"Welcome to A Better Way for BPA!"
Working To Preserve Our Land And Our Landowner Rights
August 3, 2010,
BPA has announced today in a mailing to our community the new lines added and the old lines dropped. Concerning is the fact that they now give the new lines a letter instead of a number. More confusion in a very confusing situation. Please see the attached copies of this announcement and the map.
I asked Commissioner Steve Stuart to insist the BPA provide much better, detailed maps for the 3 different group representatives that have organized to challenge these lines in Clark and Cowlitz Counties, so that we may better understand and share this information with our community. Join us in this effort and call or write the BPA and insist to them we need better, detailed maps.
Supreme Court to hear case against AG in powerline appeal
By Marcy Stamper
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition filed by the commissioner of public lands that seeks to compel the attorney general to represent him in the PUD powerline condemnation lawsuit.
The decision came in an administrative conference held Thursday (July 8).
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark has sought to appeal the May ruling that the Okanogan County Public Utility District has the authority to condemn state lands held in trust for schools to build its powerline. After Attorney General Rob McKenna refused to take the case, Goldmark turned to the state’s highest court to compel him to do so.
McKenna, whose office represented Goldmark in Okanogan County Superior Court, has said that the lower court made no errors and that there is little chance that an appeal would succeed.
According to state law, the attorney general has responsibility to represent state agencies or to appoint alternate counsel, which McKenna has also declined to do. The law also prohibits Goldmark from pursuing the case on his own by hiring another attorney.
“I am pleased that the Supreme Court has decided to take up my case with the attorney general. It is a critical constitutional question of whether or not the attorney general has the discretion to make policy for issues under the purview of another statewide elected official,” said Goldmark in a statement released by the Department of Natural Resources.
The attorney general contends that state law provides this discretion. “We look forward to arguing that, in the state of Washington, the attorney general is accorded a constitutional and statutory role that requires him or her to exercise legal judgment that is independent of other state officials and that takes into account the legal interests of the state of Washington as a whole,” said Dan Sytman, media relations manager for the attorney general.
In the lower court, DNR had argued that the land in question is dedicated to a public use – in this case, leased for grazing – and therefore cannot be committed to another purpose such as a powerline. In his ruling, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Jack Burchard agreed with the PUD’s argument that the powerline is not incompatible with grazing.
The PUD seeks to place about 80 poles and to construct access and maintenance roads along the 12-mile stretch managed by DNR. The district applied to DNR for easements in October 2008 and filed to acquire them by eminent domain a year later “to move this project forward,” according to a letter sent to Goldmark by the PUD commissioners last year.
After Goldmark filed the petition with the Supreme Court, the attorney general submitted an appeal on a contingent basis, which will go forward if the justices uphold Goldmark’s request but will be withdrawn if they find McKenna has the discretion to decline the case, according to a statement from Goldmark’s office.
Conservation Northwest, an intervenor in the condemnation lawsuit, has already appealed the judge’s ruling. Opening briefs in that case are due at the end of August.
Officials at the PUD did not return calls seeking comment.
The justices have also agreed to hear another case involving McKenna’s representation of state interests, which will be heard on the same day as the Goldmark petition. The city of Seattle has filed a suit challenging McKenna’s decision to join a multi-state lawsuit regarding the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate in the federal health-care reform act.
The court has scheduled oral arguments in the case for Nov. 18, with briefs due in September from DNR and a reply brief from the attorney general in October.
Date: 07-14-2010 | Volume: 108 | Issue: 9
Date: May 7, 2010
To: Clark County Commissioners and Staff
From: Liz Klumpp, Bonneville Power Administration
1. Is BPA currently interested in placing the proposed 500kv lines and towers along side existing routes 9 and 25 due to cost savings and extremely less intrusion on private property?
We chose alternative routes to analyze that would either use existing vacant rights of way or meet other objectives such as avoiding densely populated areas and obvious environmental issues. Segments 9 and 25 are on existing rights of way where BPA has a 230kV line in place with adequate room to add the new line on the existing easements. We have not completed cost estimates yet to compare route alternatives. We will consider all aspects when comparing alternatives, not just cost, when making our route selection decision.
2. If so, does BPA possess the ability to engineer the lines so that downgrading existing routes 9 and 25 would not be necessary?
Yes, although the location of the new line in relation to existing lines will be considered when comparing the relative reliability of different route options.
3. Do your preliminary analyses show that it would be more costly for BPA to route the proposed 500kv lines through public lands east of proposed route 29?
Route 29 was identified because it avoids densely populated areas. We are working with the property owners (primarily Weyerhaeuser and Washington DNR) exploring the possibility of developing an alternative route just east of the existing route 29. It does require purchasing and clearing new right of way which adds to the cost of the route. Cost estimates are part of the analysis we will present in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
The Columbian May 25, 2010
Resolution urges BPA to choose alternate route for project
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Vancouver City Council approved a resolution Monday night letting the Bonneville Power Administration know they’d appreciate it if the federal agency would keep its proposed high-voltage power lines out of the urban area.
Of the proposed routes through Clark County for a new 500,000-kilovolt line, the city’s resolution states at least two lie within the city limits, and more are in the growth area, according to the resolution.
In the three-page document, the city acknowledges the need for the new line.
But it also states that the 150-foot towers would “have dramatic and long-term effects on homes and businesses in Vancouver,” and asks Bonneville to choose the “least disruptive route possible.”