Cardinal-Hickory Creek Draft STATE Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) The formal review of CHC is a long and arduous process. But we can beat this thing by participating every step of the way. Here’s another opportunity for YOUR Voice to be Heard
The Wisconsin DNR and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission will be writing the Final State EIS in the coming weeks. Staff members want your input!
How to Submit Comments Time is Short! – It’s preferable to send your comments electronically. Electronically Send to: http://bit.ly/CHCeSCOPE MailComments must be received– not postmarked – at the PSC by April 14, 2019. Wisconsin Public Service Commission Attention: Akanksha Craft, Docket 5-CE-146 4822 Madison Yards Way Madison, WI 53705
Deadline – April 14, 2019
· Start with the comments you’ve already submitted on the Federal EIS. They likely apply to the State’s draft because it has many of the same shortcomings. These are separate processes so you may use the same comments here too. · Four Issues Specific to the Draft State IES: Ø The draft does not yet include the staff’s analysis of the actual need for the project or a comprehensive review of alternatives. Ask how these concerns will be addressed in the final EIS.
Ø The draft acknowledges that the Driftless Area is ecologically unique and that its social and economic significance may be considered unquantifiable to those who live in and visit the area. Point out the features of the Driftless Area that are especially important to you and ask how the final EIS will address your concerns about preserving these features. Give examples of the damage that the project may do to the social and/or economic health of the region. Ø Considering all costs including the capital cost, project financing, and operation and maintenance, the total cost projection exceeds the figures submitted by the applicants. The draft EIS states it’s actually in the range of $630 million. Ask how Wisconsin rate-payers can be assured that this huge financial burden is truly in the best interest of the public. Ø Many people are attracted to the Driftless Area because of its high aesthetic value. The draft recognizes that aesthetic impacts are dependent on the viewer and that it is important to ask for the opinion of those people who may be affected. Let the State know your opinion as to the negative aesthetic impact that the project will have and what it would mean to you and your community. Ask how the final EIS will address and preserve that value and insure that it is not irreparably damaged.
Please Act NOW. The Deadline for comments is April 14.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line Proposal Timeline & Opportunities for Public Input Wisconsin Approval Process
Public Service Commission (PSC) proceeding is to determine whether the PSC will approve the line and select a route
Commission is also writing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) along with Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The state EIS informs state decisions, including whether the PSC will grant approval and the DNR will issue permits
April 14, 2019: Public Comments on Draft State EIS Due Additional dates: Early May, 2019: Target date for issuance of the state Final EIS June 24-28, 2019: PSC/DNR public hearings on the project and Final EIS August 2019: PSC Open Meeting in which Commissioners will vote on whether to approve the transmission line
Federal EIS Process
The federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) lays out the environmental impacts of a proposed action for the benefit of decision-makers and the public
The federal EIS informs federal decisions on approvals/permitting (e.g. for crossing the Mississippi River) and financing (e.g., One CHC developer is seeking a low-cost federal loan).
Public input is very important for raising issues that might otherwise get overlooked.
March 11-20: Public Meetings on Draft Federal EIS April 1, 2019: Public Comments on Draft Federal EIS Due
Additional dates: October 22, 2019: Target date for issuance of the federal Final EIS. Once issued, there will be a 30 day public comment period. Late May 2020: Target date for issuance of federal permits
Format for Public Comment Meetings There will be no general presentation, just an introduction. Purpose is to hear comments from public. People will sign in. There will be no time limit for oral comments; however the meeting itself does have a specific ending time so they might have to limit individual’s comment time depending on how many people sign up. Given this, it would be a good idea for people to write out and submit their public comment at the meeting, in case they do not have time to state everything orally. They will not respond to public comments. If they did so, they would run into problem of different things being said at different meetings. All public comments will be recorded by court recorder, put into formal records, and will be listed in final document. Public comments will be answered collectively in the final document. Is there a hierarchy of importance given to types of comments? NO, there is no hierarchy; all comments are treated the same. All comments will be answered collectively in final document.
You can submit comments ahead of Public Meetings by email, You can submit comments ahead of Public Meetings by snail mail, You can submit written comments at one of the Public Meetings, or You can give oral comment at a Public Meeting
What you should write:
Any comment is helpful. Consider: What’s your interest? Why are you bothering to comment? How would you be affected by CHC? Avoid merely stating that you are opposed to CHC. Include your reasons why. If you submitted a comment two years ago, it’s better not to restate it since all prior comments were addressed in the Draft EIS. Instead, you should reference your prior comments and then state that you do not understand how/if it has been addressed in the draft EIS.
Even Better Add specific details about how the property, business or organization, etc. you care about would be negatively impacted.
A+ Comments Those submitted by experts in their field of expertise.
If you know of limitations or omissions in the draft EIS, please explain them.
Citations and other documentation: If possible, please reference any documentation from sources such as academic journals. (Not required.)
You can use points from your recent state scoping letter to the PSC. After explaining a concern(s) add, “How will this concern be addressed in the final Federal EIS?”
The Table of Contents – where you can find topics that are of interest to you At top of page from link, Click on “Volume 1, Chapter 1-3” Once there at title page, scroll down through “Executive Summary,” which is 20 pages long. After page ES-20 you will see Page 1 of the Table of Contents. Within Table of Contents click on item that interests you and it will take you to applicable page. All page numbers are links that will bring you to the section you want.
Public Comments – that were written two years ago by 379 people for federal EIS Scoping. To refresh your memory about your own comment/s or to read comments from others: Near bottom of page from link find “Public Comments,” and click on applicable letter in alphabet.
Addresses for Letters: Onlinecomments@CardinalHickoryCreekEIS.us Mail SWCA Environmental Consultants Attn: Cardinal-Hickory Creek EIS 80 Emerson Lane Suite 1306 Bridgeville, PA 15017
By participating in this process we have an opportunity to affect the decision about the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission lines.
Use either of these addresses: On Line:comments@CardinalHickoryCreekEIS.us US Postal Service: SWCA Environmental Consultants Attn: Cardinal-Hickory Creek EIS 80 Emerson Lane, Suite 1306 Bridgeville, PA 15