On November 29, 2018, the Dane County Board of Commissions voted unanimously to intervene.  They join the Iowa County Board of Commissioners in opposing CHC in this important way. 

Information for Submitting a Comment to the Public Service Commission (PSC)

The PSC and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will use public comments to help write an environmental impact statement (EIS)
for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek proposed transmission line.

PSC Docket ID: 5-CE 146
Deadline for submitting comments: January 4, 2019

The Public Service Commission has begun the Review Period that will ultimately result in making a decision about Cardinal-Hickory Creek. There will be three phases during which the public can make comments; the first, present, phase seeks comments on what issues should be addressed in the environmental impact statement. It is extremely important that we be actively involved in every phase of the process, providing input whenever we can.

The following is information and suggestions to help you prepare a letter and submit it to the PSC. Make your letter personal, introduce yourself, explain your connection to the transmission lines and describe how they will impact you. Even if you submitted a comment at the Scoping Meetings, please consider writing a letter that is more detailed or that covers a different topic. A letter, rather than a form, is the most effective way to communicate with the PSC.

If you would like help with your letter please contact one of our opposition groups listed below* or attend one of these Scoping Letter Writing Assistance Workshops. If you have a lap top, please bring it along. You need not come promptly at 6:30. When you arrive knowledgeable volunteers will assist as needed.

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Plymouth Congregational UCC Church hall, 115 W. Merrimac St., Dodgeville. Please use the north, lower side entrance.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Mt. Horeb Public Library, 105 Perimeter Rd., Mt. Horeb.

 

Composing, Mailing, and PSC Documentation

Use the attached worksheet to collect information and gather your thoughts about what you want to communicate with the PSC. You do not have to write something under each heading; they simply serve as prompts for you. You can also include a topic not listed on the worksheet.

The PSC states online: “A comment may consist of the writer’s personal knowledge or personal opinions only. A reference document, newspaper article, professional journal article, white paper, study or any other prepared material not written by the person commenting is not considered a public comment, but may be referenced in a person’s comment.”

Using your completed worksheet as a guide, write your letter to the PSC. They suggest first using your word processor and later copying and pasting it to their website. Do not submit the worksheet.

Attaching maps and/or drawings online does not presently work with the PSC Electronic Records File (ERF) system. You therefore need to snail mail them separately. When you do, be sure to mark the map or drawing with the name and address you used when submitting your comment online and label with the docket number 5-CE 146.

Make a copy of your letter and send it to one of the opposition groups listed below.* It will be helpful for us to have during the proceedings, it will keep us abreast of our letter-writing campaign, and you will be able to use it again during the next two phases of public input.

Submit your letter online at http://bit.ly/CHCeSCOPE. Each letter you submit online will be assigned a number and posted now on the PSC Electronic Records Filing System (ERF) system, which is available to the public.

If online submission is not convenient, on your letter write “Docket # 5-CE-146,” include your name and address, and mail to:

Wisconsin Public Commission 4822 Madison Yards Way Madison, WI 53705

Snail mail letters will not be posted now on ERF. Instead they will be scanned and uploaded as one single document to ERF after the January 4, 2019 deadline. If you are concerned about whether your comment or snail mail has been entered, contact akanksha.Craft@wisconsin.gov, Case Administrator, who will verify it for you. She states that all documents, whether on ERF or not, will be read and considered equally.

Number of Comments

You may submit more than one comment but you should try to limit the number. Do not submit the same comment over and over. Repetitive paperwork slows down the process for the PSC and will be entered as only one comment. Additional comments that are valuable to send are those that elaborate on a previous comment or provide new and detailed information.

Sample Letters

Attached are copies of letters that have been entered into the docket via the PSC Electronic Filing System. (ERF)

How to view comments on PSC Electronic Records Filing System (ERF)

If you would like to see comments as they are posted, along with intervenor requests and other documents, you can subscribe as follows: Go to psc.wi.gov, click on e-Subscribe, on right fill in Docket ID (5-CE 146) and your email address. Click on “Send Code Now,” you will receive an email with the code. Be prepared to receive a lot of emails!

If you do not want to subscribe, you can access comments at your convenience as follows: Go to psc.wi.gov, click on Docket Search, under “Search Case Management System” type in Case # 5-CE 146, click on Search, next page click on Documents, click on Comments, list will come up in chronological order.

* Opposition groups:
Driftless Area Land Conservancy charles@driftlessconservancy.org Driftless Defenders media@DriftlessDefenders.com
Western Dane Preservation Campaign wdpc2020@gmail.com

Sample of Letters Recorded on PSC Docket

I am a beekeeper. I have hives in various locations. Since the suggested routes will interfere with my bee activity I will be out of business and the environment will lose a significant amount of bees( It is scientifically proven the power lines interfere with healthy bee behavior. Losing bees in the environment will have a negative impact on the environment

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As a farm property owner the following are some of the reasons that I oppose the Cardinal Hickory Creek High Voltage Transmission Line:
1. The electricity is simply not needed for Wisconsin.
2. I favor local production of electricity instead of bringing it in from out-of-state or out-of-country. Much power is lost when transmitting electricity long distances.

3. Farmers could be paid a premium for producing renewable power instead of paying more for their electric bill to cover the long term debt to finance the high voltage line.
4. Instead of paying for the transmission line over 40 years, more money could be available for Focus on Energy programs to help fund the cost of renewable energy systems installed on our farms.

5. Our farm and our neighbors` farms are certified organic. Spraying herbicides on the transmission line easement area would damage organic crops nearby and risk the loss of certification.
6. Our property values would be reduced because of the unsightly huge towers and the concerns that people have about health issues related to stray voltage and magnetic fields near the wires.

7. While ATC would like us to believe that the CHC line is needed in order to use more renewable energy. It appears that more energy produced from fossil fuel (e.g. dirty coal) will be transmitted over the “open” line.
8. I am concerned about a private company (ATC) using eminent domain to take valuable farm property. It is simply morally and ethically wrong!

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The first time I visited the Rocky Mts, about 40 years ago I was appalled at the mine tailing that dominated the landscape. Are we too, here in the Driftless Area, an area unlike any other on our planet, to be subjected to this obtrusive visible destruction of our environment when there are cheaper and less destructive ways to get power to the point of usage? For once can the decision be made on what is right instead of the pocket book of the big corporation that is going to profit with a 10% return, a return out of reach of the Wisconsin taxpayer who will be paying for the Cardinal Hickory Creek power line.

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More transmission lines make absolutely no sense other than to cause more $$$ to be paid in fees. A better alternative would be to purchase & install solar panels on every home in Wi that has a roof facing south. This would help build more jobs & keep more dollars in the state. A discount would be given for each house owner on the electric.

I am deeply opposed to the construction of the Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission lines through southwestern Wisconsin. There are times when we all must sacrifice the beauty of our landscapes, our ability to attract tourists, or even the fauna that have called this area home, to serve our communities. We have made such sacrifices in the past, and are prepared to in the future. There must, however, be significant gains, to our community, gains the Cardinal Hickory Creek Transmission lines do not offer us. Our homes and businesses do not suffer from a lack of energy delivery, and therefore see no gain for such an immense sacrifice. We understand the value of carrying energy across our state to areas in greater need, but cannot understand why we should be expected to put such a stain on our own community, one which we have worked hard to steadily improve.

Southwest Wisconsin relies on tourism, particularly eco-tourism. These tourists come, in large part, to see the unsullied landscapes that cover our countryside. Installing these towers in our countryside will detract from one of the greatest attractions we have in Southwest Wisconsin. We rely on those attractions to bring tourists to Taliesin, American Players Theatre, the local galleries that dot our area, and of course, all the stores, restaurants, and lodging facilities that support them.

Please allow us to take care of our greatest asset, and keep the tourists flowing for years to come.

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As a landowner and homeowner in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, I am opposed to the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission lines for a number of reasons.
First, our electric bills are already some of the highest in the area, as we are already paying for massive transmission projects that have been built over the last 10 years.

Second, this transmission lines will be used to move electricity from areas west of us to more highly populated areas east of us. They will not benefit us here in Wisconsin.
Third, the utilities need to be restructured so that they are rewarded for lowering our electricity expenses and for lowering carbon emissions. Currently they are structured in a way

where they are guaranteed payback on large building projects, which may have worked in the early 20th century but is no longer what is needed today.
Finally, the Driftless Area is a unique landscape, not just in Wisconsin or the midwest, but in the entire United States and indeed in the world. It is imperative that it be

protected from further fragmentation and degradation. This transmission line would create irreparable harm to the area it bisects, and would fragment habitat for many
insects, mammals, amphibians, birds and plants. Some of these are unique to this area and would be lost in the process.

It is time to move to new technologies and new ways of providing energy solutions that are less destructive, environmentally sound, less expensive and more secure.

Worksheet

This worksheet is not intended for submission to the PSC. Instead use it as a tool to help you collect detailed information and organize your thoughts. You do not have to write something under each heading; you can also include a topic not listed here. Once you have completed the worksheet as you would like, then write your letter. Make it personal — introduce yourself, explain your connection to the transmission lines, describe how they will impact you, and include your specific information. See page 1 for information on how to submit your letter.

Lack of Need

Property Values

Farm/Agricultural Economy & Operation

Ecosystem Harm & Ecological Impact on Plants, Animals, and Water Resources

Local Business Impacts & Future Development Concerns

Tourism & Recreation Impacts

Historical, Cultural, Aesthetic and Rural Character Impacts

Alternative Energy Options — Local Solar and Wind, Greater Efficiency

Other

You can also download this information, including the worksheet, from the downloads in the menu to the right – “Sample Letters to PSC with Worksheets to Help You Write Yours.”

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