Today's Paper Search Latest Elections Core values App Traffic Listen Story ideas iPad FAQ Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive

A deluge of “do not trespass” letters meant SWEPCO would have a difficult time studying caves and other underground features on private property in Northwest Arkansas, a company representative said Thursday.

This story is only available from the Arkansas Online archives. Stories can be purchased individually for $2.95. Click here to search for this story in the archives.

Arkansas, Pages 9 on 08/30/2013

Print Headline: ‘No trespass’ letters limit study options, SWEPCO says


Sponsor Content

Archived Comments

  • mpeine08272056
    August 30, 2013 at 7:17 a.m.

    Let's be very clear, Southwest Power Pool mis-applies NERC reliability standards to benefit its most powerful members, transmission/generation owners like AEP. SPP will gladly create a "need" to go with whatever plan AEP has and defend it for them during the state permitting process.

    From the Congressional Testimony of Christopher G. Miller:
    "Operation of the electric transmission grid has been expressly delegated to the Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations...the RTOs’ single-minded focus on transmission does not translate well when it comes to planning.
    [RTOs have] repeatedly stated that the only solution to electric reliability problems is to order the construction of new transmission lines. [RTOs are] limited liability corporation[s], authorized to do only what [their] members agree to. [Their] voting membership is composed of transmission companies, generators, utilities and industry insiders. When considering a new transmission project [they do] not consider whether alternatives would satisfy the identified problem nor [do they] consider the impact of the line on the environment, the cultural or historic properties that will be affected.
    This “transmission first” planning, combined with the generous federal incentives that are being awarded by FERC, put non-transmission energy alternatives at a marked disadvantage, even when those alternatives have lower emission profiles, a smaller footprint, lower price tag, or would create more long-term jobs."

    AEP-SWEPCO's continued assertions that SPP is the entity requiring this project is simply NOT true. Do not be fooled by this mischaracterization of how RTOs operate.

  • LContreras
    September 2, 2013 at 3:57 p.m.

    AEP standard practice is to send applications to APSC with an environmental impact statement (EIS) drafted in a few hours by a third party firm Burns and McDonell, copying and pasting from other similar applications. This has worked well in the past: 17 out of 17 AEP applications in the last 10 years have been approved by APSC, none withdrawn, none denied.

    AEP is so confident anything they request will be approved they don’t check the EIS unless some affected landowner makes an objection. The objections (called public comments) are posted on the APSC website and ignored at the hearings. AEP claims public comments are irrelevant an unimportant even when sent by U.S. Federal Agencies, like we saw last week at Little Rock.

    There is no need, according to AEP, to visit affected areas, even after a route is approved by APSC. Just ask the owner of the Gentry Wildlife Safari, a 400 acre park condemned by AEP, ignoring U.S. Department of Agriculture federal protection, and the regulations to protect endangered species and their habitat. Even after the transmission line from Flint Creek to Shipe Rd. Station was approved by APSC no one from AEP came to the park.

    The letters mentioned in the article were not to stop AEP from inspecting our private property. These letters sent to Brian Johnson were to request notification only, many landowners travel and some live out of state, and of course, as with any other guest, is a matter of courtesy to call in advance. AEP’s claim that these letters prevented inspectors from evaluating our karst terrain is disingenuous.

    At the hearings the construction of 180 feet towers in our karst terrain was discussed. Matthews SWEPCO’s attorney told the court there would be no problem at all. And the court bought it!

    Matthews could not tell you the difference between karst terrain and Kraft cheese. Matthews is a great lawyer, he knows all the legal tricks to suppress evidence, hide legal notices, intimidate public speakers, and delay notifications to landowners. But if you need to build a fence for your dog, get someone else, anyone else!

  • RBBrittain
    September 4, 2013 at 10:04 a.m.

    NIMBY, NIMBY, NIMBY. APSC should stick everything from the so-called "Save the Ozarks" NIMBYs in file 13.