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SF 674

as introduced - 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014) Posted on 03/13/2013 03:17pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to energy; regulating the routing of high-voltage transmission lines;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 216E.03, subdivision 7; 216E.12,
by adding a subdivision.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216E.03, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Considerations in designating sites and routes.

(a) The commission's
site and route permit determinations must be guided by the state's goals to conserve
resources, minimize environmental impacts, minimize human settlement and other land
use conflicts, and ensure the state's electric energy security through efficient, cost-effective
power supply and electric transmission infrastructure.

(b) To facilitate the study, research, evaluation, and designation of sites and routes,
the commission shall be guided by, but not limited to, the following considerations:

(1) evaluation of research and investigations relating to the effects on land, water
and air resources of large electric power generating plants and high-voltage transmission
lines and the effects of water and air discharges and electric and magnetic fields resulting
from such facilities on public health and welfare, vegetation, animals, materials and
aesthetic values, including baseline studies, predictive modeling, and evaluation of new or
improved methods for minimizing adverse impacts of water and air discharges and other
matters pertaining to the effects of power plants on the water and air environment;

(2) environmental evaluation of sites and routes proposed for future development and
expansion and their relationship to the land, water, air and human resources of the state;

(3) evaluation of the effects of new electric power generation and transmission
technologies and systems related to power plants designed to minimize adverse
environmental effects;

(4) evaluation of the potential for beneficial uses of waste energy from proposed
large electric power generating plants;

(5) analysis of the direct and indirect economic impact of proposed sites and routes
including, but not limited to, productive agricultural land lost or impairednew text begin and reduction in
value of land adjoining and in proximity to a route
new text end;

(6) evaluation of adverse direct and indirect environmental effects that cannot be
avoided should the proposed site and route be accepted;

(7) evaluation of alternatives to the applicant's proposed site or route proposed
pursuant to subdivisions 1 and 2;

(8) evaluation of potential routes that would use or parallel existing railroad and
highway rights-of-way;

(9) evaluation of governmental survey lines and other natural division lines of
agricultural land so as to minimize interference with agricultural operations;

(10) evaluation of the future needs for additional high-voltage transmission lines
in the same general area as any proposed route, and the advisability of ordering the
construction of structures capable of expansion in transmission capacity through multiple
circuiting or design modifications;

(11) evaluation of irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources should the
proposed site or route be approved; and

(12) when appropriate, consideration of problems raised by other state and federal
agencies deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin,new text end local entitiesnew text begin, and affected landownersnew text end.

(c) If the commission's rules are substantially similar to existing regulations of a
federal agency to which the utility in the state is subject, the federal regulations must
be applied by the commission.

(d) No site or route shall be designated which violates state agency rules.

(e) The commission must make specific findings that it has considered locating a
route for a high-voltage transmission line on an existing high-voltage transmission route
and the use of parallel existing highway right-of-way and, to the extent those are not used
for the route, the commission must state the reasons.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 216E.12, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:

new text begin Subd. 4a. new text end

new text begin Adjoining land. new text end

new text begin An owner of land that is not included in a route but
which is in proximity to the route has the same right as a fee owner under subdivision
4 to require condemnation by the utility as if part of the land was taken for the route by
eminent domain, if the owner's land will be diminished in value by 50 percent or more
because of the construction of a high-voltage transmission line in the route.
new text end