RUS meetings done, Comments due 2/13

Filed under:BadgerCoulee - Wisconsin,Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on January 16, 2012 @ 11:16 am

The Wisconsin meetings were great, the final one, in Centerville/Galesville was standing room only, over 150 I’d presume.  I’d heard there was a hot meeting in the Town of Gale the night before, where they passed a resolution against the Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission project, and it was noted that Stevenson and Carlsbad, errrrr, Carlsgaard, were in their “Good Ol’ Boy” jeans, a first in the history of this project, and I don’t think anyone was fooled.  (Then again, I appreciate that they’re upfront about what the utilities want, what their stand is, unlike “Commerce” which people foolishly expect to represent the public interest.) I refused to get out of my house-rehabbing outfit myself, so maybe they’re in a similar mode… naaaaah…

Standing Room Only

Something I’d noticed was that Dairyland was NOT at the table.  Although there was someone from Dairyland there, it was always Tom Hillstrom or Grant Stevenson sitting in front and doing the dog and pony show:

dscn9259-capx2020-opposition-meeting-noteipod-camera-frontright-jan-13-2012

So I asked Chuck Thompson, of Dairyland, why they weren’t at the table, and he said, “We’re paying them to be the lead.”  Were I RUS (yeah, right), I’d want the applicant for funding to be the one promoting the project and would insist that they be at the table.

The Wisconsin meetings were particularly well attended because a route had been added and those new landowners were sent notices in the mail, and also, people were not notified and were incensed and spread the word.  USDA’s RUS did not send out notices to affected landowners, and the only way other than a phone call or knock on the door or email from a friend that someone could find out about these meetings was to read the display ad in the paper and read the legal notice in the classifieds.  This is NOT effective outreach, and instead is guaranteed to result in attendance like in Minnesota, where the best attended meeting was in Cannon Falls, where there were about 20, and in Plainview and Wanamingo, there were maybe 5-6.  That is NOT acceptable.  had NoCapX 2020 and CETF not been on this, it would have been the same in Wisconsin.

That said,  Comments are due by February 13, 2012, extended due to failure to send notice to people along the “new” Route 88 option.

Here’s the RUS EIS webpage where you can find the DEIS.

Send Comments by February 13, 2012 to:

stephanie.strength@wdc.usda.gov or by mail to:

Stephanie Strength, Project Manager
USDA, Rural Development, Utilities Programs
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 2244
Mailstop 1571
Washington, DC  20250-1571

Eagles on Bemidji-Grand Rapids route

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on @ 9:25 am

eagleeye

More on eagles…

660 feet is not two miles!

You all remember the “eagle” issues that sent the CapX Brookings line back to the ALJ…

PUC Order Remanding Brookings to OAH July 27, 2010

And then there’s the eagle issues in the Hampton-LaCrosse docket, evidenced on p. 96 of USDA RUS’ DEIS:

p96

And you remember USFWS comment, p. 8, about eagles and utility infrastructure:

USFWS Comment on WI PSC DEIS

So today I  get this article in the mail (who needs a paper, just read the inbox, eh?):

Helicopters, implosives to be used in utility work along Hwy 2

So do tell, USFWS says no utility infrastructure within 2 miles of important Eagle Use Areas, and here, the Grand Rapids paper reports that:

Because there are a number of eagle nests within 660 feet of the line, Kuismi said construction will cease in those areas between February and April when eagles are typically nesting. The utilities have also been working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to install bird diverters where the line passes known flight paths.

660 feet???   (1 mile x 2 = 10,560) -660= 990 feet shy of 2 miles.

Do explain why the guidelines are different in one place from another, and why it matters in one place and not another???



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace