Monthly Archives: August 2014

Public Comments on CATF


YEAAAAA!  Comments have been posted on Commerce’s request that the Commission reconsider whether to have a Citizens Advisory Task Force (though I do wish the actual comments had been posted, or with a summary chart, not just the summary chart):


Overland_CATF Comments (filed as individual, RRANT has intervened in only the Certificate of Need docket)

Take a look at the Commission’s authorization of a Task Force, it’s the most thorough I’ve ever seen, very encouraging:

PUC Task Force Authorizaiton_20147-101165-01

This will come up at a Commission Agenda meeting, and there’s nothing yet.  Ten (10) days notice is required, and I’ll post the Notice after it’s issued.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Useful information? Please donate!


Donate!!!  Yes, you!!   See that “PayPal” button up to the right?  Join the challenge to transmission that they don’t need and we don’t want!  Residents and Ratepayers Against Not-so-Great-Northern Transmission, an ad hoc advocacy association, has Intervened in the Certificate of Need, a public interest intervention focused on showing up to weigh in on the big picture issues (Important note, we’re aiding public participation, but not taking a position on route.).

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Filed under Certificate of Need, Environmental Review, Hearings, Information Requests, Need, Open Houses, Presidential Permit

Latest version of PUC draft rules

We’re working on the revisions of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission rules for Certificate of Need (Minn. R. Ch. 7849) and for Routing/Siting (Minn. R. Ch. 7850), and it’s OH SO PAINFUL and tedious.  But this is where it happens — the rules developed here will be presented to the PUC to release for public comment and adoption — and once they’re released, they can’t adopt rules that are significantly different, so realistically, there won’t be major changes.  It’s now or never… this is where participation matters.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, August 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Commission’s Large Hearing Room in the Metro Square Building, located at 121 Seventh Place East, St. Paul, MN 55101. The PUC will provide refreshments.

FINAL MEETING – Wednesday September 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Here are the latest drafts.

August 13 Draft 7849

7850 July 8 draft

August 13 Ch. 7850 comparison

The next meeting is this Wednesday, so not much time for review and comment.  Comments can be sent to kate.kahlert [at] and/or posted in the PUC’s Rulemaking Docket, 12-1246.  To see what all has been filed in that docket, go to PUC SEARCH DOCKETS PAGE and search for 12-1246 (“12” is the year, “1246” is the docket number).

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Filed under 7850, PUC Filings

Minnesota Power’s Direct Testimony Filed


Oh, it’s been a busy week, and it’s only Wednesday.  Buried alive in paper, as I frantically try to sort out the old files from my other office, get rid of the dusty, moldy things from over a decade ago, and what does Minnesota Power do but dump 20 pounds of Direct Testimony.  On the other hand, it does look like good stuff, a stimulating read, lots of fun to be had over the weekend!



MP_Testimony_Hobert_Direct_20148-102147-06 MP_Testimony_Hobert_Direct_Sched2_20148-102147-06-2 MP_Testimony_Hobert_Direct_Sched3_20148-102147-06 MP_Testimony_Hobert_Direct_Sched4_20148-102147-06-2




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Filed under Certificate of Need, Hearings, Need, PUC Filings

Advisory Task Force at risk

Are you interested in participating in a transmission Advisory Task Force?  Do you want your local government official to represent you on the Task Force?  Are you part of a group that wants representation on an Advisory Task Force?  Here’s a form I’ve put together simply tailored to groups and individuals (see below for more information about Task Forces):

Advisory Task Force Candidate Information Form – Group/Individual

The Department of Commerce has requested that the PUC Reconsider its authorization of Task Forces for the Great Northern Transmission Line as the invitations were sent out but few have offered to participate.  Commerce focused on local government officials because the statute specifies that, but local interest groups and regular people should be a part of this process as well.  Anyway, based on that lack of response, to their credit, Commerce got on the phone, started calling, and the efforts they made are all listed here in the request to the Commission to Reconsider:

Commerce Request to Reconsider Task Forces

Have the people whose job it is to show up and participate in Task Forces been contacted?  Does Commerce have the right contact names?  Has there been time to select a representative?  Most townships meet just once a month?  Are there groups missing that should receive invitations?  Should this be published in local papers, Public Service Announcements for the radio?  Looks like it’s time to contact local government officials and find out why they’re not participating!  Looks like it’s time to sign up and volunteer!

The PUC has opened a Comment period — if you care about the Task Force, if you want the PUC to move forward with the Task Force, if you want to see it review the application, if you want to be a part of it, and if you want your Township, County, City or other group to have a representative on it, you’ve got to let the Commission know before August 22nd:

Notice of CommentPeriod

From that PUC Notice:

Submit Public Comments: Visit, select Comment on an Issue, find docket 14-21, and add your comments to the discussion.
Persons without internet access may send by U.S. mail to:
       Burl Haar, Executive Secretary
       Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
       121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul MN 55101-2147.
Please include the Commission’s docket number in all communications.

Who cares?  Well, it’s one of the primary means for the public to participate and be heard about routing, environmental review, and suggest alternate routes to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement.  So I’d hope that everyone in the area would care!!!

Unfortunately, well, take a look at the Request to Reconsider Task Forces and look at all the local government representatives that were contacted and said they’re “NOT INTERESTED!

Part of the Minnesota Power Plant Siting Act, the chapter of laws for siting utility infrastructure such as the Not-so-Great Northern Transmission Line, is a statute, Minn. Stat. 216E.08, which authorizes the use of Citizen Advisory Task Forces to review the application, consider their community, and raise issues that the state should consider in both routing and environmental review, including alternate routes.

The people who live and work in a community know best the environmental, economic, and social considerations, it’s one of those “ya have to be there” things.  A “desktop survey” is not enough, those on the ground need to weigh in on what’s important in a community.

Here’s a form to submit to become a member of the Advisory Task Force:

Advisory Task Force Candidate Information Form

Note this was tailored for local government officials only.  This is a problem, because participation is NOT limited to local government officials.  Members of local groups and individuals can participate, SHOULD participate:

Advisory task force.

The commission may appoint one or more advisory task forces to assist it in carrying out its duties. Task forces appointed to evaluate sites or routes considered for designation shall be comprised of as many persons as may be designated by the commission, but at least one representative from each of the following: Regional development commissions, counties and municipal corporations and one town board member from each county in which a site or route is proposed to be located. No officer, agent, or employee of a utility shall serve on an advisory task force.

Here’s an alternate form that I just cobbled together — if you’re interested, send it in ASAP so that they’ll know there IS interest!

Advisory Task Force Candidate Information Form – Group/Individual

Time to weigh in — with Comments and Advisory Task Force Candidate Applications!

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Filed under Routing Docket

Comment Period open through Friday 8/15


It’s not too late!!!  Get your scoping comments in by Friday!

For some specific ideas, see this post:

DOE Scoping Hearings last week

There’s a conflict in the dates set for comments on scoping for the Environmental Impact Statement.  MN Dept. of Commerce deadline for comments is August 15, this Friday.  The DOE Comments were due August 11, Monday, but at the meetings held a couple of weeks ago, they announced they’d also accept comments through August 15, Friday.

Here’s the Commerce Notice.

From that page:

Bill Storm
Environmental Review Manager
Dept. of Commerce
85 – 7th Place E., Suite 500
St. Paul, MN  55101
email to:

Web Site Comment Form: Minnesota Department of Commerce Website (Comments due by August 15)

And I recommend you also send anything you send to Commerce to the DOE:

Julie Ann Smith                                                                 
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE-20)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue SW.
Washington, DC 20585

via email:

Here’s their DRAFT Scoping that they’re planning — do review it and comment on what’s missing, things you know that others wouldn’t know.

DRAFT Scoping for EIS 20147-101149-01

Once more with feeling: It’s not too late!!!  Get your scoping comments in by Friday!

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Filed under DOE (Dept of Energy), Environmental Review