Carol Overland - Legalectric

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Carol A. Overland, Overland Law Office -- Utility Regulatory and Land Use Advocacy
Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

Whew… I’m a lot less anxious now

Tue, 09/27/2016 - 9:00am

I’ve been concerned. I’ve been anxious. But much less so after last night’s “debate.” The good news about this election is that, as with all elections, the voting booth is private, and people can vote and there’s no need to report. My hope is that those undecided, and those supporting Drumpf, will consider last night’s “debate” and how unqualified is, that he is crass and flighty, blustery without substance, arrogant, unprepared and ill-advised. How many times did he say “I didn’t say that” when it’s documented that he did, over and over?

This isn’t about Hillary. I’m no fan. That’s public information. But I am assuredly against Drumpf and the view of “great” America he is pushing. It’s antihetical to all I’ve been working for, to my values, to the values and laws of this country, against the most fundamental tenets of Christianity, all those things that are, or should be, the determining factor in our votes. Things like the Constitution. I mean really, he touts “stop & frisk” when it’s been declared unconstitutional? And doesn’t cop to it when challenged? No, this guy has no business being President. Not on my watch.

And yes, after Feelin’ the Bern, this has been a horrible election season.  I don’t want to think about it, yet am drawn to the train wreck.  The prospect of voting for Clinton turns my stomach, there are so many reasons, and it’s disturbing that the Dems do not want to acknowledge the legitimacy of issues many of us have with Clinton, preferring shaming as an election strategy (just STOP it!).  That makes the prospect of voting for Clinton even worse.

Meanwhile, people I know, though not many, are supporting Drumpf.  I’ve been easy on them, really!  Holding back… Just minor interjections now and then, a little reality therapy a la Glasser.

This debate, though, and Drumpf’s performance and lack thereof, to me means that it will be pretty hard to justify a vote for him.  OH… MY… DOG!

And the coverage of this “debate” is so weird:

Words people looked up during Clinton-Trump debate

That people need to look up words like “stamina” and “temperament” is appalling.  Yes, “cavalier” is more than a Chevy… and how about “caprice,” capisce?

 

Categories: Citizens

Major flooding in Minnesota, roads closed

Thu, 09/22/2016 - 12:34pm

Thanks to Nancy Prehn for posting this photo!

Flooding all over southern Minnesota, well, from north of the Metro down to the border, Iowa’s a mess too.

The DOT’s road closure site is overwhelmed…

In Wisconsin, a BNSF train derailed and diesel fuel is leaking into the river:

BNSF train derails at Ferryville amid flooding, landslides

“I saw a fish swimming down the road,” Dagnon said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The Cannon River is roaring, this VIDEO from Tracy Davis.

Street flooding in Fridley Wednesday evening (Photo: Jeremy King via Facebook)

Highway 58 through Zumbrota is closed, this from Heather Carlson tweet: Also from Heather Carlson, Hwy 60 West of Kenyon — our vet might have to canoe to work! Many flooding photos from the STrib HERE!
Categories: Citizens

WRAO & WIRES docs removed from ATC site

Sun, 09/18/2016 - 1:47pm

Here’s to preservation, download quick to have this bit of history:

WRAO Report on Transmission System Reinforcement in Wisconsin File Size Document Letter of Transmittal to PSCW 22.8KB PDF: 1 page Report (without attachments) 256KB PDF: 33 pages Attachment A1 – WIREs Phase II Study Report 391KB PDF: 79 pages Attachment A2 – WIREs Phase II Study Report (AppendixB) 2,181KB PDF: 100 pages Attachment B – Environmental Review of Phase II WIRE Study for the WRAO

Study area map (summary_map.jpg)

1C Salem – Fitchburg – NorthMadison/Rockdale Analysis
1C Salem – Fitchburg – North Madison/Rockdale map

2E Prairie Island – La Crosse – Columbia Analysis
2E Prairie Island – La Crosse – Columbia map

3J Arrowhead – Weston Analysis
3J Arrowhead – Weston map

5A&B Chisago-Weston (345 kv) & Apple River – Weston (230 kV) Analysis
5A&B Chisago – Weston and Apple River – Weston map

9B Lakefield Junction – Adams – Columbia Analysis
9B Lakefield Junction – Adams – Columbia map

10 King – Eau Claire – Weston Analysis
10 King – Eau Claire – Weston map

Web Page Attachment C – Wisconsin’s Electric Transmission Interconnection Capacity Requirements 120KB PDF: 15 pages Attachment D – White Paper on the Requirement for Geographic Diversity in Transmission Line Route Selection for System Reliability 5,910KB PDF: 41 pages Attachement E – Stakeholder Comments 188KB PDF: 70 pages
Categories: Citizens

Decommission Genoa nuclear?

Sat, 09/17/2016 - 4:16pm

There’s a NRC meeting on Tuesday about the “License Termination Plan” coming up:

6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Courtyard Mariott

La Crosse Downtown/Mississippi Riverfront

500 Front St. South, La Crosse, WI 

Now think about it… why tear down what’s left of the Genoa plant?  So asks George Nygaard!  Shouldn’t this be a historical site?

Closed in 1987, Genoa nuke plant preparing for demo

My father worked on the conventional side of the Elk River Allis nuclear plant, a demonstration project way back when.  That was decommissioned back in the early 70s and is now a garbage burner.  When the demonstration project was completed, and they tried to sell it, no local utility wanted it!  Good call!  Genoa was another matter, and Dairyland bought it for $1.  Still not a great deal, because here we are now spending millions on decommissioning.  How much?  See below… they’re not telling.

Here’s the NRC page, with zero links:

La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor

Where’s the info on this?  Here’s the press release, does it say why are we having a meeting?

NRC to Discuss La Crosse License Termination Plan…

Well, it looks like it’s to discuss the “License Termination Plan” according to their notice. But what’s to comment on?  Why is there no link?  After much digging, FOUND IT!  From the NRC’s page:

La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor, License Amendment Request for the License Termination Plan.

Accession Number: ML16200A095

Date Released: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Package Contents

Look at this — how do we comment on redactions?

Some other docs:

Decommissioning Funding Plan for Independent Spent Fuel

Decommissioning & decontamination cost study update

Categories: Citizens

Alabama’s leaking gas pipeline

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 1:19pm

Inline plugging device used to isolate pipeline segment for recovery efforts.

Gas leaking in Alabama…

Alabama, Georgia declare state of emergency after pipeline spill

Pipeline leak spilled an estimated 250,000 gallons of gasoline

Here’s where to find updates from the pipeline company:

https://helena.colonialresponse.com/

It’s a long, long pipeline:

Note the focus here in the STrib report, on price, not the mess:

Pipeline shutdown in Alabama could send gas prices higher

But that’s how it is everywhere:

Gasoline shortages, price hikes coming to East Coast after pipeline leak

Even though admittedly the pipeline is not “fixed” as of this writing:

Atlanta gas prices rising today, Bama pipeline not fixed

It’s owned by Colonial Pipeline, which is owned by ???

Colonial Pipeline investigating gasoline leak in Shelby County

And it’s the BIGGEST gas pipeline?

Leak From Biggest U.S. Gasoline Pipe Sparks ‘Red Alert’

Here’s an interesting post about Alabama natural gas pipeline explosions and permitting adventures:

A 36 inch pipeline blews (sic) up in Alabama

Categories: Citizens

Circular letter from Pollution Control Agency

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 9:31pm


From the “Circular Logic” department, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency responded to my rulemaking Petition, looking for them to set wind turbine noise standards, specifically infrasound standards:

Overland – MPCA_Petition for Rulemaking

Overland – PUC Coerespondence re: Petition for Rulemaking

And here’s the response:

20169-124844-01_Letter_MPCA Commissioner Stine_9-12-2016

The bottom line… the full letter:

After consulting with colleagues at the Minnesota Departments of Health and Commerce, I have concluded that the current understanding of wind turbine noise and its potential effects is insufficient to support rulemaking at this time.  Discussions will continue among the agencies listed above, and we will monitor the science (as resources allow) to inform our decision about rulemaking in the future.

Right…  And note there was no consultation with the Environmental Quality Board.

On to the next step.  It never ends.

For more info, check the video of testimony of Rick James, INCE, at the Goodhue Wind Project public hearing:

Rick James testimony for Goodhue Wind Truth

And prefiled testimony:

testimony of Richard R. James, INCE, for Wednesday’s hearing over in Goodhue:

Direct Testimony – Richard R. James, INCE

A must read:

The “How-To” Guide to Siting Wind Turbines to Prevent Health Risks from Sound

And this was published earlier this month:

Wind Turbine Noise – What Audiologists Should Know

Categories: Citizens

Withdrawal of Clearbrook transmission line!!!

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 6:57pm

Just in (well, it came in a while ago, but I was being tortured at the U of M Dental Clinic):

Minnkota Request for Withdrawal of Clearbrook-Clearbrook West 115kV Transmission Line  20169-124828-01

YES!!  Now, a quick Comment for the record, essentially a thank you note, PUC staff Briefing Papers, a Commission meeting, and Clearbrook is DONE!

Categories: Citizens

Sandpiper Withdrawal? Comments filed today!

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 6:35pm

Today was Deadline #1 for Comments on NDPC’s Petition for Withdrawal of the Sandpiper pipeline Certificate of Need and Route applications.  Here’s what was filed:

Sandpiper_Landowner Comments_Xmsn

Yup, that’s it.  My Sandpiper transmission clients weighed in.  I’ve been watching the docket, watching the inbox for service…. NO other comments, nothing, nada…

Just get to it.  Quick – take a few minutes and send a missive to the Public Utilities Commission encouraging them to allow Enbridge to withdraw their application for the Sandpiper pipeline WITH PREJUDICE so that they can’t refile it again.  Send to:

Daniel P. Wolf, Executive Secretary  (dan.wolf@state.mn.us)                        Minnesota Public Utilities Commission                                                           121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350                                                                    Saint Paul, MN  55101-2147

Ann O’Reilly and James La Fave, Administrative Law Judges
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

But it doesn’t end there, with zip comments… it gets weirder.  I’d saw there was no notice from the PUC about a comment period, nothing.  Here’s what they did with Hollydale, Notice, and there was a comment period and reply comments!  In that docket, Xcel Energy filed to withdraw its Hollydale applications on December 10, 2013, and this notice was issued on January 10, 2014:

20141-95340-02 Notice of Comment Period

Here’s what we got:

And when I asked:

Here’s the response:

Oh my… what do I do with that?  Guess I write a post about it!!!

 

 

 

Categories: Citizens

TODAY – ask that Sandpiper pipeline be withdrawn!

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 12:18pm

Enbridge has asked the PUC to withdraw its Certificate of Need and Route applications for the Sandpiper pipeline.  Quick – take a few minutes and send a missive to the Public Utilities Commission encouraging them to allow Enbridge to withdraw their application for the Sandpiper pipeline WITH PREJUDICE so that they can’t refile it again.  Send to:

Daniel P. Wolf, Executive Secretary  (dan.wolf@state.mn.us)                        Minnesota Public Utilities Commission                                                           121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350                                                                    Saint Paul, MN  55101-2147

Ann O’Reilly and James La Fave, Administrative Law Judges
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

Where’s the Sandpiper withdrawal on the PUC’s “Speak Up!” page?

 

Prior Legalectric posts:

Comment on Enbridge’s withdrawal of Sandpiper NOW!

and

Enbridge files to withdraw Sandpiper applications!
Categories: Citizens

Mayo? What the hell are you thinking?

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:26pm

At long last, I’ve gotten this month’s prescriptions.  I’m on drugs, what can I say, it’s not even so much the joys of “old age” but it IS the joys of having access to health care after 30 years without.  What a concept, and it’s still taking some getting used to.  It’s very helpful in losing weight, and preventative care, and eye exam, and limited dental care… well, that’s not so great, in fact it’s torture, but it’s got to be done, and a podiatrist consult learning that in addition to plantar fascitis that’s resolved pretty much, I’ve got shin splints, who knew!?!?!

But Mayo’s Rx Refill procedure is screwed up, and their policy is not acceptable.  I’ve got a prescription refill that needs to be done every 30 days, they know that, and my Dr. did “renew” it per the online Rx Refill page on 8/31, but they didn’t get it to the pharmacy until today.

Trying to get it (DOH!  A 30 day supply lasts 30 days, not more!), I went round and round with Walgreens and Mayo, finally nailing down on Tuesday that Mayo had not sent it!  It was renewed 8/31, a work day, and 9/1 and 9/2 were work days, and it wasn’t mailed!  When I learned that on Tuesday, 9/6, they said they would mail it.  They would not allow me to pick it up, nor would they take it to the pharmacy, they would only mail it, with no guarantee it would get there the following day.  There was no “what can we do to fix this.”  I was told verbally and in writing that the Mayo “policy” was 7-10 days for prescription refills!  WHAT?  For something that has to be renewed every 30 days?  That it’s OK to wait 7-10 days after that?  And given this, their response is that if it’s not OK then it’s my problem, or I’m the problem?  Ummmmm, NO!

When it had not arrived on Wednesday, I called again, and was again told that their policy was 7-10 days, verbally and in writing, inferring that there was no basis for a complaint.  WHAT?!?!  Not acceptable, no way, no how.  The policy is inadequate and needs to be fixed, procedures should be in place to assure that routing refills grind out of the system on time, with regularity of an anticipated need.  Oh, but then I was told that “You’re not the only one with prescriptions,” and so I noted that’s Mayo’s business to handle Rx refills, that their policy and procedures needed revision and correction, and asked what they are going to do about this, and I was told that “If you want to receive your health care elsewhere…” and CLICK!  Dial tone…

Really…

Mayo, what I expected was an attempt to fix the problem, a “oh, then we’ll send a courier to Walgreens” and/or “Oh, we’re sorry this happened, would you like to pick up the Rx?”  Or even, “come in and we’ll give you a few days supply until the Rx gets there.”  Nope.  And not even a “You think our system is broken, OK, how could we do it differently?”  Nope.  Over and over I had to contact the pharmacy and Mayo by phone, and send messages and replies to Mayo’s Messaging system (which I have printed and pdf’d for the record).  Ultimately, Mayo’s Internal Medicine’s nurse’s response after a week of failure to grind out a routine refill, and to statements that their system is broken and needs to be fixed, is “If you want to receive your health care elsewhere…” and CLICK!

Mayo knows that it’s the only game in town, other than Red Wing’s Care Clinic which operates only on Tuesdays.

So now, not only does their system for routing refills need to be fixed, but someone needs to be fired.

Categories: Citizens

Comment on Enbridge’s withdrawal of Sandpiper NOW!

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 10:06pm

According to their Petition for Withdrawal, “[p]ursuant to Minn. R. 7829.0430, persons opposing the Petition have 14 calendar days from the date of service to file objections.   Pursuant to Minn. R. 1400.6600, parties may respond to the motion to suspend the contested case and certify the issues within 10 working days of this motion by filing a written response with the judge and serving copies on all parties.”  And they’re correct about that.

Served September 1, so deadlines are September 11 (12th because it’s a Sunday) for objections under Minn. R. 1400.6600 (for “parties”) and September 15 for objections/comments under Minn. R. 7829.0430.

Address comments to:

Daniel P. Wolf, Executive Secretary                                                    Minnesota Public Utilities Commission                                                           121 Seventh Place East, Suite 350                                                                    Saint Paul, MN  55101-2147

Ann O’Reilly and James La Fave, Administrative Law Judges
Office of Administrative Hearings
600 North Robert Street
P.O. Box 64620
St. Paul, MN 55164-0620

AND to eFile them by registering at the PUC site HERE and eFiling them in dockets 13-473 and 13-474.  It EASY!!!  Then not only will the Commission and the Judges of the two dockets be aware of your comments, but the world can see them too!  Small effort, larger impact!

And you can mail the Comment to him, but I’d strongly advise you eFile it at the PUC (which will also go to ALJ Oxley)

And again, here’s their Withdrawal Request:

20169-124579-01_Petition Withdrawal

The 10 day rule, Minn. R. 1400.6600 does say “parties” may respond:

1400.6600 MOTIONS.

Any application to the judge for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing, shall be made in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. Motions provided for in parts 1400.5100 to 1400.8400 shall be served on all parties, the agency, if it is not a party, and the judge. The written motion shall advise other parties that should they wish to contest the motion they must file a written response with the judge and serve copies on all parties, within ten working days after it is received. No memorandum of law submitted in connection with a motion may exceed 25 pages, except with the permission of the judge. If any party desires a hearing on the motion, they shall make a request for a hearing at the time of the submission of their motion or response. A response shall set forth the nonmoving party’s objections. A hearing on a motion will be ordered by the judge only if it is determined that a hearing is necessary to the development of a full and complete record on which a proper decision can be made. Motions may be heard by telephone. All orders on such motions, other than those made during the course of the hearing, shall be in writing and shall be served upon all parties of record and the agency if it is not a party. In ruling on motions where parts 1400.5100 to 1400.8400 are silent, the judge shall apply the Rules of Civil Procedure for the District Court for Minnesota to the extent that it is determined appropriate in order to promote a fair and expeditious proceeding.

The 14 day rule is broader, Minn. R. 7829.0430 in the Utility Practice and Procedure rules:

Minn. R. 7829.0430

Subpart 1. Uncontested withdrawal.

The commission delegates to the executive secretary authority to approve the withdrawal of a filing. Approval will be granted by the executive secretary if the following conditions are met:

A. the party that submitted the filing has requested that the filing be withdrawn and has served notice on the persons listed on the official service list;

B. no person has expressed opposition to withdrawal of the filing within 14 days of service of the notice; and

C. no commissioner or commission staff person has identified a reason that the matter should not be withdrawn.

Subp. 2. Contested withdrawal.

If any person opposes a withdrawal request within 14 days of service of the notice, the commission will allow a filing to be withdrawn at the request of the filing party if the commission determines that the proposed withdrawal:

A.does not contravene the public interest;

B. does not prejudice any party; and

C. does not concern a filing that raises issues requiring commission action.

If the commission determines that withdrawal would contravene the public interest or would prejudice a party, the commission may permit withdrawal only subject to conditions that mitigate the harm identified.

And here’s a prior Legalectric post:

Enbridge files to withdraw Sandpiper applications! September 1st, 2016
Categories: Citizens

2nd CD race in The Nation… and Koch Refinery

Sun, 09/04/2016 - 1:45pm

The Terrible Mini-Trump of Minnesota — and the Progressive Who’s Running Against Him

This is an odd article.  Lewis is indeed terrible, and doesn’t even live in the district (not a requirement for Congress — that needs to be changed), and Angie Craig is a “progressive” NOT!  They’re both wealthy corporate toadies, with Craig’s flavor distinctly DFL and edging a bit left, but more in the middle, and not nearly far enough to be labeled “progressive” nor to offset the extreme reactionary Republican politics of Lewis.

But what’s most odd about this is the articles’ digging into the politics of oil in Minnesota, of pipelines, and of environmental groups doing the deals that benefit the Koch Bros.  It’s good to see this receive some scrutiny.  From the article:

Environmental issues are big in Minnesota, and one of the biggest polluters in the state is located in the district: the Pine Bend refinery, south of St. Paul, owned by the Koch brothers.

NOTE: PINE BEND/KOCH REFINERY IS LOCATED IN THE 2nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT.

The article then starts in on the EPA and the Clean Water Rule, contested by Republicans, and we know well of Republican efforts to eliminate the EPA.  But it also correctly reports that “our” Sen. Amy Klobuchar vote with Republicans against the Clean Water Rule, and only after pressure changed her vote the next time it came up.  There’s nothing green about Sen. Amy Klobuchar!

As for the refinery, here’s how they work, buying out local governments and “environmental” groups — from the article:

The refinery became notorious in the 1990s for toxic pollution, especially of the water. Flint Hills Resources, the Koch brothers’ company that runs the refinery, paid millions of dollars in environmental fines in the 1990s and 2000s. At the same time it launched a major greenwashing effort, which continues today: help for Minnesota ducks, support for Minnesota Public Radio, funding a children’s theater festival in St. Paul. An example of the Koch spin: As part of a 2013 plan to expand the refinery, the company announced that it had signed an agreement with two environmental groups to “cut greenhouse gas emissions at the refinery by about 52,000 metric tons per year.” Cutting emissions—what could be better? Except that the “cut” is “about a fifth of the total expected increase from the project.” That means the net increase in greenhouse-gas emissions will be 260,000 metric tons—into the air south of the Twin Cities—every year.

“… pollution… especially of the water.”  ???  Here’s the deal referenced above, one that anyone challenging pipelines, refineries, water pollution, and air emissions, should be aware of, a deal between “Flint Hills Refinery,” Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) (can you believe that name?!?!) where the “environmental” orgs backed off on their air emissions permit challenge:

FHR Pine Bend Settlement Agreement- FINAL SIGNED

This deal was found online, on the EIP website, and then was removed from the page but the link remains (Here’s the link to EIP posting — download HERE NOW before it disappears).  I’d posted this back in 2013:

MCEA deal with the Koch Bros?

A cool $1 million went into a fund to “reduce PM 2.5” through a diesel program, that’s the part that was made public.  Is there other money passed out for this agreement?  And there’s this:

And this:

And this:

And most importantly, the Confidentiality clause!

Were there other deals?  This one was to be kept “confidential.”  (Again, the link to EIP posting — download HERE NOW before it disappears)  From my years of work and association with United Citizens Action Network (U-CAN) against the CapX 2020 transmission project, and knowledge of their isolation in fighting the MinnCan pipeline, which went from the Bakken oil fields to the Pine Bend/Koch refinery, that NO “environmental” groups intervened against that pipeline, and that only MPIRG tried to help U-CAN, it’s hard to believe that there was not a deal of some sort.  The silence was deafening.

To look up the MinnCan pipeline docket, go HERE and search for dockets 05-2003 for the Route Permit and 06-02 for the Certificate of Need (Note the pipeline company is sometimes “Minnesota Pipeline Company” and “Koch Pipeline Company.”).  Note the lack of an Environmental Impact Statement, the due process issues, and NO intervenors in the Certificate of Need, and none of the “environmental” orgs in Minnesota intervened in routing either… what a mess that was.

Do tell — what are the positions of Jason Lewis and Angie Craig on the air and water pollution from the refinery in CD2?  Where are the Minnesota “environmental” organizations on the air and water pollution from the refinery and the Bakken BOOM! oil trains in CD2?

Photo fair use from the Star Tribune

Categories: Citizens

Frac waste injection, seismic activity, and agency subpoenas

Sat, 09/03/2016 - 3:24pm

BIG earthquake in Oklahoma today, and are we surprised?   Naaaaah…  Here’s the info, including location, economic impacts, etc., from USGS:

CLICK HERE: USGS Pawnee, OK Earthquake Page

In the news, and they’re making the link between gas wells and earthquakes:

Earthquake Rattles Oklahoma; One Of Strongest Recorded In State

Earthquake Shakes Swath of Country Where Wells Have Drawn Scrutiny

Earthquake rattles Oklahoma, six neighboring states

VIDEO: Dogs react to Oklahoma earthquake

IMPORTANT: The Oklahoma Corporation Commission takes action!

Oklahoma Corporation Commission orders disposal wells shut down near quake epicenter

Consider why fracking and injection of frac waste is allowed…  Why is a pipeline route through earthquake prone area considered?  The impacts of fracking and waste injection is one thing they do NOT want to acknowledge.  From KOTV in June 2014 — USGS should know better:

And when searching, look at this — can you believe:

OGS: Earthquake risk low for proposed disposal wells in Yukon

When the topic of earthquakes and other seismic activity comes up, I always recommend the “bible” of injection into the earth, because this is not a new phenomenon and we’re making this happen, putting people and our water supply at risk:

Gas Migration: Events Preceding Earthquakes, by Khilyuk

When I got this book, it was an older edition, though pricey, but with patience, it could be had for $20.  For about a decade now I’ve been recommending this book, and look at the price now.  Out of bounds for most of us… funny how that works.  I’d guess a library could find a copy, and here it is on google books, “only” $224.00 (GRRRRRRRRRR):

Gas migration: events preceding earthquakes

Elisa Young, a cohort in Ohio, has lived in the epicenter of frack injection triggered earthquakes around Youngstown.  There, after so many earthquakes, the causal connection was acknowledged, but it took too long.  Here’s a Legalectric post from four years ago:

Ohio Earthquakes & Fracking

And now for a complicated sidebar.  Elisa Young asked today how to get the state and federal agencies to communicate about this problem and take action.  How?  Damned if I know — impacts of injecting gas and liquids into the earth are well known.  Yet federal and state agencies are in serious state of denial.  And it’s very difficult at times to get the agencies to show up, to do their job.  It’s even difficult to get their analysis, their own reports, into project permit dockets.  I get really tired of this…

How to get them to weigh in?  In Public Utilities Commission dockets in Minnesota, I’ve had a hard time with state agencies, initially.  For example, in Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba Project docket, there was a claim that coal gasification was “clean” yet the Minnesota Pollution Agency had not, and would not, weigh in on the emissions projected for this coal gasification power plant.  WHAT?  We pushed and pushed, threatened to subpoena, raised this at a PUC meeting, and finally, the PUC issued an Order and wrote a letter to the PCA Commissioner requesting the MPCA lend its expertise to the Commission and show up!

3114835_PUC Letter to MPCA

And a Legalectric post about later subpoena requests on the Mesaba Project:

FOIAs to feds, subpoena requests to state agencies

And subpoena and Data Practices Act requests in that same docket for financial information:

Subpoena Request IRR September 7, 2006

IRRB Data Practices Act Request

Letter to IRRRB June 19, 2006

Letter to IRRRB July 26, 2006

I’ve had similar issues in transmission dockets, where the DOT and DNR would file Comments on environmental scoping, and/or the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but those Comments would only be sent to the Dept. of Commerce, and were not posted in the PUC docket, so parties and the public had no idea the concerns the agencies may have.  NOT OK.  During the first CapX 2020 routing docket, Brookings 08-1474, it was so egregious, I asked the DOT General Counsel who was present to make comments at the public hearing, and to submit a copy for the routing docket record (the route ultimately turned on DOT easements and that DOT would not allow the transmission line to be built over those easements).   The matter was remanded by the Commission for rehearing based on their routing quandry.  Shortly after, on behalf of No CapX 2020, I subpoenaed testimony and Comments.

Subpoena requests sent! (DOT & DNR) Subpoena plot thickens (Agreement to testify) Subpoena request for US Fish & Wildlife Subpoena Denied(tried to get USFWS, didn’t work.  USFWS Comments had been hidden in EIS Comments) Notes from Friday

In the Goodhue Wind docket (permit granted, and then much later revoked!):

Goodhue Wind Truth – Subpoena Requests for Bjorklund and Bull

ALJ Sheehy’s Letter to Overland – Denial of Subpoena Requests

Goodhue Wind Docket … REFILE!

When this was attempted in the Sandpiper Pipeline docket, the ALJ denied the Subpoena request.  WHAT?

And an interesting back and forth with a hearing officer about getting information into the record and whether it would take a subpoena to get it, where ultimately, the ALJ agreed that the primary documents would be entered in the record:

NRG in hiding at DNREC hearing

And here’s an aside, use of subpoena regarding Xcel’s plans for coal, served by NY’s A.G.:

New York A.G. serves Xcel with subpoena

 

Categories: Citizens

Enbridge files to withdraw Sandpiper applications!

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 5:14pm

YES!  It took them a month from their announcement, but finally, Enbridge has filed to withdraw the Sandpiper pipeline Certificate of Need and Route applications, and has asked to suspend the contested case and EIS process in the meantime.

20169-124579-01_Petition Withdrawal

There is a 14 day window to “object” to this Certificate of Need withdrawal, and a 10 day window to address the Motion to suspend contested case.

Now’s the time to say “WITHDRAW, WITHDRAW WITH PREJUDICE!”  Now’s the time to say “WITHDRAW ALL RELATED APPLICATIONS” because there are so many applications for transmission lines for pumping stations, i.e., the Clearbrook Transmission Line!

And then sometime after the Comment period ends, PUC staff will issue “Briefing Papers” and then the Commission will schedule a meeting to address this, with at least 10 days notice.  Expect, then, at least a month before the PUC acts.

Now, about that Line 3 replacement project…

 

Categories: Citizens

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