Agency Comments on Hampton-LaX DEIS

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse — posted by admin on May 2, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

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A state agency, a federal agency, and one multi-state Commission have filed comments on the PUC’s website docket for the CapX 2020 Hampton-LaCrosse route.  Do take the time to read what they’re saying, it has an impact on the constructability and general workability of route options:

DOT – DEIS Comments

USFWS – DEIS Comment

Mississippi River Parkway Commission – DEIS Comments

There are some phrases in each worth noting.  In the DOT Comment:

We are unable to determine from the DEIS whether all public airports within five miles of the project have been notified and given an opportunity to comment on compatibility of transmission lines with airport operations and land use compatibility.

And the most hilarious part – WAKE UP MOES:

Section 8.2.4.11. Mn/DOT has a design build project on’ US 52 south of Pine Island for a new interchange, realignment of existing county roads, and addition of frontage roads. Known as the Elk Run project, construction on this interchange is currently underway. Although an information box for the Elk Run interchange is indicated on Map 8.2-22, the location is incorrectly identified, and this project is not mentioned in the text of the DEIS. In addition, this project is not reflected in the maps in Appendix A.

And from the USFWS Comment letter:

Section 7.8.5 does not cite the fact that in January, 2010, the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain Wetlands, including the national wildlife refuge and adjacent state-managed areas, including the McCarthy Lake Wildlife Management Area, were designated as “wetlands of international significance” under the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty that provides a framework for scientific exchange and cooperative conservation.

And distance from eagle “use areas” is an issue here:

The Implementation Guidance for Eagle Take Permits under 50 CFR 22.26 and 50 CFR 22.27 indicates that because breeding home ranges of bald eagles can extend up to two miles from the nest, new potentially lethal infrastructure should be sited at least two miles away from Important Eagle Use Areas. Therefore, we recommend surveying all areas within two miles of proposed power line routes. Nests of other migratory birds, especially other raptors and colonial nesting waterbirds [e.g., great blue heron Ardea herodias], should also be noted.

And from the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, comprised of representatives from up and down the Mississippi River corridor:

The underground river crossing should not be ruled out as a possibility.  This option would result in the most minimal visual impact near the Mississippi River and Great River Road.  This could also provide an opportunity to partner with other efforts related to river crossings, such as installation of an invasive species barrier.

In addition, because this project impacts the Great River Road National Scenic Byway in two states, we ask that routing and river crossing decision making processes in Minnesota are aligned with processes in Wisconsin…

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace