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Impact statement for power line is available for review

With a draft environmental impact statement now on file, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is seeking feedback from residents who may be affected by the new 345-kilovolt power line being proposed for parts of Eureka, Castle Rock and Hampton.

As part of the permitting process for the power line project, called CapX2020, the PUC has completed a draft EIS. That impact statement looks at a variety of things that can be affected within a preferred and alternate route for the power line. For instance, it analyzes the effects of a 345 kV line on public health, noise and aesthetics, and the natural environment.

A long and detailed document, the draft EIS has been posted on the PUC's web site, but a hard copy is available for public viewing at the Dakota County libraries in both Farmington and Lakeville. The local portion is part of a 237-mile section that is proposed to begin in Brookings, S.D., and end in Hampton, where a new sub-station is planned.

Residents are invited to look over the draft EIS, then attend one of two public meetings scheduled for Friday, Nov. 13, at the Holiday Inn in Lakeville. At that meeting, visitors can ask questions about the draft EIS, or make comments and requests. All of the comments will be entered into record for what will eventually become the final EIS.

"It's a lot like the certificate of needs process," said CapX2020 media specialist Randy Fordice, "There's testimony, things are on record. It's going to be kind of a similar process, only this is from the environmental standpoint."

Folks who are unable to make it to either of the public meetings next week are still able to submit comment until the end of November. In December, a series of public hearings will be held so residents can testify before a judge, as well. By January, a final EIS will be completed.

The EIS will play a role in determining which of the routes -- the preferred, the alternate or a combination of both -- will be used for the Brookings-Hampton line. Both the preferred and alternate routes go through portions of Eureka and Castle Rock townships.

The public meetings will be held at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, at the Holiday Inn Lakeville Holiday Inn, 20800 Kenrick Ave.

"We really encourage people to attend and provide information," Fordice said. "There are still many months before things are being decided, so people need to be involved in this."

The draft EIS can be found online at, under the docket number 08-1474.