The Iowa Utilities Board granted the Schous’ appeal! And even better, we got a wide variety of issues through the hoop, and so we can do a very broad attack of their project and their many procedural screw-ups. It’s a big uphill battle, but we’ve made it partway up the hill. Has Cedar Falls Utilities met its Waterloo?


Here’s there decision: Download file

And here’re the points they’re going to take up on appeal:

1. Failure to provide notice of the petition as required by Iowa Code § 478.5 and 199 IAC 11.5(2).

The Schous raise the issue of failure of CFU to provide the required notice because it was not published before the hearing and, when published, the notice was only published one day each week rather than everyday for a two-week period. This is an issue that the Board will consider on appeal.

2. The findings of the ALJ in the proposed order are not supported by competent and substantial evidence and the ALJ erred in not admitting certain evidence offered by the Schous.

The Schous raised several issues concerning the failure of the ALJ to admit certain evidence and that certain of the ALJ’s findings were not supported by the record. The Board will consider these issues under the general heading of whether there is a preponderance of evidence to support the decision of the ALJ.

3. Application of the appropriate standard for admission of expert testimony and the qualifications of CFU’s witnesses.

The Schous contend that CFU witness Dr. Siles was not qualified to testify as an expert on the effect of EMF on humans. The Schous did not raise the same issue with CFU’s other witnesses, however, the Board will consider the qualifications of the three CFU witnesses and the opinions they gave concerning power line emissions and EMF effects on humans.

4. Exclusion of evidence concerning landing strip.

The Schous contend that CFU failed to address the location of a helicopter landing strip within ½ mile of the proposed power line. The Board will consider this issue on appeal.

5. Alternate routes not properly considered.

The Schous contend the ALJ did not give proper consideration to the alternative routes, especially the one offered by Consumer Advocate. The Board will consider this issue on appeal.

6. Failure to meet the standard of “necessary for public use.”

The Schous contend that CFU did not meet the requirement that the proposed line is necessary to serve the public use. The Board will consider this issue on appeal.

7. Failure to properly weigh evidence of injury to Mrs. Schou.

The Schous contend the ALJ did not properly weigh the effect of the proposed line on the health of Mrs. Schou. The Board will consider this issue on appeal.

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