Commission Meeting 2/25 — this is it!

High-Voltage-Warning-Sign-S-2217

Hot off the press — the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will deliberate, and most likely decide, on the route for Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line at its February 25, 2016 meeting:

Notice of Commission Meeting_20162-118248-01

Thursday, February 25, 2016, no earlier than 10:30 a.m.

Public Utilities Commission

Large Hearing Room, 3rd Floor

121 – 7th Place East, St. Paul, MN  55101

On the other hand, they might put the decision off until early March:

2-25-2016NoticeNotice issues — you may recall the notice issues raised at the public hearing — this is another one of those transmission dockets where additional routes were added and landowners on those new routes were not given notice:

Last Minute Notice to Landowners — NOT OK!

LATE NOTICE to Landowners, and Public Hearings Aug 12 & 13

From the ALJ’s Recommendation, the issues I’d raised — the lateness of the EIS was not made part of the Findings, the FEIS came out long after the Public Comment period closed, and even after the party briefs were due.  How could anyone comment on the adequacy of the FEIS?  Here’s the cut and paste from the ALJ’s report:

Overland1Overland2
The issues raised should have been stated here, and not dismissed via referral to the Order Denying RRANT’s Motion… The contortions and contradictions of Commerce’s ongoing “explanations” should be a matter of public record, because it started out bizarre at the hearing, and over the next couple of weeks got even stranger:

20158-113450-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL DOC-EERA LETTER 08/21/2015
20158-113402-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL OAH LETTER–CORRESPONDENCE TO MS. JENSEN 08/20/2015
20158-113405-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL OAH OTHER–CORRESPONDENCE 08/20/2015
20158-113397-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL RESIDENTS AND RATEPAYERS AGAINST NOT-SO-GREAT-NORTHERN TRANSMISSION RRANT REPLY BRIEF–RRANT REPLY LETTER BRIEF TO DOC-EERA 08/19/2015
20158-113390-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL DOC-EERA BRIEF 08/19/2015

Oh, it’s my job to enter the Work Group report into the record?  Methinks that’s the job of Commerce, why didn’t Commerce enter it into the record?  Turns out it IS in the record:

201411-104621-06 PUBLIC 14-21 TL DOC EERA OTHER–APPENDIX E – SUMMARY OF WORKING GROUP MEETINGS 11/13/2014

The ALJ did look into these notice issues, and in the ALJ’s Findings, there was a lot more than “just” the notice issues I raised:

NoticeFindingsNotice97

And the footnotes to the ALJ’s findings about Notice referenced in the above snippets show that the Applicant has not met the statutory notice requirements:

Notice

fn2

And generally, a few points of interest:

  • The ALJ recommended the EffieVariation (East Section) including the East Bear Lake Variation;
  • The ALJ recommended the Trout Lake Alignment;
  • And the ALJ recommended addressing issues raised by Charlotte Neigh in the Findings of Fact:

216Neigh

217NeighAnd in the Recommendation:

25_NeighCharlotte Neigh’s complete Comments:

201511-115341-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL PUC PUBLIC COMMENT–PUBLIC COMMENT OUTSIDE OF OPEN COMMENT PERIOD 11/02/2015
20159-113725-01 PUBLIC 14-21 TL PUC PUBLIC COMMENT 09/02/2015

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