NoCapX’s Barr Engineering Complaint on agenda

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by admin on August 31, 2012 @ 11:17 am

Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Public Utilities Commission will address the Complaint of Conflict of Interest on the part of Barr Engineering in its contract with Commerce to prepare the CapX Hampton-La Crosse Environmental Impact Statement:

No CapX 2020 – Conflict of Interest Complaint against Barr Engineering

There’s been no response from Respondent Barr Engineerng that I know of, or the other Respondent, the Dept. of Commerce, c/o Bill Grant, Energy Facilities Permitting, but I guess I’d be the last to know?!?!

PUC Meeting Agenda for September 13, 2012

The question before the Commission is framed as whether they “have jurisdiction to take further action regarding the Complaint of NoCapX 2020 against Barr Engineering.”  Given that, I’d guess they’re looking for a way to say they have no jurisdiction, and toss up their hands.  Let’s see, the EIS is prepared to help them make their decision on routing, that IS their jurisdiction, in essence Commerce staff is acting as PUC staff on environmental review.  Does Commerce do any conflicts check?  What’s their policy, if any?

The misinformation in the Hampton-LaCrosse EIS has put the Commission in a sticky spot.  The EIS information regarding the Byllesby dam crossing did not reflect the massive transmission corridor to the north of the dam, and the 69 kV line south from the dam; the EIS information regarding the Zumbro dam falsely stated there was transmission on both sides of the dam when there was not, and when Xcel noted this error in DEIS comments, the FEIS was only partially corrected, and folks, that’s not good enough.  Both of these dam crossings are contested, and had the information in the EIS been correct, I’d guess there would be less controversy.  The ALJ clearly noted the transmission along Harry Road by Byllesby Dam and that was the basis for her choice of route 1P-003 in her recommendation.  The ALJ also based her Zumbro Dam crossing on misinformation that there was a transmission corridor at that crossing, which there is not.  And Barr Engineering has worked on projects on both dam areas, the Lake Byllesby Regional Park Master Plan and regarding dredging of Lake Zumbro.

What does this look like to you???


Tune in on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 9:30, it’s first on the agenda.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace