PSC Updates

Reminder

There are two more USDA meetings this week regarding the final write of the Federal Environmental Impact Statement – tonight and Wednesday!

Tonight:  Monday, March 18, Cassville Middle School, 755 East Amelia St., Cassville
Wednesday, March 20, Madison Marriott West, 1313 John Q Hammons Dr., Middleton

We succeeded in gathering large crowds in Dodgeville and Deer Valley last week and hope to do the same for these meetings.  If you are looking for topics for an oral or written comment, here are some suggestions of topics that need to be more fully addressed in the final Environmental Impact Statement.

ENVIRONMENTAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES

  • Critical habitats, waterways
  • Impact on rural property, organic farms, and artisan businesses critical to our economy
  • Impact on rare natural ecosystems that are characteristic of the Driftless Area
  • Concern with habitat degradation and fragmentation for species with special status
  • Impact on tourism and recreation such as trout fishing, hunting, bird watching, etc.
  • Visual impact of the lines on homes, community properties, and natural areas
  • Need for more accurate visual representations of the lines
  • Concerns about maintaining correct practices on conserved lands

ENERGY ISSUES

  • Applicants (ATC, etc.) must provide evidence that this line is, in fact, needed
  • Comparison needed for CO2 levels with and without transmission lines
  • Comparison needed for saving from CHC vs non-transmission alternatives
  • More explanation needed about reliability issues
  • Need to explore non-transmission alternative more fully

Need Help with your comments on the Federal Draft EIS?

A team of committed volunteers have spent countless hours reading through parts of the Federal Draft EIS and have provided the Opposition Coalition with feedback on it.

  • Here is a short Summary of the Federal Draft EIS  download
  • Here is a much longer, more detailed full Guide  download

Use these documents if you find them helpful.  That can be useful in a variety of ways:  You can limit your comments to some of those suggested in the documents; you can write a combination of your own comments along with those in these documents; or you can just use your own comments.

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service
Public Comment Meetings
To obtain feedback from the public about the Proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line for preparation of the final environmental impact statement

This is most likely our LAST and surely BEST opportunity to impact the decision about Cardinal-Hickory Creek at the FEDERAL level.

Help influence the final version of the Federal Environmental Impact Statement.

Wednesday, March 13, 5-7 pm, Dodger Bowl Banquet Hall, 318 King St, Dodgeville
Thursday, March 14, 5-7 pm, Deer Valley Lodge, 401 Industrial Dr, Barneveld
Monday, March 18, 5-7pm, Cassville Middle School, 715 E. Amella St, Cassville
Wednesday, March 20, 5-7 pm, Madison Marriott West, 1313 John Q Hammons Dr, Middleton
(plus two additional meetings in Iowa)

Choose a date and location that works for you and bring lots of people along.  Amassing a large crowd will visually represent the size of the opposition.  A court reporter will be present for oral comments, but you are not required to speak.  You can also submit written comments.
Format for Public Comment Meetings
There will be no general presentation, just an introduction.
Purpose is to hear comments from public.
People will sign in.
There will be no time limit for oral comments; however the meeting itself does have a specific ending time so they might have to limit individual’s comment time depending on how many people sign up.
Given this, it would be a good idea for people to write out and submit their public comment at the meeting, in case they do not have time to state everything orally.
They will not respond to public comments.  If they did so, they would run into problem of different things being said at different meetings.
All public comments will be recorded by court recorder, put into formal records, and will be listed in final document.
Public comments will be answered collectively in the final document.
How to submit a written comment if you do not do so at the public meetings:

Written comments on the Draft Federal EIS are due April 1, 2019.

What you should write:

  • Any comment is helpful. Consider: What’s your interest? Why are you bothering to comment? How would you be affected by CHC? Avoid merely stating that you are opposed to CHC. Include your reasons why. If you submitted a comment two years ago, it’s better not to restate it since all prior comments were addressed in the Draft EIS. Instead, you should reference your prior comments and then state that you do not understand how/if it has been addressed in the draft EIS.
  • Even Better  Add specific details about how the property, business or organization, etc. you care about would be negatively impacted.
  • A+ Comments  Those submitted by experts in their field of expertise.

Suggestions:

  • If you know of limitations or omissions in the draft EIS, please explain them.
  • Citations and other documentation: If possible, please reference any documentation from sources such as academic journals. (Not required.)
  • You can use points from your recent state scoping letter to the PSC. After explaining a concern(s) add, “How will this concern be addressed in the final Federal EIS?”

Reading the Draft of Federal EIS:  For those willing to peruse the DEIS, we are directing you to two places we think are most useful. Use this link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/environmental-studies/impact-statements/cardinal-%E2%80%93-hickory-creek-transmission-line

  • The Table of Contents – where you can find topics that are of interest to you
    At top of page from link,  Click on “Volume 1, Chapter 1-3”
    Once there at title page, scroll down through “Executive Summary,” which is 20 pages long.
    After page ES-20 you will see Page 1 of the Table of Contents.
    Within Table of Contents click on item that interests you and it will take you to applicable page.  All page numbers are links that will bring you to the section you want.
  • Public Comments – that were written two years ago by 379 people for federal EIS Scoping.  To refresh your memory about your own comment/s or to read comments from others: Near bottom of page from link find “Public Comments,” and click on applicable letter in alphabet.

Addresses for Letters:

Online comments@CardinalHickoryCreekEIS.us

Mail   SWCA Environmental Consultants
Attn: Cardinal-Hickory Creek EIS
80 Emerson Lane Suite 1306
Bridgeville, PA 15017

Is there a hierarchy of importance given to types of comments?
You can submit comments ahead of Public Meetings by email,
You can submit comments ahead of Public Meetings by snail mail,
You can submit written comments at one of the Public Meetings, or
You can give oral comment at a Public Meeting

NO, there is no hierarchy;  all comments are treated the same.  All comments will be answered collectively in final document.