Regarding Cap-X 2020 Application for a 345 Kv Transmission Line Project with Associated System

Regarding Cap-X 2020 Application for a 345 Kv Transmission Line Project with Associated System

Stanton Township

Goodhue County

State of Minnesota


Regarding Cap-X 2020 Application for a 345 kV Transmission Line Project with Associated System


WHEREAS, Northern States Power Company and Great River Energy have proposed a 345 kV Transmission Line Project with Associated System Connections with a possible route corridor that cuts across prime agricultural land in Stanton Township: and

WHEREAS, Protections for landowners in eminent domain enacted in 2006 do not apply when a "public service corporation" (utility or pipeline company), rather than a state or municipal agency, seeks condemnation. 117.189 PUBLIC SERVICE CORPORATION EXCEPTIONS: Sections 117.031; 117.036; 117.055, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); 117.186; 117.187; 117.188; and 117.52, subdivisions la and 4 do not apply to public service corporations. For purposes of an award of appraisal fees under section 117.085, the fees awarded may not exceed $500 for all types of property; and

WHEREAS, Minn. Stat. §117.189 caps the amount of reimbursement that these companies will be required to pay for an appraisal at $500 (§117.189), exempts these companies from requirements to provide copies of appraisals to landowners during the negotiation process (§117.036) or to pay reasonable attorneys fees and cost: if they end up in court because they have undervalued a property (§117.031). The Public Service Corporations are exempted from provisions that can provide damages to landowners for loss of a going concern (§ 117.186) and provide minimum compensation in certain circumstances (§117.187); and

WHEREAS, medical studies have shown a correlation between exposure to electromagnetic fields produced by large transmission lines and adverse health effects; and

WHEREAS, the precautionary principle is a moral and political principle, which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof fells on those who would advocate taking the action; and

WHEREAS, zoning ordinances enacted by the Township of Stanton establish that the production of agricultural product is an important part of the environment and economy of Stanton and that preserving productive agricultural land from development is one of the principal core values which inform and guide development within the Township; and

WHEREAS, one of the major purposes of Stanton Township's planning efforts is to protect agricultural lands from premature conversion to urban uses, and to protect the economic viability of farming; and

WHEREAS, the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council in its 2030 Regional Development Framework acknowledges that "Prime agricultural soils are important not only to fanning communities but also to the region as a whole" (2030 Regional Development Framework, adopted January 2004, p. 15); and

WHEREAS, the proposed route could cross environmentally fragile and highly productive farmland of the Township that would be irreparably harmed ecologically and economically by the construction of the Cap-X 2020 345 kV Transmission Line Project across its fields; and

Resolution CapX2020Page 1 of 3
WHEREAS, the proposed route could cross highly productive multi-generational family farms, and other local-market conventional produce and livestock farms, that would be harmed economically by the construction of the Cap-X 2020 345 kV Transmission Line Project; and

WHEREAS, the proposed route for the Cap-X 2020's 345 kV Transmission Line Project would conflict with the purposes and intent of Stanton Township ordinances and comprehensive planning to protect agricultural lands, fragile environmental systems and the economic viability of farming; and

WHEREAS, the potential effects of the Cap-X 2020 345 kV Transmission Line Project, in addition to existing local utility easements would significantly constrain future zoning options in the Township of Stanton and would result in greatly diminished property values and a serious limitation on future development; and

WHEREAS, the availability of a significant existing right-of-way and the location of existing utility lines in the Highway 52 corridor make location of the proposed Cap-X 2020 345 kV line within the Highway 52 corridor a less disruptive, more logical siting choice than other possible locations affecting Stanton Township; and


1. If a certificate of need is granted for the Cap-X 2020's 345 kV Transmission Line Project, the route selected should avoid the Township of Stanton entirely, and should instead locate within the existing Highway 52 corridor and right-of-way; and

2. That if no alternate route which entirely avoids the Township of Stanton is feasible, any route crossing the Township of Stanton should be designed to:

i. follow current and proposed highways to avoid adversely affecting prime agricultural lands; and

ii. avoid crossing and irreparably damaging agricultural lands; and

iii. avoid crossing properties that will suffer significant limitations on potential future uses as a result of the construction process or the permanent easement associated with the transmission line; and

iv.avoid crossing significant ecological areas; and

v.avoid crossing natural resource corridors: and

vi.avoid crossing lands in conservation easements; and

vii. be sited in light of the precautionary principle;

viii. that if any route crosses the Township of Stanton, land appraisals to compensate

landowners should take into consideration both existing uses and future development potential of the land, and reflect current market prices for land where such development potential is imminent.

3. In any case, the Minnesota legislature should repeal the preferential treatment afforded Public-Service Corporations with respect to eminent domain proceedings, to ensure the same protections afforded landowners as are in effect for condemnation by state or local governments.

Resolution CapX2020Page 2 of 3
Passed by the Town Board of Supervisors of the Town of Stanton on this _____ day of March, 2012.


Chair of the Stanton Town Board


Attest, Town Clerk

Resolution CapX2020Page 3 of 3