PUC’s remand to OAH of Brookings’ river crossing

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket — posted by admin on July 27, 2010 @ 11:45 am

It’s out — in record time!  The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has issued its Order remanding to ALJ Luis the section of the CapX2020 Brookings transmission line from the Cedar Mountain substation to the Helena Twp. substation (hey PUC — Helena is in SCOTT County, NOT LeSueur County!):

cedarmtn-helena

Order Remanding to OAH- July 27, 2010

Here are the specifics:

The issue of which route is preferable for crossing the Minnesota River (a crossing at Le Sueur or a crossing at Belle Plaine) is remanded to the ALJ for further contested case proceedings as discussed above in this Order.

The ALJ is requested to hold a hearing regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s June 10,2010 letter and give the parties  adequate opportunity to develop the record with respect to that letter and then to determine whether, in light of that letter and the record developed with respect to it, the ALJ wishes to modify or augment his findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations.

The Commission also requests that the ALJ address which crossover route to the Belle Plaine crossing would be preferable and to make findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations in that regard.

The Commission requests that the contested case proceedings on remand be conducted thoroughly but expeditiously, consistent with the discussion provided above in the text of this Order.

Here we go back to the ALJ.  What’s good is that CapX 2020 couldn’t sneak through the LeSueur crossing, that was appropriately stopped.  The bad news is that Belle Plaine has been left out of the mix, no hearings in Belle Plaine, and so if they’re interested, they’d better show up!

From the Belle Plaine Herald:

Minus River Crossing, PUC Approves Power Line Route

Decision Could Be Delayed Until End of Year

by John Mueller

With the exception of the segment including the Minnesota River Crossing at Le Sueur or Belle Plaine, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a route permit for CapX 2020’s high-voltage power line from Brookings, S.D. to Hampton, Minn. Thursday morning.

The PUC’s 4-1 decision excludes an approximately 65-mile gap between the proposed Cedar Mountain substation in Renville County and the proposed Helena substation. CapX’s proposed river crossing at Belle Plaine or Le Sueur is within that span.

Thursday’s meeting came after a three-plus hour public comment meeting Tuesday (July 13) where residents along the proposed corridor raised concerns about the route, impacts a line would have on them and their property and the process.

A river crossing from Faxon Township into Blakeley Township would extend the power line along Stoppelmann Boulevard, about a quarter-mile from Oak Crest Elementary School.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace