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High Voltage Lines Public Meeting Feb. 10 “Draft” Environmental Impact Statement is Released

by Midtown Greenway Coalition

The Minnesota Department of Commerce released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on January 8, 2010 regarding Xcel Energy”'s proposed high voltage transmission lines and two new substations along the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis. The 463-page document will inform proceedings by an Administrative Law Judge and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regarding a route permit for the transmission lines. The Midtown Greenway Coalition is pleased that an underground route, as compared to an overhead route on 70 to 115-foot-tall towers, was identified as a potential mitigation measure for impacts related to land use, structures, safety and health, recreation and tourism, aesthetics, utilities systems, and transportation. On the other hand, these potential mitigation strategies are not stated in the form of recommendations and many steps remain before a route is determined. Furthermore, a route now under consideration is underneath the cycling and walking trails which the Coalition is evaluating at this time.

To be part of the process and comment on the DEIS, attend the upcoming public meeting where representatives from the OES and Xcel Energy will be available to answer questions about the permitting process and the proposed project. Individuals on the Coalition”'s email list for Xcel updates will be sent talking points as the meeting approaches.
To be added to this list, email
Public Meeting
Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ”“ 6:00 p.m.
Plaza Verde
1516 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 550407
612-724-5332
Also be sure to check the Coalition”'s website for updates as the process continues, and keep your calendar marked for the hearings on April 5th and 6th, location TBA.

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