Category Archives: Environmental Review

Whoa, Manitoba Hydro line delayed!

$453M Manitoba Hydro line to Minnesota could face delay after energy board recommendation

Really! And here’s the info straight from the National Energy Board’s “Manitoba-Minnesota” page:

31 October 2017: Recommendation to the Minister regarding Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project [Filing A87404]

Highlights

  • The recommendation to elevate the regulatory process to a certificate was made following careful analysis of recent Supreme Court rulings and the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission recommendation report for the project.
  • A certificate process will ensure that Indigenous considerations are fully taken into account as part of the Board’s assessment.
  • The process will provide greater regulatory certainty to Manitoba Hydro as it imposes a legislated time limit on the assessment.
  • Wherever possible, the NEB will seek to minimize duplication between the provincial and federal processes.
  • The NEB is committed to carrying out a regulatory assessment of the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project that is open, fair, timely and accessible.

Bottom line:

Therefore the Board is recommending to the Minister, pursuant to subsection 58.14 (1) of the NEB Act that the Project be designated by order of the Governor in Council under section 58.15 of the NEB Act as an IPL that is to be constructed and operated in accordance with a certificate issued under section 58.16.

There will be an Order, either following through on this recommendation, or denying it and proceeding. But this is an interesting twist, focused on First Nation rights.

Here’s where you can get more information from the Canadian side of the border:

National Energy Board – Manitoba-Minnesota transmission page

Here’s Canada’s Clean Environment Commission’s Manitoba-Minnesota transmission page

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Filed under Canada permitting, Environmental Review, Hearings

FEIS released for Great Northern Transmission Line

CorridorMap

It’s a Final Environmental Impact Statement kind of day today.  The Great Northern Transmission Line FINAL EIS has been released by the Deptartment of Energy, which is in charge of the Presidential Permit and so they’re doing joint environmental review with the State of Minnesota.  It’s out, released while I was on the road, and so here it is, a couple days late!

Applicant’s Environmental Impact Statement Page HERE!

And here’s a cut and paste of their format, which is a LOT better than the PUC’s official eDockets page:

Final Environmental Impact Statement

Main Document

  • Cover Sheet and Table of Contents
  • Summary
  • Chapter 1 – Regulatory FrameworkDescribes the regulatory framework associated with the proposed Project, including the purpose and need for agency action, major federal permits (including the U.S. DOE Presidential permit), federal consultation requirements, state permitting requirements (including the MN PUC Route Permit), other state and local permits, and a summary of agencies, tribes, and persons consulted.
  • Chapter 2 – Proposed Project: Describes the project as proposed by the Applicant including proposed routes, structures, objectives, route selection process, estimated costs, and proposed schedule. Chapter 2 also describes the Applicant’s engineering, design, and construction plans, land acquisition processes, and Applicant proposed measures to avoid and minimize environmental impacts.
  • Chapter 3 – No Action Alternative: Describes the “No Action alternative,” in which the DOE would not issue a Presidential permit and the proposed Project would not be built. The analysis of the No Action alternative summarizes the impacts of not constructing the project and provides a baseline for analyzing and comparing potential environmental impacts from DOE’s proposed action and alternatives.
  • Chapter 4 – Route and Alignment Alternatives Proposed During Scoping: Describes the four border crossing alternatives, 22 route variations, and nine alignment modifications that were proposed by agencies and the public during scoping. Chapter 4 also summarizes the process used by DOE in coordination with the DOC-EERA to jointly determine which border crossings and routes to include in the scope of this EIS. Chapter 4 also describes how the selected routes, route variations, and alignments are analyzed by dividing the 220-mile long project area into the three major sections: the West Section, the Central Section, and the East Section.
  • Chapter 5 Part 1 – Affected Environment and Potential Impacts: Describes the affected environment for the proposed Project, including descriptions of each resource, the region of influence (ROI) of the proposed Project on the resource, and impacts expected from the construction, operation, maintenance, and connection of the proposed Project. Chapter 5.0 first describes the impacts of the proposed Project that are common to all geographic sections and do not vary by route or route variation. Chapter 5.0 then describes the resources that do vary by geographic section and for which impacts vary by route and route variation—the impacts and resources are carried forward for detailed analysis and comparison in Chapter 6.0.
  • Chapter 5 Part 2 – Affected Environment and Potential Impacts
  • Chapter 6 Part 1 – Comparative Environmental Consequences: Presents detailed analysis and comparison of the potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed Project and alternative route variations, and describes mitigation measures by geographic section, route, and route variation.
  • Chapter 6 Part 2 – Comparative Environmental Consequences
  • Chapter 6 Part 3 – Comparative Environmental Consequences
  • Chapter 7 Cumulative and Other Impacts: Describes reasonably foreseeable projects in the proposed Project area and assesses impacts of the proposed Project in the context of these reasonably foreseeable projects along with other past and present projects in the same area. Chapter 7 also describes unavoidable, irretrievable, and other impacts as required by federal and state regulations.
  • Chapter 8 – List of Preparers
  • Chapter 9 – References
  • Chapter 10 – Acronyms
  • Chapter 11 – Index

Appendices

Here’s the filing from Commerce – I’ve deleted a few columns from the PUC’s eDockets so it’ll fit here, and it’s in no discernable order, that’s why I prefer the version above:

201511-115405-01 14-21 DOC EERA NOTICE–OF AVAILABILITY OF FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 11/03/2015
201510-115238-06 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX F 10/30/2015
201510-115262-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Z 10/30/2015
201510-115248-06 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX M 10/30/2015
201510-115258-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 1 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115261-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX U 10/30/2015
201510-115251-10 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX R 10/30/2015
201510-115248-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX L – PART 3 OF 4 10/30/2015
201510-115261-07 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Y – PART 2 OF 5 10/30/2015
201510-115232-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 13 OF 14 10/30/2015
201510-115231-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 10 OF 14 10/30/2015
201510-115251-08 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX P 10/30/2015
201510-115238-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX C 10/30/2015
201510-115231-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 9 OF 14 10/30/2015
201510-115238-09 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX I 10/30/2015
201510-115238-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX B 10/30/2015
201510-115251-09 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Q 10/30/2015
201510-115251-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 8 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115258-05 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 5 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115248-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX K 10/30/2015
201510-115238-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX A 10/30/2015
201510-115261-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX W 10/30/2015
201510-115258-06 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 6 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115248-05 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX L – PART 4 OF 4 10/30/2015
201510-115248-10 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 4 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115238-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX D 10/30/2015
201510-115258-07 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK EAST SECTION – PART 1 OF 2 10/30/2015
201510-115232-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 11 OF 14 10/30/2015
201510-115251-06 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 10 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115232-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 12 OF 14 10/30/2015
201510-115238-08 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX H 10/30/2015
201510-115258-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 4 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115258-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 3 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115248-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX L – PART 2 OF 4 10/30/2015
201510-115258-08 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK EAST SECTION – PART 2 OF 2 10/30/2015
201510-115251-07 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX O 10/30/2015
201510-115251-05 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 9 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115238-07 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX G 10/30/2015
201510-115261-06 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Y – PART 1 OF 5 10/30/2015
201510-115261-08 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Y – PART 3 OF 5 10/30/2015
201510-115238-10 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX J 10/30/2015
201510-115261-05 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX X 10/30/2015
201510-115251-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 7 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115248-09 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 3 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115258-09 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK WEST SECTION – PART 1 OF 2 10/30/2015
201510-115258-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK CENTRAL SECTION – PART 2 OF 6 10/30/2015
201510-115248-07 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 1 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115258-10 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX S – MAP BOOK WEST SECTION – PART 2 OF 2 10/30/2015
201510-115261-09 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Y – PART 4 OF 5 10/30/2015
201510-115248-08 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 2 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115238-05 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX E 10/30/2015
201510-115261-03 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX V 10/30/2015
201510-115251-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 6 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115261-10 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX Y – PART 5 OF 5 10/30/2015
201510-115251-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX N – PART 5 OF 10 10/30/2015
201510-115261-01 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX T 10/30/2015
201510-115248-02 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 2 – APPENDIX L – PART 1 OF 4 10/30/2015
201510-115232-04 14-21 DOC EERA OTHER–FINAL EIS – VOLUME 1 – PART 14 OF 14 10/30/2015

 

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review

Last Minute Notice to Landowners — NOT OK!

shame_shaking_finger

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

DEIS Comments due NOW!

MISORestoftheStory

Comments are due on the DEIS for the Great Northern Transmission Line TODAY!  If you send them to Julie Ann Smith at the DOE you can send them up until 11:59 tonight!  Get to it!

Send comments to Juliea.Smith@hq.doe.gov

Here’s what I fired off just now, what a struggle to get anything done — it’s all on the volunteer plan:

Legalectric_GNTL_DEISComment_8-10-2015

Here’s something that sticks in my craw — GNTL is MISO project 3831, and note that as such it’s a lot different than the Application for this project — it’s more than the 250, 383 or 833 megawatts, try 1732 MVA, and it goes a lot further than from Manitoba just down to the Blackberry substation near Grand Rapids (click for larger version) (pdf version here MTEP14 Appendices AB):

MISO

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Greetings from Grand Rapids – DOE EIS Hearings

20150722_112810_resized

Live and in living color!  Today is the final day on the DOE’s road show for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement — more correctly, the public hearings, and yes, public HEARINGS, not public meetings.  And good treats too, excellent coffee, much needed.  Hearings today are right now, starting at 11 a.m., and this evening beginning at 6 p.m.  This is ONLY about environmental review.  The substantive routing hearing is coming up in a couple weeks (more on that later).

As usual, we’re in the intros.

Comments are due August 10, 2015.  Send to:

Julie Ann Smith, PhD, Electricity Policy Analyst
DOE NEPA Document Manager
National Electricity Delivery Division (OE-20)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20585

JulieA.Smith@hq.doe.gov

+++++++++++++++++

William Cole Storm, Environmental Review Manager
Energy Environmental Review and Analysis
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

bill.storm@state.mn.us

I’ve started on my comment, and I’ll post it here and send it via mailchimp at least a few days before comments are due, because it might be helpful to provide some ideas on what to comment about.  They don’t particularly care about arguments why not on a particular parcel of land, but they do care if there are things about the area, environmental impacts, that they haven’t considered, taken into account.  In this environmental review, the DOE is not taking “need” into account, which they should!  They’re also not addressing the breadth or depth of alternatives necessary under NEPA

What’s the DEIS?  Read it here, this is cut and paste from DOE site:

Table of Contents, Cover Sheet, Abstract, Summary (.PDF, 5.7 MB)

Summary (.PDF, 6.0 MB)

Chapter 1 – Regulatory Framework (PDF, 2.5 MB):Describes the regulatory framework associated with the proposed Project, including the purpose and need for agency action, major federal permits (including the U.S. DOE Presidential permit), federal consultation requirements, state permitting requirements (including the MN PUC Route Permit), other state and local permits, and a summary of agencies, tribes, and persons consulted.

Chapter 2 – Proposed Project (PDF, 2.8 MB): Describes the project as proposed by the Applicant including proposed routes, structures, objectives, route selection process, estimated costs, and proposed schedule. Chapter 2 also describes the Applicant’s engineering, design, and construction plans, land acquisition processes, and Applicant proposed measures to avoid and minimize environmental impacts.

Chapter 3 – No Action Alternative (PDF, 1.2 MB): Describes the “No Action alternative,” in which the DOE would not issue a Presidential permit and the proposed Project would not be built. The analysis of the No Action alternative summarizes the impacts of not constructing the project and provides a baseline for analyzing and comparing potential environmental impacts from DOE’s proposed action and alternatives.

Chapter 4 – Route and Alignment Alternatives Proposed during Scoping (PDF, 19 MB): Describes the four border crossing alternatives, 22 route variations, and nine alignment modifications that were proposed by agencies and the public during scoping. Chapter 4 also summarizes the process used by DOE in coordination with the DOC-EERA to jointly determine which border crossings and routes to include in the scope of this EIS. Chapter 4 also describes how the selected routes, route variations, and alignments are analyzed by dividing the 220-mile long project area into the three major sections: the West Section, the Central Section, and the East Section.

Chapter 5 – Affected Environment and Potential Impacts (PDF, 32 MB): Describes the affected environment for the proposed Project, including descriptions of each resource, the region of influence (ROI) of the proposed Project on the resource, and impacts expected from the construction, operation, maintenance, and connection of the proposed Project. Chapter 5.0 first describes the impacts of the proposed Project that are common to all geographic sections and do not vary by route or route variation. Chapter 5.0 then describes the resources that do vary by geographic section and for which impacts vary by route and route variation—the impacts and resources are carried forward for detailed analysis and comparison in Chapter 6.0.

Chapter 6 – Comparative Environmental Consequences (PDF, 65 MB): Presents detailed analysis and comparison of the potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed Project and alternative route variations, and describes mitigation measures by geographic section, route, and route variation.

Chapter 7 – Cumulative and Other Impacts (PDF, 4.8 MB): Describes reasonably foreseeable projects in the proposed Project area and assesses impacts of the proposed Project in the context of these reasonably foreseeable projects along with other past and present projects in the same area. Chapter 7 also describes unavoidable, irretrievable, and other impacts as required by federal and state regulations.

Chapter 8 – List of Preparers (PDF, 1.7 MB): Provides a list of the preparers of this EIS.

Chapter 9 – References (PDF, 1.8 MB): Provides references for resources used in development of this EIS.

Chapter 10 – Acronyms and Abbreviations (PDF, 1.7 MB): Lists of the acronyms and abbreviations used in this EIS.

Chapter 11 – Index (PDF, 1.4 MB): Provides an index of terms used in this EIS.

Appendices – Provides information to support the analysis in this EIS:

Here’s the state process for a routing decision:

20150722_114721_resized

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Greetings from Roseau! Hearings today and tomorrow!

20150715_114622_resized

Greetings from Roseau, MN, on the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line road show!  It’s the public hearings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and there’s another hearing today in Baudette at 6 p.m., and then tomorrow in Littlefork at 11 a.m. and International Falls at 6 p.m.

To see the DEIS, scroll down for links.

COMMENTS ARE DUE BY AUGUST 10, so there’s some time.  Send your comments to:

Julie Ann Smith, PhD, Electricity Policy Analyst
DOE NEPA Document Manager
National Electricity Delivery Division (OE-20)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20585

JulieA.Smith@hq.doe.gov

+++++++++++++++++

William Cole Storm, Environmental Review Manager
Energy Environmental Review and Analysis
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

bill.storm@state.mn.us

20150715_115642_resized

 

 

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review

GNTL – Draft Environmental Impact Statement

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Heading up north for a time out… errrrrrr… GNTL Draft EIS hearings, yeah, that’s it!  Figured I’d best take a look at the DEIS, woke up with that on the brain.  One sick puppy, for sure.  Anyway, the Minnesota Power GNTL site doesn’t have the files right, so best to go here:

DOE Great Northern DEIS page

Here’s a cut and paste of all the docs — some are too big to upload here:

Table of Contents, Cover Sheet, Abstract, Summary (.PDF, 5.7 MB)

Summary (.PDF, 6.0 MB)

Chapter 1 – Regulatory Framework (PDF, 2.5 MB):Describes the regulatory framework associated with the proposed Project, including the purpose and need for agency action, major federal permits (including the U.S. DOE Presidential permit), federal consultation requirements, state permitting requirements (including the MN PUC Route Permit), other state and local permits, and a summary of agencies, tribes, and persons consulted.

Chapter 2 – Proposed Project (PDF, 2.8 MB): Describes the project as proposed by the Applicant including proposed routes, structures, objectives, route selection process, estimated costs, and proposed schedule. Chapter 2 also describes the Applicant’s engineering, design, and construction plans, land acquisition processes, and Applicant proposed measures to avoid and minimize environmental impacts.

Chapter 3 – No Action Alternative (PDF, 1.2 MB): Describes the “No Action alternative,” in which the DOE would not issue a Presidential permit and the proposed Project would not be built. The analysis of the No Action alternative summarizes the impacts of not constructing the project and provides a baseline for analyzing and comparing potential environmental impacts from DOE’s proposed action and alternatives.

Chapter 4 – Route and Alignment Alternatives Proposed during Scoping (PDF, 19 MB): Describes the four border crossing alternatives, 22 route variations, and nine alignment modifications that were proposed by agencies and the public during scoping. Chapter 4 also summarizes the process used by DOE in coordination with the DOC-EERA to jointly determine which border crossings and routes to include in the scope of this EIS. Chapter 4 also describes how the selected routes, route variations, and alignments are analyzed by dividing the 220-mile long project area into the three major sections: the West Section, the Central Section, and the East Section.

Chapter 5 – Affected Environment and Potential Impacts (PDF, 32 MB): Describes the affected environment for the proposed Project, including descriptions of each resource, the region of influence (ROI) of the proposed Project on the resource, and impacts expected from the construction, operation, maintenance, and connection of the proposed Project. Chapter 5.0 first describes the impacts of the proposed Project that are common to all geographic sections and do not vary by route or route variation. Chapter 5.0 then describes the resources that do vary by geographic section and for which impacts vary by route and route variation—the impacts and resources are carried forward for detailed analysis and comparison in Chapter 6.0.

Chapter 6 – Comparative Environmental Consequences (PDF, 65 MB): Presents detailed analysis and comparison of the potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed Project and alternative route variations, and describes mitigation measures by geographic section, route, and route variation.

Chapter 7 – Cumulative and Other Impacts (PDF, 4.8 MB): Describes reasonably foreseeable projects in the proposed Project area and assesses impacts of the proposed Project in the context of these reasonably foreseeable projects along with other past and present projects in the same area. Chapter 7 also describes unavoidable, irretrievable, and other impacts as required by federal and state regulations.

Chapter 8 – List of Preparers (PDF, 1.7 MB): Provides a list of the preparers of this EIS.

Chapter 9 – References (PDF, 1.8 MB): Provides references for resources used in development of this EIS.

Chapter 10 – Acronyms and Abbreviations (PDF, 1.7 MB): Lists of the acronyms and abbreviations used in this EIS.

Chapter 11 – Index (PDF, 1.4 MB): Provides an index of terms used in this EIS.

Appendices – Provides information to support the analysis in this EIS:

And this week and next are the hearings, HEARINGS, so be there or be square:

DEIS Public Hearings

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review, Hearings

Coming up W & Th — DOE holds public hearings

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement are due Monday, August 10, 2015.  

This week the DOE’s Public Hearings (and Commerce “Meetings”) begin on the DEIS for the Presidential Permit and route for the Great Northern Transmission Project.

Here’s the schedule:

DEIS Public Hearings

And here’s the DEIS that we’re supposed to read up on and comment about — from the DOE’s site:

Comments are due Monday, August 10, 2015.  

Send comments to Comments on the Draft EIS to Julie Smith at the address or email above or by fax to (202) 586–8008, or to William Storm at the address or email below.  Be sure to write the PUC docket number TL-14-21 and the DOE number EIS-0499 on all comments.

Julie Ann Smith, PhD, Electricity Policy Analyst
DOE NEPA Document Manager
National Electricity Delivery Division (OE-20)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20585

JulieA.Smith@hq.doe.gov

+++++++++++++++++

William Cole Storm, Environmental Review Manager
Energy Environmental Review and Analysis
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

bill.storm@state.mn.us

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review, Presidential Permit, Routing Docket

YES! The DOE has announced HEARINGS!!!

EIS Maps

Some may think it a petty point, but there is a difference between hearings and meetings, and the DOE seems to get that.  Our Minnesota Department of Commerce isn’t concerned, but they are so wrong on this.

Here’s the DOE’s notice that the DEIS has been released, which includes notice of DOE HEARINGS.

EIS-0499-DEIS_DOE_NOA-2015

HEARINGS!

From KDAL:

Draft EIS released for Great Northern Transmission Line

From Duluth News Tribune:

Great Northern Power Line findings ready for review

Whew… now on to bigger battles…

HEARING SCHEDULE:

DEIS Hearings DOE

DEIS Hearings DOE2

Here are the routing options over Scenic Hwy. 7:

Corridor_ScenicHwy7

As an aside: Hydro’s man with the power stepping down

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review, Hearings

DOE says it is holding HEARINGS, not meetings, on GNTL

Hot off the press, the DOE is holding DEIS HEARINGS for the Great Northern Transmission Line:

FINAL DOE Response Letter to Overland_June 23_2015_GNTL inquiry to DOE and MN DOC-1 (oops, didn’t post this one previously — and it’s the important one!!)

DOC with DOE_Letter – 20156-111735-01

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has taken to holding public “meetings” when there’s an opportunity to comment on a DEIS, but that’s NOT sufficient, and I’ve been raising that issue for years now, particularly in our rulemaking docket, Minn. R. Ch. 7850.  Here we have a joint EIS with the Minnesota Dept. of Commerce and the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Here’s their joint initial filed notice, and notice the title:

Notice of DEIS Meetings FINAL DOC-DOE Approved (V-2)

With DOE involvement, I’d expected public hearings, and so filed a letter requesting public hearings.

Cover_DOE-Commerce_June 23, 2015

Seems the DOE is sensitive to the distinction between public MEETINGS and public HEARINGS!  Beyond that, I’m not real clear on what all this letter means, but I trust we’ll find out.

Thanks, DOE!

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review