Comments on Cardinal-Hickory Creek High Voltage Transmission Line Federal Environmental Impact Statement
Kerry BehelerWI Green Fire, December 14, 2019
On November 26, 2019 Wisconsin’s Green Fire provided comments to the US Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service Commission on the final federal Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek (CHC) high voltage transmission line (hvtl).
The American Transmission Company (ATC), International Transmission Company, ITC Holdings, and Dairyland Power Cooperative, have proposed construction of the CHC 345 kV hvtl from Dubuque County, Iowa to Middleton, Wisconsin. The proposed CHC is subject to federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) review through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin review through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC). WGF previously submitted comments to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission and submitted comment on the draft federal EIS. Some of WGF’s comments were addressed in the final federal EIS, which is available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/publications/environmental-studies/impact-statements/cardinal-%E2%80%93-hickory-creek-transmission-line.
WGF concludes that the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek high voltage transmission line would have many temporary and permanent adverse cumulative impacts to the lands, waters, species, and quality of life in the Driftless Area. The FEIS devotes only 13 pages of a 618 page document to these important sections. WGF requests that the federal agencies fully investigate and report on all aspects of the proposed CHC, evaluate non-transmission alternatives, and recommend actions which best serve the needs of Wisconsin citizens into the future. WGF supports any of the non-transmission alternatives proposed by Wisconsin Public Service Commission staff in the final Wisconsin EIS, especially the Base with Reliability Assets Alternative coupled with optimized non-transmission alternatives, and more energy efficiencies and local power generation. Download a pdf of the comment letter.
Kerry Beheler is co-chair of the Energy Policy Work Group.