Category Archives: Buy the Farm

Last Minute Notice to Landowners — NOT OK!


So I’m reviewing the Great Northern Transmission Line routing docket (PUC 14-21) and notice that there’s NOTICE to “ADDITIONAL new landowners.”

Pages from 7272015_Notice_p18_20157-112741-01

WHAT!?!?!  This is dated July 27, 2015.  The Application was filed in April, 2014, the DEIS Scoping Decision was filed in January, and the DEIS went out for comment two months ago in June.  Sure, there could be landowners who were missed along the way, or maybe they came up with new alignments and so new landowners were affected.  That does happen.  Shouldn’t happen but it happens all the time — look at the Cannon Falls section of CapX La Crosse line.  BUT, to give them Notice NOW and proceed on their merry way with routing this transmission line in this docket is NOT right.

WHY?  There’s no way that someone could catch up and adequately present their case to the PUC in the short time left before the record closes on September 1, 2015.  They’ve already missed the EIS scoping, they’ve missed the DEIS comment period, and this Notice came out less than two weeks before the public hearing and “contested case” hearing (I put that in “quotes” because there are no intervenors , it’s not contested).

Who cares?  Well, there are no intervenors.  There’s no one representing the public interest.  That’s enough to get me fired up.  On a RRANT one might say…

RRANT_Motion to Intervene Out of Time

Onward… let’s see how due process, public interest, and public participation figures into this!

How to look up this docket?  Just go to the PUC’s eDocket SEARCH SITE, and search for Docket 14 (year)- 21 (number).  It’s that easy!

Hearings tonight in Bigfork, and two tomorrow in Grand Rapids, and that’s it, the END!

… perhaps…  … perhaps not…

Hearng Schedule

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Filed under 7850, Buy the Farm, Condemnation, DOE (Dept of Energy), Easements, Environmental Review, Hearings, PUC Filings, Routing Docket

PUC Rulemaking — Send Comments on Drafts


The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is winding up its rulemaking on the Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and Siting/Routing (Minn. R. Ch. 7850) chapters.  My clients Goodhue Wind Truth and North Route Group have been participating all along, and their experience with the Certificate of Need and Routing/Siting process has helped inform this record and we sure hope leads to more sensible and workable rules, AND increased public participation.

Now is the time to download and make your comments on what should be included, what’s included that’s important and needs to go forward, and what needs to be reworded.

August 13 Draft 7849

7850 July 8 draft

August 13 Ch. 7850 comparison

Send Comments to:

  • and/or post to the Rulemaking Docket.  To do that go HERE to the eDocket Filing Page, register if you’re not registered (it’s easy and almost instant), and post to Docket 12-1246.

It’s highly likely that the LAST meeting of the PUC’s Rulemaking Advisory Committee will be September 24, 2014 (9:30 a.m. at the PUC, in the basement).

A few things that need work:

  • Ch. 7849 & 7850: Need language mirroring statutory language regarding testimony by members of the public UNDER OATH (ALJs have refused to offer people opportunity to testify under oath, and PUC has stated that it makes a difference, “but were those statements made under oath” and if not, less weight.
  • Ch. 7849: Advisory Task Forces need language of statute, and membership not limited to “local units of government.”
  • Ch. 7849 & 7850: Transcripts available online — need to address this in rules and reporter contracts.
  • Ch. 7849: Scoping and Alternatives — compare with Ch. 7850.  Similar process?
  • Ch. 7849.1450: When is it Commerce EER & DER
  • Ch. 7849 & 7850 – timing should be similar for completeness review, etc.
  • Ch. 7850: Public Meeting separate from Scoping Meeting (Public Meeting is to disseminate information, Scoping Meeting is for intake).
  • Ch. 7850: Power Plant Siting Act includes “Buy the Farm.”  Need rules regarding Buy the Farm.

Now is the time to review the drafts, above, and send in Comments.  There may be, I hope there are, revisions released prior to the next meeting, but usually it happens just before, and there’s no time.  So here’s where we are now, and Comments would be helpful.

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Filed under 7850, Buy the Farm, Certificate of Need