Xcel Energy has received support – but not yet final approval — for rebuilding one of the power lines along CPN’s eastern border, but CPN has won victories on some important legal points. The case is not fully settled, and contributions are still sought to pursue legal relief on critical issues that we have raised, but the Public Utilities Commission and Douglas County are saying is not within their jurisdiction.
The Public Utilities Commission’s administrative judge has made a preliminary ruling (which could be overturned by the PUC Commissioners; their action is expected by early January). The ruling said that Xcel could build the line, but agreed with CPN arguments on a couple of critical points:
The judge did not grant Xcel’s request to protect Xcel from private lawsuits regarding noise nuisance from this power line.
The judge also ruled that Xcel would need to submit another application before it could operate the line at the higher 345kV voltage.
Claiming it had no jurisdiction on the issue, the Douglas County Planning Commission voted to approve Xcel’s county permit.
About 200 people attended the meeting on November 17 at which a petition containing more than 1,300 names was also presented to the County.
Nevertheless, the County, which had fought Xcel on another issue ten years ago and lost, decided that it has no jurisdcation over a corridor that already has a 115kV line. And the argument about the larger lines being a noise nuisance was determined not to be a factor in land use decisions. The County's staff advised the Planning Commission that the County does not have jurisdiction over the issues raised, and they had no choice but to vote for approval.
CPN is pleased to have won on some key points of legal principle, and is continuing to work with our attorneys to pursue a legal solution for the “black hole” where neither the PUC or the County feels they have jurisdiction to address issues that have been raised.
Contributions are still needed to fund the legal fees. Residents are asked to contribute what they can — each household adjacent to the power lines is asked to contribute at least $150, and remaining residents at least $30. Please send your contributions to: CPN Master Association, 7402 Yorkshire Drive, Castle Rock CO 80108. Please indicate on the memo: Powerlines Defense Fund.