Xcel Hiawatha DEIS released, public meeting scheduled

Rendering from Midtown Community Works Partnership of potential overhead lines

The Office of Energy Security has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Hiawatha Transmission Line Project, Xcel’s plan to run high-voltage lines along the Midtown Greenway (careful, the PDF is huge and will bog down even newer computers).  They have also announced a public meeting to take comments on the document on February 10th.

The DEIS does identify above-ground lines as having negative impacts on visual quality, being inconsistent with local urban design standards and potentially discouraging additional residential and commercial development nearby.

As I understand it, although the EIS has to identify mitigation strategies for the impacts of the project, it does not require that these mitigation measures be implemented if the project is approved.  From this TC Daily Planet article, it sounds as though the PUC may have the final say about mitigation, but I assume that the Department of Commerce is the responsible LGU, and would also have to approve a route and mitigation measures.

Either way, the public meeting is a chance for anyone to comment on potential additional impacts, whether the scale of impacts has been adequately measured, and the effectiveness of mitigation measures identified.  This is a good time to get involved.

One thought on “Xcel Hiawatha DEIS released, public meeting scheduled

  1. When I was involved in the 46th Street TOD Implementation Plan Study, the overhead power lines along Hiawatha were identified as a major barrier to implementing development along the corridor.

    Aside from the visual impact and its potential to lower desirability of property (aesthetically), the width of the power corridor and large tower-based pole structure (not the narrower monopole design elsewhere in the corridor) are big impacts on Hiawatha.

    Since the power is already in along Hiawatha, it’s not cost effective to go about burying the lines there. But along the Greenway, I would guess the development potential more than outweighs the added cost of burying these from the get-go.

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