Tricounty News

Bill to ease transmission line issues is enacted

A bill Rep. Jeff Howe, R-Rockville, authored to bring greater citizen involvement in deciding where high-voltage power lines are routed has become Minnesota law.

Howe’s bill (H.F. 655) stipulates that during route-siting processes for high-voltage transmission lines that a preferred route is not designated. This would allow that two alternative routes be mentioned during the permitting process, with neither selected as preferred route.“Property owners adjacent to one of the alternative routes can get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that the preferred route will be chosen and, consequently, do not get involved in the process,” Howe said. “This will allow for more openness and citizen participation in deciding where to set these high-voltage lines.”Howe authored this bill in response to issues which have arisen as the CAPX 2020 high voltage transmission line is established in central Minnesota. Many District 13A landowners – and others throughout the region – affected by the CAPX 2020 project support Howe’s legislation.The bill passed both legislative bodies without opposition and was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton Friday.