March 1, 2019 / 0 33
Latest News & Events
The latest on submitting your comments – both in person at the Public Comment Meetings and in writing
PUBLIC COMMENT MEETINGS:
The purpose of these meetings is to accept written and/or oral comments about the draft Federal Environmental Impact Statement. Our purpose is to gather as large a crowd as possible at these meetings to create a visual impact of the opposition. You can make an oral or written comment, but most important is to show up – and bring your family, neighbors, friends, etc.
Wednesday, March 13, 5-7, Dodger Bowl, Dodgeville
Thursday, March 14, 5-7, Deer Valley Lodge, Barneveld
Monday, March 18, 5-7, Cassville Middle School, Cassville
Wednesday, March20, 5-7, Madison Marriott West, Middleton
(two more meeting will be held in Iowa)
WRITTEN PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
Written comments on the Draft Federal EIS are due April 1, 2019.
Driftless Defenders submitted two booklets to Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission on January 4, 2019. The purpose is to demonstrate the widespread extent of opposition to Cardinal-Hickory Creek.
“Opposition Petitions” contains 1,163 signatures collected by volunteers on hard-copy petitions, and 798 signature submitted to our online petition.
“A partial collection of Letters to the Editor” contains copies of approximately 100 letters that were written to editors of various newspapers expressing opposition to the lines.
UPDATE on PUBLIC COMMENTS for Federal Draft EIS
The Public Comment Period will be extended beyond February 5, but the date has not been determined yet. It will run through the end of Public Comment meetings, dates to be determined. We will publicize the dates as soon as RUS announces them.
In the meantime, for information and help in writing a comment that will help influence the final version of the Federal Draft Environmental Impact Statement, please go to our “PSC UPDATES” page.
The USDA Rural Utilities Service Public Meetings scheduled for this week and next were cancelled due to the government shut down, with a new date to be announced later. Without having any official word from USDA regarding a change in the original deadline of February 5 for written comments, we are sticking with that deadline.
For information and help in writing a comment that will help influence the final version of the Federal Environmental Impact Statement, please go to our “PSC UPDATES” page.
The draft of the Federal EIS is now out. Once again, we have the opportunity to submit comments. We will provide information about this shortly.
The public meetings hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek 345-kV Transmission Line Project (C-HC Project) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) have been postponed due to the partial Federal Government shutdown. The cancelled meetings are listed below and will be rescheduled once the Federal Government reopens.
January 24, 2019 Formal Public Meeting on Draft of Federal EIS, Dodgeville Bowl, Dodgeville WI 5-7PM
January 28, 2019 Formal Public Meeting on Draft of Federal EIS, Deer Valley Lodge, Barneveld WI 5-8PM
January 29, 2019 Formal Public Meeting on Draft of Federal EIS, Madison Marriott West, Middleton WI 5-8PM
February 5, 2019 Deadline for Federal EIS comments
Thanks to everyone who submitted comments to WI Public Service Commission (PSC) regarding the State Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
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.
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 email@example.com Driftless Defenders media@DriftlessDefenders.com
Western Dane Preservation Campaign firstname.lastname@example.org
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
As a farm property owner the following are some of the reasons that I oppose the Cardinal Hickory Creek High Voltage Transmission Line:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
protected from further fragmentation and degradation. This transmission line would create irreparable harm to the area it bisects, and would fragment habitat for many
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.
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
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
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.”
Attend one of three “Scoping” sessions conducted by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Thursday, November 8, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00
Dodger Bowl, 318 King St, Dodgeville
Monday, November 12, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00
Madison Marriott West – Salon A, 1313 John Q. Hammons Dr, Middleton
Wednesday, November 14, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00
Grant County Fairgrounds, UWEX Youth and Agriculture Center Auditorium, 916 E Elm St, Lancaster
Now that ATC’s application to the PSC has been deemed complete, they have begun their review processes of which the above “Scoping Sessions” are part. The purpose of the meetings is to inform the public about the PSC regulatory process and to solicit public input that will be used in creating a Wisconsin Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). They need to hear from us about what we consider to be the full range (scope) of potential environmental impacts of the lines. For the purpose of this EIS, “environment” encompasses an expansive range of natural, cultural, economic, social and related factors.
Your presence at one of the Scoping Sessions is very important. By having large numbers of people attend we will send a strong message about the widespread extent of public opposition to CHC. You will have the opportunity to submit comments, but it is not required to do so at these meetings.
Written comments can be submitted to the PSC up until January 4, 2019 at http://bit.ly/CHC-SCOPING-E-COMMENT. Please send a copy to email@example.com. Driftless Defenders, in conjunction with other opposition groups, will send out information to help you create high-impact comment submissions to the PSC. We will also hold a scoping comment help session; the time and place will be announced later.
We look forward to seeing you on either November 8, 12, or 14!
Driftless Defenders Leadership Team
The application to build the Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-capacity transmission line has been deemed acceptable by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC). The initial 180-day application review period has begun.
Now is the time that voices of citizens like you are critical to the effort to stop its construction and operation across southern Wisconsin. We need to keep up the pressure and increase our groundswell of public opposition. You can help raise public awareness by talking with people about CHC, writing Letters to the Editor, displaying yard signs and vehicle stickers, and contacting legislators.
As the PSC review process moves forward, there will be a number of public comment opportunities for you to make your concerns known. These include:
- Oral and/or written comments in the initial draft of the USDA Rural Utility Services’ (RUS) federal environmental impact statement (EIS) – expected Fall/Winter 2018.
- Written comments in connection with the scoping* for the state EIS – expected Winter/Spring 2019.
- Oral and/or written comments in connection with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s considering of the need for the CHC line – expected Spring 2019.
- Oral and/or written comments on the draft state EIS – expected Spring/Summer 2019.
Remember, the main thing we want our elected representatives, RUS and the Wisconsin PSC to know at every step of the way is that opposition to this line is well-reasoned, salient, passionate, and widespread. That means we want to help you make your voice heard on each of the opportunities for public participation in the PSC process.
We hope you will participate in all phases of the process. You should know that when making your comments to the PSC, it is always appropriate to simply express your opposition to the line. Your opposition may be based on the lack of need for the project, an environmental impact that you and your family are feeling directly, or another reason. We are also urging the PSC to consider alternatives to the massive, unneeded line, including approving “no action.” In any case, we encourage you to include matters of specific concern to you.
As soon as we know the specific time frame, locations, and other details for each public comment opportunity, we will let you know. We also will include ideas for comments particular to each opportunity. In addition, we will hold in-person meetings for those interested in learning more about the comment process and how best to share your comments.
For up-to-date information on those opportunities, see our PSC Updates page.
*Scoping refers to the gathering and examining of the full array of potential environmental impacts. “Environment” encompasses the broad range of natural, cultural, economic, social etc. factors.
ATC has changed its tune. It’s no longer using energy need to justify the building of Cardinal-Hickory Creek; now it’s all about grid reliability. Once again, this is a false issue. Our real reliability issues in Southwest Wisconsin are with the distribution lines – those wooden poles that bring electricity to our homes, businesses, and farms – not the high voltage transmission lines that ATC builds. If ATC is talking about the reliability of the national grid, of which the ATC lines are a part, decentralized micro-grids that generate power locally and that can be coupled and then uncoupled when there’s a danger of wide spread black outs, are more reliable in preventing massive grid level failures.