – Direct Testimony – Part 1

Hillstrom – Direct Testimony – Part 2

King – Direct Testimony

Stevenson – Direct Testimony

Now it’s time to fire off a few Information Requests!


Don’t forget: The intervention deadline is May 2. For examples of intervention petitions, look in this CapX routing docket and others:

www.puc.state.mn.us ; click the blue “Search eDockets” button and search for 09-1448; 09-1056; 08-1474

USDA’s RUS has moved their DEIS page

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Uncategorized — posted by admin on April 18, 2011 @ 10:28 am

Hampton-LaCrosse update — For those of you working on Comments on the Draft EIS on the Hampton-LaCrosse project, here’s some clues from other Commentors!

All of you looking for the USDA’s Rural Utility Service Environmental Impact Statement page should know that it’s been moved… gotta change all those links, yeah right… anyway, here’s:


For some good thoughts about what should be considered in the MOES EIS, to get an idea what’s missing, take a look at the comments, particularly the state and federal agency comments.

There are also comments from the MOES Scoping comment period:

CapX Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse Public Scoping Comments Received

It’s a lot to wade through, so here are a few choice ones from RUS, MOES and elsewhere from state and federal entities in the area that could give you some ideas:

Mississippi River Parkway Commission Letter of Opposition-May 20 2010

Mississippi River Parkway Commission Resolution December 16 2010

MN DOT Scoping Comments

WI DOT Comments January 27 2011

USFWS February 19 2008

USFWS May 4 2009

WI DNR March 30 2011

Brookings – PUC Denies Reconsideration

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket — posted by admin on April 15, 2011 @ 11:11 am


PUC denies Motion for Reconsideration made on behalf of landowners near Belle Plaine:

PUC Order – Reconsideration Denied

That’s the final Order, issued today, so the 30 day appeal clock starts ticking now.

DEIS Meetings TODAY – Cannon Falls

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 14, 2011 @ 9:17 am

CALLING ALL U-CAN MEMBERS – tonight in Cannon Falls is the place to be:

Thursday, April 14,2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Cannon Falls High School Auditorium

820 East Minnesota Street

Yesterday we were in Pine Island for the MOES meetings about the Draft EIS, taking comments.  The afternoon meeting was packed:


The evening meeting was even “packeder” — standing room only:


And best of all, in between was the Rainbow Cafe.  I went over there right away after walking Summer and Kady, needed to get on line and check some stuff — Kia and Suzanne came over later so we had a “ladies who lunch” session, then in comes the 3 MOES folks, they go waaaaaaay over on the other side, down a bit, and then in comes Tom Hillstrom, on his own, where to go, waaaaaaaay down the room in the middle (Kia went over to chat for a bit), and later in comes the full Xcel contingent and filled up the middle of the back there:


These MOES meetings are hard to stomach, and the Rainbow Cafe’s Portabello Pasta and a salad sure helps!  (Why doesn’t the Rainbow have a website?)

CapX 2020 in the news

Filed under:Fargo-St Cloud,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on @ 8:55 am

Here are a few updates, it’s been a busy couple of days!

First, from the Fargo Forum:

Planned power line path outside diversion

Project to connect Fargo to Twin Cities

By: Patrick Springer, INFORUM

A planned transmission power line to connect Fargo to the Twin Cities now is slated to follow a path outside a possible flood-control diversion channel.

Xcel Energy, the lead utility of the CapX2020 project, said the new transmission project must be in service by 2015.

Because the controversial diversion alignment still has not been determined and the project’s construction would take eight years or more, the utilities behind the transmission project now are returning to their original corridor.

“We never took the original plan off the table,” said Darrin Lahr, a supervisor who handles site selection and land rights for Xcel Energy.

That path would connect to a power substation west of Mapleton, N.D., and extend south of Horace and then jut east to cross the Red River north of Oxbow, N.D., to follow the Interstate 94 corridor.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission, which must approve the project, will have a public hearing on the corridor June 23 at 8 a.m., at a place yet to be determined in Fargo or West Fargo.

Because diversion details still are being worked out, Public Service Commissioners agreed to delay the corridor hearing, originally set for May 3.

“The uncertainty of the diversion project becomes somewhat of a problem for them,” Commissioner Kevin Cramer said.

Officials in Fargo and elsewhere were concerned the transmission line could interfere with growth paths if it fell within the protected area of a diversion.

“We understood that and were able to accommodate that,” Lahr said.

The corridor is a three-mile swath. The actual route for the transmission line will be determined later, with the utilities yet to file their proposed route within the proposed corridor.

The 345-kilovolt line will be suspended from single poles 150 feet tall, said Tim Carlsgaard, a CapX2020 spokesman.

Construction has started on the first leg of the

$575 million project, a 30-mile stretch from Monticello to St. Cloud, and should be in service by the end of the year, he said. The next segment will be from St. Cloud to Alexandria.

And in the Rochester Post Bulletin:

Residents have plenty to say about proposed transmission line – Rochester Post Bulletin April 14 2011

And the abbreviated version available online:

Rural residents elbow power-line route

Posted: Apr 14, 2011, 9:15 am
By Ken Hanson
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

PINE ISLAND — Penny Robinson tried to steady her emotions before a microphone at the American Legion Hall in Pine Island on Wednesday night.

In retirement at her rural Oronoco home “I was looking forward to sitting by the pond and reading some good books. What I wasn’t planning on was CapX2020 smashing my dream to bits, and destroying the quality and safety of my existence,” she said.

Robinson was among about 200 people who packed the Legion hall to register comments and questions about the routing of the massive CapX2020 power transmission line that has been cleared to run through the Rochester area en route to the Kellogg area and Wisconsin. Read about it in Thursday’s print edition.

… sigh… that’s all that’s there… will have a paper copy later today.

DEIS meeting – Pine Island tonight!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 13, 2011 @ 8:33 am

Today, Pine Island and tomorrow, Cannon Falls.

U-CAN members, this means you, you’re needed in Cannon Falls tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Pine Island American Legion

108 – 1st Ave. S.E.


Thursday, April 14,2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Cannon Falls High School Auditorium

820 East Minnesota Street

Scene from the afternoon meeting in Plainview:


Long day yesterday, first had to take Summer to the vet in Kenyon (here she is right at home, hoarding Kady and Little Sadie’s Kongs):


She was declared to be in great shape for such an old grrrrrrrrl, and then it was off to the races, Plainview the venue de jour… or is it de jure?  Anyway, that’s where we all were yesterday, to give comments on the DEIS.

Here’s the MOES DEIS page

It was your typical meeting, but NO COFFEE!!!!  Say what?

There was some good coverage by David Springer of KAAL:

Local Residents Sound Off About High Voltage Power Lines

Joe Morse, head of CETF, was there, and I’ll post his CETF comments when I get an electronic copy.


Hampton-LaX DEIS Meetings start tomorrow!

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on April 11, 2011 @ 3:30 pm


Tomorrow, the public “meetings” for Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement begin…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Plainview American Legion

215 – 3rd St. S.W.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Pine Island American Legion

108 – 1st Ave. S.E.


Thursday, April 14,2011

1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Cannon Falls High School Auditorium

820 East Minnesota Street

Here are some handouts I’m printing up:

DEIS Comment Form

Buy the Farm – eminent domain option in Minnesota

DEIS Issues Info

It’s SO important to show up, do NOT presume anything by the labels “Preferred” and “Alternative.”  Everything is on the table, make NO presumptions!

Here’s a little something that I find fascinating, that little matter of connection of the Prairie Island-Blue Lake line into this mess at the Hampton Substation.  It’s deemed part of the Hampton-LaCrosse line in the Applicant’s FERC rate recovery filings and came up a while ago in Minnesota and recently in South Dakota:

The northwestern terminus of the La Crosse Project wlll be the new Hampton Substation, which will connect the new 345 kV transmission line to the existing Prairie Island – Blue Lake 345 1cV transmission line in the vicinity of Hampton, Minnesota. From the new Hampton Substation, the new 345 kV transmission line will be routed to a new substation (North Rochester Substation). This segment of the La Crosse Project will be approximately 40 to 50 miles long and will be constructed using a double circuit compatible configuration.


Once more with feeling – please take a look at this and tell me where you see the Prairie Island-Blue Lake line (that green line with dots, right below “33”) connecting to the substation!

It’s been filed with the identical language in SD and MN:

SD Rate Filing – see p. 4-5

PUC Docket 09-1048 – Rate Recovery p. 32 of 102 (pdf)

Here are some other things that stand out to me that MOES needs to do:

Point out homes that are not shown on the maps.
Disclose the full range of potential magnetic fields in all the configurations proposed for this project.
Address impact of the width of the Right of Way (see DEIS Table 8.4.1-1):

· RoW must be wide enough assure magnetic fields are below 2mG at the RoW edge to protect the health and safety of the public;

· Disclose chart showing width of RoW necessary to assure mG level at 2mG or lower;

· Identify basis for RoW width.
Comply with the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act:

· Must have more than one completely separate route; and

· Must have more than one river crossing location a Alma (as is being done in the UDEA’s Rural Utility Service EIS that is in the works).
Incorporate the Rural Utility Service EIS into the MOES EIS.
Minnesota policy of non-proliferation means that transmission must use shared railroad and highway rights of way. Minn. Stat. §216E.03, Subd. 7(b)(8); (e).   MOES conflates Minn. Stat. §216E.03, Subd. 7(b)(8) and 7(b)(9).

· DEIS must identify shared railroad and highway rights of way and tally independently;

· DEIS must identify separately from parcel and field boundaries;

· Include maps showing only shared railroad and highway rights of way.

· DEIS must not include or characterize ag land survey lines or other natural division lines as
“shared corridor.”
Minnesota policy supporting agriculture requires that transmission corridors, if sited on ag land, utilize survey lines or other natural division.

· DEIS must identify separately survey lines or other natural division lines utilized to avoid disruption of agricultural operations;

· DEIS must identify and set out survey lines or other natural division lines separately from railroad and highway rights of way;

· DEIS must not include or characterize ag land survey lines or other natural division lines as “shared corridor.”

Take a look at the DEIS, here’s MOES DEIS page:


Comments on the DEIS are due Friday, April 29, 2011, transmitted by 4:30 p.m..  Send to:

Matthew Langan
State Permit Manager
Minnesota Office of Energy Security – Energy Facility Permitting
85 7th Place East, Suite 500 | St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101

By fax: 651-297-7891

Or by email: matthew.langan@state.mn.us

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace