NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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Posts Tagged ‘Xcel Energy’

Open Letter to the Community Historic Community Protection Legislation is studied locally by North Mpls. and nationally by CA”“Re-Elect Responsible Lawmakers

With regard to a post on Mpls.e-democracy forum suggesting we sweep all the incumbents from the legislature, I just received a note from a friend in north Mpls. telling me to hang on to Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Berglin. My friend”'s neighborhood is facing exposure to becoming host to a hazardous waste site and is aware of what Rep. Clark, Sen. Berglin and many neighborhood folks have accomplished together to bring about a first-in-the-nation environmental justice zone protective of the Phillips”' population through a bill in the legislature. The legislation requires far stricter guidelines than currently exist to protect a large section of the urban core neighborhood of Phillips, based on poverty statistics, already existing area pollution, health challenges and intense diversity. Phillips and Clark/Berglin”'s high profile protective bill are being watched from as far away as California for implications and responses. The bill is historic on the environmental justice scene. (more…)

Curious about a “key victory” in the Xcel Powerline dilemma?

By Tim Springer, Executive Director, Midtown Greenway Coalition As many Alley readers may know, Xcel energy applied to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a permit to construct two new high voltage transmission lines over the Midtown Greenway or nearby, and two new substations. The community has concerns about potential impacts on human health, aesthetics, and historic resources, and consigning this part of town to blight. Because of the relatively short distance of the lines, about 1.2 miles, a “certificate of need” was not required for the project. This means that the PUC cannot deny the project, they may only say where the wires go. This was a frustration to many people who felt that a closer look should be taken at energy conservation, local power production such as with photovoltaic solar panels, electricity storage, and smart grid. The only way to require an analysis of this bundle of alternatives is to require a certificate of need. Enter State Representative Karen Clark, our rock star legislator. Karen pulled together a group of people, including lobbyists for Xcel Energy, and hammered out language acceptable to community members and Xcel Energy. Then she changed state law to require a certificate of need! Other legislators who deserve thanks are Senators Linda Berglin and Ellen Anderson. The certificate of need process will be undertaken over the next year or so. The route permit process that is already underway with the PUC to determine where the wires and substations will go will be finalized and decisions made, but the permit will not be signed and the project will not be constructed until after the need for the lines is proven. Even if a certificate of need is provided and the high voltage lines are allowed, the analysis of possible energy alternatives created as part of the certificate of need process could provide a great energy efficiency and energy alternatives roadmap for south Minneapolis, potentially making [...]

Dave’s Dumpster May 2010

Dave’s Dumpster May 2010

East Phillips Improvement Coalition Policy Statement Summary in Opposition to Xcel Hiawatha Powerline Proposal

At the request of the EPIC Board, Carol Pass, Board President, submitted a 35 Page Position Statement to the State Of Minnesota Office Of Administrative Hearings For The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) expressing the community”'s strong opposition to these Overhead High Voltage Electrical Transmission Lines. The brief focused on three issues: Health: The U.S. National Academy of Science, National Research Council report (1997) stated that the link between power line wire-code rating and childhood leukemia “is statistically significant (unlikely to have arisen from chance) and is robust”. While the risk to human health at the current state of research appears to be small, the statistical significance of health study findings is that there IS a risk. The Children of Phillips are already at risk from multiple sources and issues, of which we are well aware, especially since the education we all received in facing down the Midtown Burner. Economic Issues: Dean Dovolis of DJR Architects,  architect and developer stated: "I am convinced through work with these and other developers ”¦. that overhead high voltage power lines will severely damage future prospects for development investments anywhere nearby. In addition, such power lines could undo much of the valuable work that has already gone on. The increased risk of loss of market value and probable insurability problems would be enough to cause developers to put their future investment elsewhere.” “It should also be considered that those who own homes, businesses and rental property would undoubtedly suffer a serious economic loss in potential resale value. The area as a whole would suffer long term damage resulting from the loss of future transit-oriented and other development,” Dean Dovolis reported. Ethical Issues: The ethical issues involve the subjection of this ethnically diverse and economically challenged community to the probability of more [...]

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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