Yesterday’s Prehearing Conference in Madison

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 6, 2011 @ 6:01 pm


Back from Madison, a long long day, I just don’t do mornings well, 4:45 a.m. sucks.  Anyway, here’s the Prehearing Order for the CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission line, hot off the press:

Prehearing Conference Memo – December 6, 2011

The most important part of this, well, the part that sticks out for me, is that the “technical” (evidentiary) hearing is at most one week long.  The Certificate of Need in Minnesota took 5 weeks, maybe more, and each routing proceeding took 2 weeks, and here we’re doing both in one week?  I just don’t see how that can be done.

Next are public hearings, and that will be on March 13 and 14, 2012, in only two locations, with afternoon and evening sessions.

And check this — there’s this point about cross-examination of witnesses, and the judge said “presenting a direct case on cross isn’t going to work.”  That was in a discussion of “At Hearing” point #4:

4. Limit cross-examination of a witness by the length and scope required to reasonably investigate matters with respect to the testimony of that witness. To investigate beyond these parameters requires the party to have followed the applicable pre-hearing process for compelling the witness to appear at hearing.

OK, so let’s look at the “pre-hearing process for compelling the witness to appear at hearing,” that’s Prehearing point #4 and 6a:

4. Any party who compels a witness to appear at hearing shall create a volume of written testimony for that witness in the form of either a deposition or interrogatory. This requirement shall not apply if the party receives consent of the other parties and Commission staff prior to the deadline to file such testimony.

6.a. The volume of written testimony for any witness being compelled to appear, and corresponding exhibits, by the deadline to file rebuttal testimony.

I can see a logistical plus for us on this, filing ahead of time, but this looks to me to be the death of live testimony under cross.  And LOTS of data requests — and they (ATC particularly) are not too happy about what’s been sent thus far.  Oh well, here we go!

12/29 – Annual Power Plant Siting Act Hearing

Filed under:Laws & Rules — posted by admin on @ 1:18 pm

It’s official – December 29th is the Annual Hearing on the Power Plant Siting Act.  Written Comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on February 1, 2012.

MPUC – Notice of Annual Hearing – Power Plant Siting Act

First, what’s the Power Plant Siting Act?  It’s the state chapter of statutes and associated rules that govern how we site power plants and transmission lines in Minnesota:

Power Plant Siting Act – 216E

The PPSA Annual Hearing has also included references to wind siting, which is 216F.  The PSA includes “Buy the Farm” (216E.12, Subd. 4) which is under siege now that CapX 2020 permitting is at the stage where they’re taking land by eminent domain.

Here’s the short version:

Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing
Thursday, December 29, 2011
1:00 p.m.
PUC – 3rd Floor Hearing Room
121 – 7th Place East
St. Paul, MN  55101

This is your opportunity to tell them how you think the Power Plant Siting Act isn’t working (ummmmm, yes, presumptive, but been there, done that, it ISN’T working) and to tell them how it should work.

This is your opportunity to submit Comments, oral at the hearing (Judge Lipman will be presiding again) and in writing.  Send written comments to:

Written comments may also be submitted until 4:30 PM, February 1, 2012.  Reference Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing docket number E999/M-11-324 in all correspondence. Comments should be sent to Judge Lipman at:

The Honorable Eric L. Lipman
Office of Administrative Hearings
PO Box 64620
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55164-0620
Fax: 651-361-7936                   Email:
Web:, click on “Comment on An Issue”

Here are my comments from last year and the Rulemaking Petition I submitted.  The Rulemaking Petition was split off, and I resubmitted directly to OAH for the 1400 and 1405 rules (the OAH rules).  Still need to rework the ones for PUC (7800 series), and I’ll do that by the hearing date.

Overland Comments 2010

Overland rulemaking Petition – 2010

Do show up and let them know in technicolor what YOU’VE experienced.  This is important.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace