Comments for the scope of Environmental Review for Xcel’s Hiawatha Transmission Project through the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis are due TODAY at 4:30 p.m.  These Comments must address the “scope” of issues to be addressed in the Environmental Report – not that you don’t like it (who would?) but raise all the issues, each and every one, each subtle variation and nuance, of the things they need to consider.   Because this is a Certificate of Need docket, they need to include things like “consider system alternative of an upgrade of the distribution system” and “consider system alternative of solar panels on large buildings in area to follow peak” and so forth.  TELL THEM TO INCORPORATE THE HIAWATHA PROJECT ROUTING DOCKET DEIS AND EIS INTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT. Be painstakingly specific.  Send Scoping Comments by 4:30 p.m. today, be sure to label as “Scoping Comments for Hiawatha Project” and put the docket number on it, “Docket 10-694.”   If you’re so inclined, file them on eDockets at the PUC.

SEND SCOPING COMMENTS TO: bill.storm@state.mn.us


Why does this matter?  Because so far they’ve gotten away with claims that this transmission project is “needed” to address a distribution system problem.  The Certificate of Need docket is where we can demonstrate it’s not needed.  This “Environmental Report” is a part of that.  And these “Scoping Comments” are the only public input into an “Environmental Report,” because unlike a Draft Environmental Impact Statement,” there will be no public comments on its adequacy, what’s included, what’s missing, that doesn’t happen with an Environmental Report.”  And that’s a problem.  Someone needs to enter the DEIS and the FEIS from the Hiawatha routing docket (PUC Docket 09-38) into the record as a Scoping Comment and the entire DEIS and FEIS need to be incorporated into the environmental report.

Here’s an important example.  Remember the furor over the “high” magnetic field levels in the Routing Docket, and that the ALJ recommended it be underground?  Well, those levels are not even close to what those lines could produce. Forever, I’ve been saying, commenting, testifying in the routing docket that the magnetic field levels for the Hiawatha Project are a lot higher than they are claiming(click to enlarge) and nobody cared… sigh…  Here’s what they claim:


And sure enough, if you take the conductors specified, the potential levels are a LOT higher than they disclose.  Here’s a chart of calculated magnetic fields for Route Options A, B and C (click to enlarge):


This chart is from a Scoping Comment Affidavit just filed: by Bruce McKay, the same engineer who filed a similar Affidavit in the CapX Brookings remand that got the Applicants to admit to those levels, which acknowledges the accuracy of McKay’s Affidavit and calculations, in Darren Lahr’s testimony in the Fargo-St. Cloud case.  Well DUH!

So to get some accuracy going here, Bruce McKay filed a Scoping Comment with the above chart:

McKay Scoping Comment Affidavit- Hiawatha Project

Again, Scoping Comments are due at 4:30 p.m. today.  Send “Scoping Comments, Hiawatha Project 10-694” to: