2nd Engrossment - 82nd Legislature (2001 - 2002) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to utilities; modifying provisions regulating 1.3 utility facilities in railroad rights-of-way; amending 1.4 Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.04. 1.5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.6 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 237.04, is 1.7 amended to read: 1.8 237.04 [WIRE CROSSING OR PARALLELING UTILITY LINE; RULES.] 1.9 (a) The department shall determine and promulgate 1.10 reasonable rules covering the maintenance and operation, also 1.11 the nature, location, and character of the construction to be 1.12 used, where telephone, telegraph, electric light, power, or 1.13 other electric wires of any kind, or any natural gas pipelines, 1.14 cross, or more or less parallel the lines of any railroad, 1.15 interurban railway, or any other similar public service 1.16 corporation; and, to this end, shall formulate and from time to 1.17 time, issue general rules covering each class of construction, 1.18 maintenance, and operation of such telephone, telegraph, 1.19 telecommunications, cable, fiber optic, electric wire, or 1.20 natural gas pipeline crossing, or paralleling, under the various 1.21 conditions existing; and the department, upon the complaint of 1.22 any person, railroad, interurban railway, municipal utility, 1.23 cooperative electric association, telephone company, 1.24 telecommunications carrier, cable company, fiber optic carrier, 1.25 or other public utility claiming to be injuriously affected or 2.1 subjected to hazard by any such crossing or paralleling lines 2.2 constructed or about to be constructed, shall, after a hearing, 2.3 make such order and prescribe such terms and conditions for the 2.4 construction, maintenance, and operation of the lines in 2.5 question as may be just and reasonable. 2.6 (b) The department may, upon request of any municipal 2.7 utility, electric cooperative association,
orpublic utility, 2.8 telephone company, telecommunications carrier, cable company, or 2.9 fiber optic carrier determine the just and reasonable charge 2.10 which a railroad, or owner of an abandoned railroad 2.11 right-of-way, can prescribe for a new or existing crossing of a 2.12 railroad right-of-way by anany telephone, telegraph, 2.13 telecommunications, cable, fiber optic, electric, or gas line, 2.14 or new or existing telephone, telegraph, telecommunications, 2.15 cable, fiber optic, electric, or gas lines more or less 2.16 paralleling a railroad right-of-way, based on the diminution in 2.17 value caused by the crossing or paralleling of the right-of-way 2.18 by the telephone, telegraph, telecommunications, cable, fiber 2.19 optic, electric, or gas line. This section shall not be 2.20 construed to eliminate the right of a public utility, municipal 2.21 utility, or electric cooperative association to have any of the 2.22 foregoing issues determined pursuant to an eminent domain 2.23 proceeding commenced under chapter 117. Unless the railroad, or 2.24 owner of an abandoned railroad right-of-way, asserts in writing 2.25 that the proposed crossing or paralleling is a serious threat to 2.26 the safe operations of the railroad or to the current use of the 2.27 railroad right-of-way, a crossing can be constructed following 2.28 filing of the requested action with the department, pending 2.29 review of the requested action by the department. 2.30 (c) The department shall assess the cost of reviewing the 2.31 requested action, and of determining a just and reasonable 2.32 charge, equally among the parties. 2.33 (d) For the purposes of this section, "parallel" or 2.34 "paralleling" means that the relevant utility facilities run 2.35 adjacent to and alongside the lines of a railroad for no more 2.36 than 2,640 feet, or another distance agreed to by the parties, 3.1 before the utility facilities cross the railroad lines, 3.2 terminate, or exit the railroad right-of-way. 3.3 Sec. 2. [DEPARTMENT TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS.] 3.4 The commissioner of commerce shall work with interested 3.5 parties to develop recommendations on issues involving the use 3.6 of public and private rights-of-way for utility facilities and 3.7 shall report those recommendations to the chairs of the house of 3.8 representatives and senate committees with jurisdiction over 3.9 utility and transportation issues by November 15, 2001.