The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project
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The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is a proposed project to run a high voltage, above ground power line from the Lake/Geauga County border, south to Mayfield Road, US-322. .
Our Geauga County Planning Commission has produced a very detailed document, The Huntsburg Township, Geauga County Land Use Plan, which contains a wealth of facts related to Huntsburg. One of the most interesting maps in this plan is the Land Use Plan map, that shows the environmentally sensitive areas in the township. Comparison of this map to the proposed transmission line routes immediately shows the possibility for negative impact, particularly the proposed eastern route.
The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project has been given a Case Number by The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Case Number 07-0171-EL-BTX. PUCO maintains a public case record web page, that shows most of the documents that have been filed relative to this case.
Public notices were circulated and documented in this correspondence to PUCO from FirstEnergy/American Transmission Systems' attorney, Christopher R. Schraff. It's worth reading about Mr. Schraff and his employer, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE CASE RECORD FOR 07-0171-EL-BTX.
The Perry Hanna project was a large scale transmission line project that was proposed and prosecuted starting in 1977. The objective of the project was to run a multi-circuit 345 kV transmission line from the Perry Nuclear Power Plant to the Hanna Substation just north of Rootstown, OH. North Perry and Rootstown are about 38 miles apart, thus this would have been a very long transmission line corridor (A= North Perry, B=Rootstown on the map).
The Perry Hanna project consisted to two separate cases. The first case number 02-00022/86-1286-EL-BTX was opened on 10/07/1977. The Ohio Power Siting Board denied CEI's certificate of environmental compatability and public need by reason of environmental impact. CEI then changed the route and applied again. The second case number 02-00044/86-1308-EL-BTX was opened on 02/25/1982. The Ohio Power Siting Board denied CEI's certificate of environmental compatability and public need by reason of lack of need. Consequently, the Perry Hanna project was never built.
A similar case involves the Hillcrest-Eastwood 138kV Transmission Line, case number 05-0361-EL-BTX, sited near Cincinnati. One of the more interesting documents that was filed in the case was the investigative report from the staff of The Ohio Power Siting Board. It provides some good background as to the process and what are considered important criteria. In this case, the OPSB issued the certificate that allowed construction of the transmission line. The Board's final Opinion, Order and Certificate is a good source of insight.
A landmark case, that many of us remember is the CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project, case number 95-0600-EL-BTX. There are 264 documents filed and posted on the PUCO site for this case. In this very important case, CEI applied for and received the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to construct a transmission line from north to south, roughly near route 608. A well organized group of citizens called CBW (Citizens for a Better Way) was not successful in altering CEI's plans. In this case, CEI ultimately did not build the line. A consulting company named MSB ENERGY ASSOCIATES was hired to present alternative strategies to CEI. CEI accomplished their goals to everyone's satisfaction by upgrading the existing systems. I'm still trying to learn about and digest this case, as it has some significant parallels to The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
I do know that on March 24, 1997, CEI was granted a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need by The Ohio Power Siting Board to construct a transmission line named the CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project. The final opinion and order of the OPSB can be viewed at here. The Rachel 138 kV transmission line was to be installed 14 to 18 feet adjacent to an existing B&O railroad grade. The Rachel 138 kV transmission line was never constructed, as CEI found other ways to deliver adequate electrical power to the required areas as later reported to the OPSB.
The B&O railroad grade itself has been upgraded to a very scenic bike path by the Geauga Park District, to the benefit of all residents. Nevertheless, the final opinion and order of the OPSB and subsequent grant of a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the Rachel 138 kV transmission line indicates that this was at one time a preferred and approved route for a 138 kV transmission line connecting the Mayfield-Ashtabula 138 kV transmission line to the east central Geauga County area, along an existing utility right of way.
Another case that was not nearly as controversial as Perry Hanna or the CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project was the CEI/Pawnee Transmission Line Project, case number 95-0599-EL-BTX. This the large transmission line that was installed along route 44 from a point north of the Highway Patrol station heading North, until approximately the OH-44 and I-90 interchange. Since the environmental impact of this project was not as profound, the number of comments filed was fairly small compared to CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project.
Another case that may be similar to ours was the Hanna-Shalersville 138kv Transmission Line Project, case number 00-0099-EL-BTX. The comments filed with PUCO are very interesting reading. Some of them are persuasive and some are not. There is a lot to be learned from reading other people's comments. One letter from some residents affected by the project describes their plight and dissatisfaction with the manner in which they were treated by utility company personnel.
FirstEnergy is the utility company that operates the electrical power transmission and distribution system in the area affected by The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. FirstEnergy has a community involvement division to make local points of contact available to citizens, businesses and government officials.
The FirstEnergy Area Manager for Geauga County, our local point of contact, is Mia Moore. Her phone number is (440) 350-7706.
The Monday, March 27, 2007 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a story on The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project titled "Plan to extend electric lines draws opposition in Geauga." The article does draw attention to the situation, but it could have been more balanced in its treatment of the two proposed transmission line routes. For example, the article state that, "One path follows Clay Street; the other cuts across mostly undeveloped land east of Ohio 528." The article was written by Plain Dealer reporter John Horton, who can be reached by telephone at 800-962-1167 or by email at email@example.com.
On Wednesday, March 28, 2007, John Horton telephoned and explained that his article focused somewhat on the proposed western route because the individuals affected by that route have been more vocal in their opposition to the project. That was a very satisfactory answer and no doubt completely true.
** IMPORTANT MEETING **
On Saturday, March 31 at 9 AM at the Montville Community Center, there was a public meeting hosted by the trustees of Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg Townships, to discuss The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. The meeting was well attended by a large number of township residents and land owners, including officials:
State Senator Timothy Grendell,
County Commissioner Mary Samide,
County Commissioner Craig Albert,
Thompson Township Trustee Erwin Leffel,
Thompson Township Trustee Frank Sirna,
Thompson Township Trustee Ben Smith,
Montville Township Trustee Alexa Holbert,
Montville Township Trustee Randall Peterson,
Huntsburg Township Trustee Clark Adams,
Huntsburg Township Trustee Nancy Kothera,
Huntsburg Township Trustee Peter Seliskar,
A representative from the office of State Representative Matthew J. Dolan,
A representative from the office of U.S. Representative Steven C. LaTourette,
as well as reporters from several local media outlets.
As news stories appear related to this meeting, I will try to find links and post them here for everyone to read.
The "take away" from the meeting was clear and concise. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, LOUD AND CLEAR to FirstEnergy NOW, before First Energy submits its application to the Ohio Power Siting Board.
I was honored to be given the opportunity to address the meeting and express some of my questions, concerns and ideas. I hope that I was able to convey both the practical matters of solving the county's electrical problems without creating new problems for our homes, families, farms and lifestyles, along with my deep passion for preserving our beautiful county.
The Sunday, April 1, 2007 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a story by reporter Rachel Dissel that describes the joint township trustees meeting, titled "Path of power lines has folks in Geauga County charged up -- FirstEnergy plan brings out hundreds who object to route." It is an wonderful news story, where she highlights the devastating impact that the proposed project would have on our homes, farms, families and lifestyles, as well as accurately reporting the events of the meeting.
Send Rachel Dissel an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to thank her for her news report, or call to thank her at (216) 999-4121.
Making your voice heard is easy. You can do it by writing letters, making telephone calls, sending emails -- anything that lets FirstEnergy know where you stand on The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is the right thing to do.
These are the important contact points for FirstEnergy:
WRITE LETTERS TO:
American Transmission Systems, Inc.
ATTN: The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project Team
76 South Main Street
Akron, Ohio 44308
TELEPHONE CALL FIRST ENERGY AREA MANAGER MIA MOORE: (440) 350-7706
EMAIL TO FIRST ENERGY AREA MANAGER MIA MOORE: MLMOORE@firstenergycorp.com
TELEPHONE CALL FIRST ENERGY COMMENT LINE: 1-800-589-2837
The FirstEnergy web site has a page that lists all of the officers and directors of the corporation. These are also important people to whom you need to make your voice heard. I suspect that the four most important people on the list with respect to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project are the following:
Mr. Anthony J. Alexander, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Richard R. Grigg Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. James M. Murray President, Ohio Operations
Mr. Dennis M. Chack Regional President - The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company
The mailing address for all of these important individuals is:
76 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308-1890
Keep in mind that these individuals run a company and YOU ARE THEIR CUSTOMER! You have every right to let them know your opinion about the products that they sell (electrical energy) and the way that they deliver it (by constructing infrastructure that respects our land, homes and lifestyles OR by severely degrading our properties and lives).
While on the topic of FirstEnergy Corporation, their web page publicizes a noteworthy press release, titled "FIRSTENERGY REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS IN 2006". Click here to view a .pdf of the press release. I applaud FirstEnergy for its fine financial performance and congratulate the officers and directors of the corporation for doing a great job. It would truly be in keeping with the ideals of good corporate citizenship if FirstEnergy used some of these RECORD EARNINGS to find alternative ways to service their customers in Geauga and Ashtabula Counties without drilling new rights of way through our farms and homes.
On April 9, 2007, Judee Geizer of Montville submitted a letter to the OPSB that made some particularly good points. You can read her entire letter here, or click here to view the complete docketed exhibit at the OPSB web site.
Tina Walters, one of the speakers at the March 31, 2007 joint Township Trustees meeting, explained to the group that FirstEnergy had contacted her family, informing them that the proposed substation would be located adjacent to Walters Pond. The Sunday, April 1, 2007 Plain Dealer article, "Path of power lines has folks in Geauga County charged up -- FirstEnergy plan brings out hundreds who object to route", describes her family's beautiful property and the fact that they make Walters Pond available to scout, church and community events. Tina measured the distance from the pond to the proposed substation location and told me the corrected distance -- 200 feet! If you have ever had the privilege of enjoying Walters Pond, PLEASE contact FirstEnergy and make your voice heard on the proposed substation location.
As of today, April 14, 2007, there are fifty documents listed on the Ohio Power Siting Board web page for case 07-0171-EL-BTX, the Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. Every one of these documents is important, as they will be considered when the time comes for the siting board to make a decision on whether or not to grant the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need that FirstEnergy is requesting. The documents should be considered required reading for everyone with a stake in the outcome of this project. Writing letters to the OPSB or its members is always important, but until FirstEnergy actually makes the application to the board, you will get the most benefit for your effort by making your voice heard to FirstEnergy.
The process that The Ohio Power Siting Board follows to make its decisions sounds complicated at first, but actually is easy to understand. There is a flow chart of the siting process at the OPSB web site, and here. There are two reviews or "tollgates" that the project must pass before the OPSB will grant the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. The first review is the green arrow marked "60 DAYS" on the chart. During this time, the board reviews the application that FirstEnergy submits, to determine whether it complies with all of the rules and standards for a project application. The board does not determine whether the certificate of environmental compatibility and public need should be granted at this point. When the board decides that the application meets all of the standards and rules for a project application, the next review begins. This is the blue arrow marked "60-90 DAYS" on the chart. During this time, the board reviews the project that FirstEnergy wants to construct, to determine whether it deserves to be granted a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. This is the most critical review in the OPSB process, where all of the letters written to the OPSB are taken into consideration in determining the merit of the project. None of the above processes have started so far, since FirstEnergy has not submitted their application to the OPSB. Making your voice heard directly to FirstEnergy is the best action that you can take at this point in the process.
The GeaugaLink web site hosts a new discussion board, named the "Raccoon County Roundtable". The first topic opened on this new discussion board is called Proposed Power Line, devoted to the Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
This discussion board provides an excellent forum for individuals to contribute, communicate and collaborate. I highly recommend that everyone reads and contributes to this on-line public forum.
Thanks to Thompson Township Trustee Erwin Leffel for bringing the discussion board to my attention.
FirstEnergy Corporation would not have the right to build a transmission line on private property that FirstEnergy does not own without the power of eminent domain. Eminent domain is the legal power of a government to take private property from citizens without their consent. Our government has granted this power to FirstEnergy for the purpose of acquiring the land needed to build its projects. Fortunately, the process for a company to exercise eminent domain requires that strict requirements be met, such as the requirement that the project be for public use, that just compensation be provided to the property owner, and proof that the project is actually necessary.
The Ohio State University Extension Service has published an excellent article in their Fact Sheet series titled, "Eminent Domain in Ohio." This Fact Sheet describes all aspects of the power of eminent domain, in very readable language. This article is "required reading" for anyone potentially affected by FirstEnergy's power of eminent domain.
In July of 2006, The Ohio Supreme Court significantly clarified part of Ohio's eminent domain law. In a very interesting decision, the Court determined that a portion of Ohio's eminent domain law was unconstitutional. In case Norwood v. Horney, 2006-Ohio-3799, the court ruled that,
Although economic factors may be considered in determining whether private property may be appropriated, the fact that the appropriation would provide an economic benefit to the government and community, standing alone, does not justify the taking of the property under a provision of the Ohio Constitution that requires eminent domain be for “public-use”.
This is good news. I'm neither a judge nor an attorney, but it appears to say that passing the test for public use is not sufficient to allow exercising of eminent domain power. The tests for just compensation and necessity must not be overlooked.
The Farmland Preservation Act provides for the creation of Agricultural Districts in Geauga County. According to a pamphlet published by Tracy Jemison, the Geauga County Auditor, there are many advantages to enrolling farmland in an Agricultural District. Two advantages stand out:
These two advantages sold me on the program. Get the facts, consider the benefits and if the program is appropriate for your farm, contact Mr. Jemison's office to enroll.
On 03/16/2007, AMERICAN TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS INCORPORATED, the business unit of FirstEnergy that owns and maintains their electrical transmission system, purchased two parcels of land, on the southwest corner of Clay Street and Mayfield Road, Parcel 16-078624, purchased for $95,800.00, and Parcel 16-002400, purchased for $95,800.00.
There are many alternative corridors that present themselves as workable places to locate the proposed pair of 138 kV transmission lines. One route that stands out, and has not been a part of the major discussion thus far, is State Route 11. I drove to SR-11 on Sunday, April 15, 2007, so get a first hand look at the route.
I was astounded to find that SR-11 is a MADE TO ORDER power line route.
SR-11 should be at the top of any proposed route list for this project.
On Tuesday, April 17, 2007, FirstEnergy filed its 2007-ELECTRIC LONG-TERM FORECAST REPORT TO THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO. The report case number is 07-504-EL-FOR. This promised to be a very significant document to further understanding the issues and constraints of the Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project, in that the report describes the forecast electrical transmission and distribution needs for FirstEnergy's service area.
Along with submitting the complete Report, FirstEnergy made a MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER to The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to place Chapter 3 of the Report, titled "ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION FORECAST", under prohibition of disclosure and submit Chapter 3 under seal of confidentiality. In the "Memorandum in Support of Motion for Protective Order" attached to the motion, FirstEnergy cites two reasons why the information in Chapter 3 should be hidden from public view:
Unfortunately, Chapter 3 contains the very information that would allow engineers outside of FirstEnergy to understand the needs for and constraints surrounding The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
FirstEnergy submitted its 2007-ELECTRIC LONG-TERM FORECAST REPORT TO THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO in two parts. The Report with Chapter 3 removed is available here, while a one page document that says "Chapter 3 Was Here" is available in another posting. The Report with Chapter 3 removed doesn't contain anything of relevance to the Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. Chapter 3 is the pot of gold, but we aren't allowed to view it.
FirstEnergy's 2006-ELECTRIC LONG-TERM FORECAST REPORT TO THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF OHIO, case number 06-0504-EL-FOR, also included a MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER for Chapter 3. Examiner R. Russell Gooden granted the motion for protective order, and Chapter 3 was never seen. I anticipate that Chapter 3 of this year's Report will meet the same fate.
The Geauga Maple Leaf newspaper has granted permission to the Raccoon County Roundtable to post copies of their news articles related to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. Links to every article are on the News Media Articles page.
As new articles are posted on the Roundtable, I'll add the links.
Tiffani Cappello has located an extremely interesting article discussing the effects of low frequency electromagnetic fields on living tissue. The article is available here. She has also authored a carefully written summary of the base article, including the references cited.
I am not a biologist, physician or epidemiologist, so I can't speak to the interactions between low frequency electromagnetic fields and living systems. However, I do know a bit about electromagnetic field theory. At my first opportunity, will calculate the expected values of electric and magnetic fields, as a function of distance from a typical setup of two 138 kV, 600 A, three phase circuits.
Thanks for the information, Tiffani.
Important New Letter Posted on OPSB Web Site. Today, 1 MAY 2007, a letter to the OPSB was posted, written by Professor Randy James, Ph.D., Ohio State University Extension. In his letter, Professor James makes an eloquent and powerful argument against the proposed transmission line corridor, based on the impact of the corridor on local agriculture and the economics thereof. Professor James concludes his letter to the OPSB by writing,
So the question to the Supply Project Team is; can you find ways to reduce, or eliminate, negative impacts to one of the only thriving, robust, growing industries we have? If we are truly interested in creating a "business friendly" environment, then damaging family "farm businesses" is a very poor way to start.
Please do two tasks.
We can never have enough friends like Professor James in our effort to persuade CEI to look elsewhere for a transmission line corridor.
On Friday, May 4, 2007, I received a telephone call from an individual associated with FirstEnergy/CEI/ATS, saying that there would be a survey crew on my property either Monday or Tuesday of the next week (May 7 or 8). I told the individual that I was going to be out of town those two days, and asked if he could schedule the crew for later in the week. He said no. I asked him if it would be possible to be more specific as to the day or time that the crew would be on my property. He said no. I told him that I would like to assist the survey crew, to help point out features of my property, such the registered forestry area, the approved agricultural district and the documented wetland area that would be decimated by the proposed route. He said that the crew had all of the maps and documents required to know all of that information. After all of this, I asked him why he even bothered to call me, since none of my input or requests appear to be having any influence. He said that he was calling as a courtesy to let me know what they were doing on my property. I thanked him for his courtesy and ended the call.
|On Thursday, May 17, 2007,
The Geauga County Farm Bureau hosted a Government Affairs Meeting,
featuring speakers Mr. Larry Gearhardt & Mr. Dale Arnold both from the
Ohio Farm Bureau State Staff. I
was unable to attend the meeting due to a schedule conflict.
Based on feedback that I have received about the meeting from my neighbors and friends, I should have scrapped my travel trip and attended the meeting. Mr. Gearhardt and Mr. Arnold were extremely knowledgeable and provided many important, relevant facts related to he Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
Pat Jonath took notes, that she will transcribe and post on this web page.
I am in the process of contacting Mr. Arnold directly, to start a dialog related to the project. As I uncover new information, I will post it here and on the Roundtable.
The Ohio Revised Code contains all statutes of a permanent and general nature of the state, i.e., the laws of Ohio. Chapter 4096, titled, CHAPTER 4906: POWER SITING, describes the statutes that control the operation of the The Ohio Power Siting Board.
One particular section, 4906.10 Basis for decision granting or denying certificate, is extremely important to our success in persuading FirstEnergy and the OPSB that the proposed Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg transmission line corridor is not acceptable. This section details eight specific conditions that must be satisfied before a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need is granted. These eight specific conditions are:
I believe that these eight conditions represent the viable legal "targets" for forcing CEI's application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to be denied. There are other arguments that can be made for using a transmission line corridor other than the Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg transmission line corridor. These arguments, such as property values and health/safety concerns, are valid and represent important points. However, I don't believe that OPSB is required to consider arguments based on property values, health/safety concerns, or any other consideration not included in these eight specific conditions. I'm neither a judge nor an attorney, so if my interpretation of the legal situation is not accurate, please correct me.
My reason for presenting and emphasizing these legal targets is my belief that if we can specifically and factually show that one or more of these eight conditions is not satisfied for The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project as proposed, then the OPSB is required by law to deny CEI's application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need.
Pat Jonath provided a link to a very interesting map, showing the locations of large transmission lines and generation plants in Ohio. This map shows that there does appear to be a "hole" in the coverage provided by transmission lines in northeast Ohio. Although the map only shows transmission lines > 345 kV, it does give us an indication as to where power is available and where it is not available. Looking objectively at the map, it appears that State Route 11 would yield a route directly from the transmission and generation facilities in Ashtabula to the areas where there is the least present coverage.
Huntsburg Township Trustee Nancy Kothera has posted FirstEnergy's official response to United States Representative Steven C. LaTourette's request that five additional routes be considered instead of the proposed corridor through Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg Townships. The response, posted on the Proposed Power Line topic of the Raccoon County RoundTable, describes each of the five routes identified for evaluation, states reasons why each alternative route "compared poorly" to the Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg corridor, and states that, "Accordingly, ATSI will not pursue this option further." This document is required reading for everyone with an interest in The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
|At the Huntsburg Township Trustees meeting of Tuesday, June 5, 2007,
the topic of The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project
was discussed extensively. Attending the meeting was Mr. Tom
Curtin, Director of the
Park District. Mr. Curtin made two specific and important
points related to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply
His second point is very appropriate and represents an excellent suggestion.
On May 24, 2007, AMERICAN TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS INCORPORATED purchased Parcel 16-011052 from JACQUELINE BUCKELS for $135,000. This is the parcel with frontage on Mayfield Road next to the existing small substation, 1945 feet east of 528. It's a 25.04 acre parcel, that extends next to and behind Walters Pond. Back on March 16, ATSI purchased Parcel 16-078624 and Parcel 16-002400 for $95,800.00 each. ATSI now owns 7.44 acres at the end of the proposed Clay Street route, and 25.04 acres at the end of the proposed 528 route.
I attended the Monday, June 11, 2007, meeting at the Montville Community Center, called by State Senator Tim Grendell. The purpose of the meeting was to update representatives from each of the townships and other individuals with the latest information on Senator Grendell's meetings and contacts with The Ohio Power Siting Board and with FirstEnergy. There was a large amount of information to communicate, as Senator Grendell has been working diligently in Columbus to tease apart the facts from the rhetoric in this case. Some of the most important points from the meeting were:
The meeting was very informative and I appreciated the opportunity to attend.
The June 14, 2007 issue of the Geauga Maple Leaf featured a news story titled Electric company seems to favor Route 528, by Ann Wishart. The news article reports on both the June 5th Huntsburg Trustee's meeting and the June 11th session with Senator Grendell. It's a good article, that describes the level of outrage expressed by residents and trustees over this project.
Don Geddis posted a message on the Proposed Power Line discussion board at the Raccoon Country Roundtable alerting everyone that there was some construction going on at the intersection of CEI's corridor of four 138 kV circuits and two 345 kV circuits that run between the Leroy Center switching station and the Chesterland substation.
On Thursday, June 21, 2007, I drove up to the construction site to see what I could see. Don was not kidding. There is a big construction project happening next to the CEI circuits. Click here for an aerial photo where I have added a red rectangle in the general area of the earthmoving work. The area is about 1100 by 400 feet. At the moment, they appear to be creating a level and graded plane in are area of the red rectangle.
I took some photos while I was poking around the construction site, looking north from the access road, and looking east from the corner of the construction. From Route 86 looking north, I could see the entire site. This is the view from the corridor, looking north toward the steam coming from the Perry Nuclear Power Plant. Take a hard look at this picture -- and think about it when you write to First Energy or your elected officials to express your opinion on The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
There was no evidence of the FirstEnergy, American Transmission Systems, Inc., or CEI name posted around the construction site. I did not see a permit or other official document posted anywhere around the site. According to the Lake Navigator property database, the area of the construction is not owned CEI. It's on parcel number 07-A-888-0-08-100-0, which is owned by LEIMCO DEVELOPMENT CO LTD, 60 S PARK PL PAINESVILLE OH 44077. I know nothing about LEIMCO (which stands for Lake Erie Iron and Metal Company) other than the fact that Google searches show LEIMCO as involved in several EPA activities and that the Osborne name often appears along with LEIMCO. If anyone has facts related to LEIMCO, please let me know.
Based on the facts and observations, my initial guess is that this construction site is not going to be a CEI substation. The area is much too large for a 138 kV to 36 kV substation. There aren't many 345 kV to 138 kV substations around, but I will try to check on their sizes based on the aerial photos and compare them to this construction site. I do not know whether construction of a substation on this site would require a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need from the OPSB, since it does not appear to require taking property from any owner other than LEIMCO. I have not seen any instances where CEI has constructed substations on property owned by an entity other than CEI. Nevertheless, will do some searching on the PUCO web site and will post anything relevant that I can find.
The June 28, 2007 issue of the Geauga Maple Leaf featured a news story titled Route for FirstEnergy power lines still up in air by Ann Wishart. The news article reports on the June 19th Huntsburg Trustee's meeting. Some of the information was slightly redundant, being reports from the June 11th session with Senator Grendell, but it seems to cover the facts. I did not attend this Huntsburg Township Trustee's meeting, but I was at the June 11th meeting called by Senator Grendell. My notes from the meeting are posted above.
Huntsburg Township Trustee Nancy Kothera contacted me on Monday, July 2, 2007 to inform me that a meeting has been organized by Senator Grendell with the OPSB at the Ohio State House in Columbus, OH. I will be attending this meeting and will post my notes after the meeting.
On Monday, July 9, 2007, Nancy Kothera contacted me that Senator Grendell's meeting in Columbus with the OPSB and FirstEnergy was postponed due to an illness in Senator Grendell's family. The meeting will be rescheduled, and I will post the new date when it becomes available. In the interim, please forward your best wishes to Senator Grendell for the speedy recovery of his family member.
The PUCO web site posted an interesting new case today, July 19, 2007. The case number is 07-0820-EL-BLN, titled, "AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER LETTER OF NOTIFICATION WARNER 138 KV EXTENSION SERVICE TO RTI." This case demonstrates the filing made by a utility company for a new 138 kV transmission line. There is a major difference between 07-0820-EL-BLN, AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER LETTER OF NOTIFICATION WARNER 138 KV EXTENSION SERVICE TO RTI and 07-0171-EL-BTX, GEAUGA COUNTY 138KV TRANSMISSION LINE SUPPLY PROJECT. In the case of the Warner Extension project, the length of the transmission line was short enough that it was not subject to review by the entire OPSB (see OAC 4906-1-01 Appendix A1(c). for the rules that define when a project is exempt from board review). However, the letter of notification contains many relevant sections and appendices that are very worth reading as background material for what CEI's application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project might contain. I highly recommend reading this document.
As of this writing, July 19, 2007, there have been 93 documents filed and posted at the OPSB web page for The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project, case number 07-0171-EL-BTX. Almost all of these documents are sincere, well-written expressions of public opinion, from affected residents, land owners and farmers to the OPSB, voicing their dissatisfaction with the proposed transmission line corridor. In addition to expressing dissatisfaction with the proposed corridor, many letters propose alternatives, such as State Route 11, as workable corridors for the new transmission line.
To everyone who has taken the time to write to the OPSB, to FirstEnergy or to any of our elected or appointed officials, let me THANK YOU for making your voice heard. To everyone else in northeast Geauga County that has not written to OPSB, FirstEnergy or our elected or appointed officials, NOW WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO WRITE. FirstEnergy is more than three months behind their original target date for making their application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need to the OPSB. It is my belief that the reason for the delay is the amount of public outcry, both directly from affected residents, land owners and farmers, and indirectly from our elected representatives such as State Senator Timothy Grendell and U.S. Congressman Steven C. LaTourette.
Please make your voice heard. There is no wrong way to make your voice heard. Write letters, send emails, make telephone calls, do whatever it takes to let FirstEnergy, the OPSB, our Board of County Commissioners, and the rest of our elected or appointed officials know your opinion. It's also very important to let our elected representatives State Senator Timothy Grendell and U.S. Congressman Steven C. LaTourette, who have proven through their words and actions that they are "on our side", know that you appreciate their work on our behalf and that you want them to keep fighting for our interests. Don't delay -- make your voice heard!
I just heard from Beth Vanderkooi, Legislative Aide Senator at Grendell’s office, regarding rescheduling the meeting between FirstEnergy, The Ohio Power Siting Board and local officials. His staff is trying to set up the meeting for Monday, August 20, 2007. They said that it very tricky trying to coordinate the schedules of all of the people involved, but I’m going to keep my schedule on the 20th clear until I know otherwise. When the date is set, Senator Grendell’s office will confirm.
Browsing through old cases on the OPSB web site, I came across an interesting project named the “The Davidson-Dublin Electric Transmission Line”. This transmission line project, approved on April 27, 2004 by the OPSB, created a new 138 kV transmission line just northwest of Columbus, OH. The case number is 02-2153-EL-BTX.
According to the announcement, “The route was agreed to by AEP, the city of Dublin, OPSB Staff, Neighbors for Responsible Powerline Placement, and Duke Realty. The route was found by OPSB Staff to present minimal environmental impact. In addition, the witnesses who testified at a public hearing held in Dublin on March 29, 2004 supported the selected route.”
How could a 138 kV transmission line project be looked upon with such favor by the local government and citizens? There are two reasons that stand out:
My take-away from this case is that it is possible to design 138 kV transmission line projects in ways that do not destroy properties and farms. Please read the case file and the announcement, and then draw your own conclusion.
If you would like to read more about underground installation of transmission lines, a company called ABB has excellent information on the technology of underground transmission lines and case studies of successful underground transmission line installations world-wide. Click here for the page of links and documents on the ABB web site. Keep in mind that many other companies make competitive underground transmission line products -- ABB is not the only one doing this. Underground transmission line installations are common throughout the world and are considered a mature technology. The only reasons that I have mentioned and posted links to ABB is that ABB is probably the world leader in manufacturing underground transmission line systems and ABB has a user-friendly web site with lots of information. I learned a great deal about underground transmission lines from the ABB web site.
I spent some time on the telephone with a transmission line engineer at ABB, and explained the situation with The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. Specifically, I asked if he knew of any other projects similar to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project where underground transmission line technology was used successfully. He said that there are many successful underground 138 kV transmission lines in the USA. This is an excerpt of his email reply:
Northeast Utilities' internet description of the southwestern Connecticut transmission reliability improvement projects. Go to www.transmission-nu.com/residential/projects.asp. All four projects include extensive solid dielectric (XLPE) cable circuits. The Bethel-Norwalk and Middletown-Norwalk projects include both overhead and underground transmission segments at 115-kV and 345-kV. The Glenbrook project between Norwalk and Stamford is entirely underground along existing roadways and the LI cable replacement project include three 138-kV submarine XLPE cable circuits that will be installed in the Long Island Sound.
The Connecticut Siting Council Docket 272 regarding the Middletown-Norwalk 345-kV project. Go to www.ct.gov/csc and then select "Electric Transmission Upgrade Projects". Then select Docket 272. The Middletown-Norwalk project includes the longest 345-kV XLPE cable circuit in the US to date.
San Diego Gas & Electric's internet description of the Otay-Metro 230-kV transmission system. Go to www.sdge.com/otaymetro/facts.shtml The project includes a 10-mile section of 230-kV XLPE cable near the waterfront and downtown area of San Diego.
These factual case studies demonstrate that modern, underground transmission line installations are not impossible.
JMG note -- XLPE stands for Cross-Linked Polyethylene, which is the main insulating material used in modern, low-cost, high-reliability underground transmission line cables.
The Ohio Power Siting Board has published an agenda for their next formal meeting. The meeting is to take place on Monday, August 20, 2007. I suspect that this is why State Senator Timothy Grendell's staff is trying to set up the meeting between FirstEnergy, The Ohio Power Siting Board and local officials for that date.
The Ohio Power Siting Board web site posted a letter today from the Troy Township Board of Trustees.
In this declaration, the Troy Township Board of Trustees "supports the proposed new transmission line". They further proceed to declare that "The power line will be an asset to all Geauga County industries and businesses. We encourage your support of this utility enhancement".
I agree with their basic premise, that improved utility service to the residents and businesses of Geauga County is desirable. I've been on board with improving the electrical utility infrastructure in Geauga County from the start, and my desire to make improvements has not changed.
Unfortunately, I don't agree with the manner in which the Troy Township Board of Trustees has endorsed FirstEnergy's plans without taking into explicit consideration the fact that the proposed new transmission line corridor would decimate the families, farms, properties and lifestyles of the affected parties.
The residents of Troy Township and their elected trustees are our neighbors and friends. I don't understand why they chose to make these declarations without requesting, if not demanding, that FirstEnergy design the new transmission line corridor in such a way as to not demolish the worlds of THEIR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS (THAT MEANS THE RESIDENTS OF THOMPSON, MONTVILLE AND HUNTSBURG TOWNSHIPS).
The Troy Township Board of Trustees is:
Gerald Mitchell, 834-8492 (Term expires: 12/31/09)
Ralph Elmer Hershberger, 834-4748 (Term expires: 12/31/07)
Enos A. Detweiler, 834-8143 (Term expires: 12/31/09)
I will be making telephone calls to each member of The Troy Township Board of Trustees, to express my dissatisfaction with their letter to the OPSB.
On Saturday, August 11, 2007, I had a very pleasant and productive telephone conversation with Troy Township Trustee Enos Detweiler. I gave some background on our struggle with FirstEnergy over their choice of corridor for the new transmission line, then mentioned that the letter from the Troy Township Board of Trustees to the OPSB could be construed to say that the Troy Township Board of Trustees was endorsing the FE plans as proposed.
Mr. Detweiler was not aware of the difficult struggle taking place between the residents of Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg Townships and FE. He said that all he really knew about the project was what he read from the newspapers (and we all know that the newspapers have not been a significant source of detailed information). He said that the Troy Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution endorsing the upgrade of electrical utility service in Troy Township, based on numerous requests made by Troy Township residents and businesses.
In describing our difficulties with FE, I made it very clear that no one is trying to dissuade FE from improving the electrical infrastructure in our county. As residents of Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg Townships, our goal is to realize a simple, two part objective:
Mr. Detweiler expressed hearty agreement with our goal and indicated that he would help in the following ways:
I thanked Mr. Detweiler for his time and attention, and especially for his pledge of assistance. It would be very reasonable to send a note or to make a quick telephone call to Mr. Detweiler, thanking him for his concern.
The August meeting between FirstEnergy, The Ohio Power Siting Board and local officials, to my knowledge, did not take place. While the Ohio Power Siting Board did meet on August 20, 2007, I was not informed of the additional meeting with FE. I suspect that scheduling difficulties prevented the meeting from happening.
I could not find a date for the next scheduled meeting of The Ohio Power Siting Board on the OPSB web site. I'll keep checking and post the date when it appears on the OPSB calendar.
On Tuesday, August 28, 2007, a new letter was posted on the OPSB web site from the Troy Township Board of Trustees, signed by Board Chairman and Trustee Enos Detweiler. This letter clarifies the position of the Troy Township Board of Trustees with respect to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. As Mr. Detweiler promised, the letter states that
The Board of Trustees recognizes the need to bring dependable electric service to our community. In order to accomplish this end new transmission lines will need to be constructed. The Board supports construction of the lines through areas where the least amount of hardship will be caused for property owners. Alternative routes may need to be identified to minimize splitting property parcels in the Thompson, Montville, Huntsburg and Middlefield Township areas.
Please read the entire letter by clicking here. This letter is a powerful statement from an elected official to the OPSB and to FirstEnergy, expressing the desire that the transmission line project be constructed in a reasonable manner.
Friends and neighbors, this letter in our favor did not appear spontaneously. It was written because I called Trustee Detweiler on the telephone, explained the situation with supporting facts and logic, and asked him to help. He came through and did what he promised. If I can make a friend and achieve a favorable result with one phone call, imagine what would happen if every resident affected by the Clay Street and 528 routes made a similar telephone call to an elected township, county or state official.
There is real power in making your voice heard. Now would be a very good time to exercise that power.
On Monday, September 10, 2007, I received a telephone call from Mr. David C. Lawrence, telephone number (330) 384-5575, Senior Real Estate Representative with FirstEnergy. He called to let me know that representatives of The Ohio Power Siting Board were going to be walking the entire 528 route. This would include walking across the middle of my farm. He said that this would be happening between the dates of September 17 and October 5. Predictably, my response was to tell Mr. Lawrence that I was not happy about the proposed route and that I was planning to do everything within my power to keep the transmission lines off of my property. Predictably, he said that I'm not the only one with that position.
After we got past the introductions, we had a very decent conversation. I talked to Dave for about 40 minutes. I tried to bring up some serious issues for consideration, and he seemed interested in listening.
My intuition was that Dave Lawrence was interested in what I had to say. He agreed to make some of my points known to others in his organization. Our conversation ended on a friendly note and I invited him to contact me with any questions he might have or to discuss the issues further.
FirstEnergy has purchased another property in Geagua County. The Morrison property is parcel number 20-070824, located on Burrows Road, 1244 feet east of the intersection of 528 and Burrows Road. It sold on 8/28/2007 for $38,000. It's now owned by AMERICAN TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS INC., 76 S MAIN ST, AKRON OH 44308.
I don't have a detailed route map for the entire 528 route, only the small map that was on the public notice hand outs. From the tiny map on the notice, it appears likely that parcel 20-070824 is located on the 528 route.
Without more information, I can't speculate as to why FirstEnergy would have purchased this parcel. However, they own it now. If I learn anything about this parcel, I'll post it.
While on the subject of properties owned by FirstEnergy, I did a search on the Access Geauga database and compiled a list of properties shown as owned by either American Transmission or CEI. This list was generated from the Access Geauga web site on Monday, September 17, 2007.
I was contacted by Senator Grendell's office on Monday, September 17, 2007, to alert me to a meeting on Monday, September 24, 2007 at 8:30 AM at the Montville Community Center. Huntsburg Township Trustee Nancy Kothera confirmed with me that the meeting was open to all interested parties.
The purpose of the discussion will be to report on the meeting that took place between Senator Grendell and The Ohio Power Siting Board on August 20th. According to the announcement letter from Senator Grendell's administrative assistant Roman Jerger, the meeting is open to all interested parties.
A GOOD CONVERSATION WITH TED KRAUSS OF ATS/FIRSTENERGY
On Tuesday, September 18, 2007, I had a telephone conversation with Mr. Ted Krauss. Ted is a Senior Engineer with American Transmission Systems, Inc., the transmission line business unit of FirstEnergy. Ted is one of the principle engineers and designers of The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project.
Ted and I discussed various topics about the technical and regulatory processes involved with the project. I was able to ask Ted a few specific questions, whose answers might be of interest to others. It's important to realize and understand that our conversation was not meant to reflect official statements on the part of FirstEnergy. These are simply paraphrased notes from our informal conversation, as accurate as my memory allows. If there's an error in these notes, it's my fault -- not Ted's or FirstEnergy's.
I thanked Ted for his time and information, and said that I hoped we could talk again regarding the project.I had a very interesting conversation with Mr. George Davet today, Friday, September 21, 2007, regarding some information that he has gathered from many telephone conversations with a variety of individuals associated with transmission line projects and public utilities. George Davet, the owner of a beautiful 100+ year old farm that would be devastated by the proposed over-land route, is one of the valuable "behind the scenes" people that are always reading, calling, writing and trying to nudge this process toward a favorable outcome. George and I frequently exchange views and ideas on the transmission line project.
George shared three of the most viable aspects of the siting process that are available for us to utilize, and have been utilized most effectively in the past.
(1) The basis of the need for the facility if the facility is an electric transmission line or gas or natural gas transmission line;
(2) The nature of the probable environmental impact;
(3) That the facility represents the minimum adverse environmental impact, considering the state of available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives, and other pertinent considerations;
(4) In the case of an electric transmission line or generating facility, that the facility is consistent with regional plans for expansion of the electric power grid of the electric systems serving this state and interconnected utility systems and that the facility will serve the interests of electric system economy and reliability;
(5) That the facility will comply with Chapters 3704., 3734., and 6111. of the Revised Code and all rules and standards adopted under those chapters and under sections 1501.33, 1501.34, and 4561.32 of the Revised Code. In determining whether the facility will comply with all rules and standards adopted under section 4561.32 of the Revised Code, the board shall consult with the office of aviation of the division of multi-modal planning and programs of the department of transportation under section 4561.341 of the Revised Code.
(6) That the facility will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity;
(7) In addition to the provisions contained in divisions (A)(1) to (6) of this section and rules adopted under those divisions, what its impact will be on the viability as agricultural land of any land in an existing agricultural district established under Chapter 929. of the Revised Code that is located within the site and alternative site of the proposed major utility facility. Rules adopted to evaluate impact under division (A)(7) of this section shall not require the compilation, creation, submission, or production of any information, document, or other data pertaining to land not located within the site and alternative site.
(8) That the facility incorporates maximum feasible water conservation practices as determined by the board, considering available technology and the nature and economics of the various alternatives.
George's point #1 links to Ohio Revised Code 4906.10 (A) 2 and 4906.10 (A) 3. His point #2 links to Ohio Revised Code 4906.10 (A) 7. George's point #3, regarding local generation of energy, is viable and should be considered. I will try to locate some references where businesses and large users of electrical power have saved money by using their own generators to supplement their usage from the public utility system in times of high demand in order to secure more favorable rate structures from the utility.
Thanks for the information, George!
On Friday, September 21, 2007, I contacted Geauga County Commissioner Craig Albert and proposed that the Geauga County Board of County Commissioners pass a resolution related to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. The resolution would affirm the desire of the County to get more electrical power to where it's needed without damaging farms and properties in the process. He was receptive to the idea and asked me to propose a sample resolution.
This is what I wrote and sent to Commissioner Albert:
The Geauga County Board of County Commissioners
HEREBY RESOLVES THAT
The BOCC supports the improvement of the electrical infrastructure in Geauga County to provide the electrical power quality necessary for growth and success of Geauga County's industrial businesses and the convenience and quality of life valued by its citizens,
The BOCC supports the implementation of said electrical infrastructure improvement in such a manner as to preserve the prosperity and viability of Geauga County's agricultural businesses and retain the rural character, property values and unspoiled land heritage valued by its citizens.
If you agree with my proposed simple resolution, PLEASE CALL, WRITE AND EMAIL OUR GEAUGA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS and tell them that you WANT THE BOARD TO PASS THIS RESOLUTION. The commissioners already know that I want them to pass this resolution, but the only way to make it happen is for them to hear from many other citizens who want them to pass this resolution. Our County Commissioners are:
Craig S. Albert
Mary E. Samide
William S. Young
Board of Commissioners' Office
470 Center Street, Building #4
Chardon, Ohio 44024-1068
(440) 285-2222, 564-7131, 834-1856, Extension 1660
Direct Line: (440) 279-1660
Fax No.: (440) 286-9177
The minutes of every meeting of the Geauga Board of County Commissioners are available on line. Click here to view the calendar of meetings and their official minutes. Check these minutes to see if a motion was made to pass this resolution, and who voted for or against it.
FIRSTENERGY WILL SUBMIT DRAFT APPLICATION TO OPSB ON Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A meeting was called by our Ohio Senator Tim Grendell on Monday, September 24, 2007, at the Montville Community Center, to update everyone on his work to date and to explain where the process stands at this point. Ann Wishart, a journalist with the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper, attended the meeting; I therefore anticipate a detailed news item on the meeting to be published shortly.
Senator Grendell announced that FirstEnergy will submit their initial application to The Ohio Power Siting Board for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project on Wednesday, September 26, 2007.
This event changes the entire character of the process associated with the transmission line project. Up to this point, the objective has been mainly to demonstrate to FirstEnergy that the originally proposed routes are not acceptable and to persuade FirstEnergy to identify workable routes for their application. This objective has not been achieved. The application will contain the two originally proposed new transmission line corridors, with some minor modifications to the over-land route. The next objective is to demonstrate to The Ohio Power Siting Board that the routes proposed by FirstEnergy are not acceptable and to propose alternatives for consideration.
On September 26, the official power siting process will begin. I wrote an explanation of the basics of the siting process earlier on this web page, and have a flow chart of the process on line. Looking at the flowchart, September 26 will be the day that the block named, "Application Submitted" is accomplished, and the process moves into the block named, "Staff Compliance Review (60 Days)." There are clearly many more tasks and decisions shown in the flow chart of the process, but the wheels will start to turn on September 26.
Senator Grendell encouraged every interested party to contact the members of The Ohio Power Siting Board, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, Ohio Representative Matthew J. Dolan and other state elected and appointed officials to express their views on FirstEnergy's application to The Ohio Power Siting Board. Senator Grendell proposed a very good general format for letters to these individuals:
In proposing one or more alternative locations for the transmission line corridor, STATE ROUTE 11 should be at the top of everyone's list. At this point, nearly everyone (except for FirstEnergy) agrees that STATE ROUTE 11 is the correct place for the new transmission line for the simple and obvious reason that the corridor through the properties (the highway) already exists -- no new corridor would need to be constructed through virgin land. A reasonable second choice would be to construct the corridor along the border between Ashtabula and Geauga counties. There are very few parcels that span across the county border, thus a corridor along the county line, while being more disruptive than using the pre-existing STATE ROUTE 11 corridor, would cause very few properties to be traversed.
I'd like to personally thank Senator Grendell for his hard work on behalf of the citizens of eastern Geauga County. He has been with us from the start and has pledged to be with us to the bitter end. Kudos!
At the meeting of September 24, 2007, I promised to post the contact information for every member of The Ohio Power Siting Board. Here is the list as of Tuesday, September 24, 2007.
MEMBERS OF THE OHIO POWER SITING BOARD
|Alan R. Schriber, Chairman
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Andrew M. Boatright, Public Member
180 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
|Lee Fisher, Director
Ohio Department of Development
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
|Senator Bob Schuler
Columbus, Ohio 43215
|Anne Harnish, Acting
Ohio Department of Health
246 North High Street
P.O. Box 118
Columbus, Ohio 43215
|Senator Jason Wilson
Columbus, Ohio 43215
|Robert Boggs, Director
Ohio Department of Agriculture
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068
Representative Steven L. Driehaus
77 S. High St 14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Telephone: (614) 466-5786 Fax : (614) 719-3585
Email Address: email@example.com
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
50 West Town Street, Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Representative John P. Hagan
77 S. High St 11th Floor
Tel: (614) 466-9078 Fax: (614) 719-6950
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Sean Logan, Director
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Road, Bldg. D-3
Columbus, Ohio 43229
Two newspaper articles were published in the Geauga County Maple Leaf news paper related to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project in the September 28, 2007 edition. Links to the news articles are on the Roundtable and in the News Media Articles page. Thanks to Geauga County Maple Leaf journalist Ann Wishart for writing and publishing such accurate and timely news items on our ongoing struggle with FirstEnergy over this controversial project. Please read these news articles. We need all of the friends we can find in our struggle to preserve our properties, farms, families and lifestyles by making sensible and appropriate modifications to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. I believe that you will agree that our State Senator Tim Grendell is one of our best friends in this struggle.
FIRSTENERGY HAS SUBMITTED THEIR DRAFT APPLICATION TO THE OPSB
On Friday, September 28, 2007, FirstEnergy filed its application for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need with the Ohio Power Siting Board, titled "The Application of American Transmission Systems Incorporated and The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for the Construction of the Geauga County 138 KV Transmission Line Supply Project Case No. 07-01 71 -EL-BTX." The application parts were posted on the OPSB web site starting at 9:30 AM and finished at 11:30 AM on Monday, October 1, 2007.
I have downloaded the entire application and have it on line. There are seven separate documents in the application:
FirstEnergy has asked for a motion for a Protective Order for a significant part of the application. This keeps the protected section of the application secret from affected residents. Click here to see the request for the Protective Order. The reason given to keep this part of the application secret are is that it constitutes trade secrets of FirstEnergy. That's obviously not acceptable, therefore we will need to take the appropriate steps to have the application for protective order denied.
The October 10, 2007 edition of the News Herald newspaper featured a front page story titled, "FirstEnergy picks state Route 528 for power line" by reporter Diane Ryder. It is a somewhat balanced story, where FirstEnergy PR individual Mark Durbin first made his case at length for why FE believes that The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is necessary. He then outlined the OPSB process in very broad terms. Diane Ryder then balanced the story by including a fine statement by Montville Township Trustee Alexa Holbert. Alexa did a great job of making several critical points in a comparatively small amount of print, such as the unacceptability of the proposed corridor, the fact that the affected residents are overwhelmingly against the project, and most importantly, that State Route 11 is the proper existing civil corridor to locate a potential new transmission line.
There are some factual inaccuracies in the story, such as:
Click here to read the entire story, straight from the News Herald web page.
The October 11, 2007 edition of the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper contains a front page story titled, FirstEnergy picks Route 528 corridor for power line -- Residents renew vow to fight by Ann Wishart. This an excellent news item that brings to life the human side of the story -- the impact of the proposed project on the people affected -- along with the factual details. I am proud to have contributed some of what I've learned about this project and process to the news item through my interview with the author. Thank you Ann Wishart for a great news article.
The Farm and Dairy On-Line Edition for 10/18/2007 has a front page article on The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project, written by journalist Ann Wishart. It’s another excellent article that helps bring the impact of the project on farmers, residents and property owners to the front pages.
The October 20, 2007 edition of the News Herald newspaper contained an article titled, "Breaker gets blame for outage around Geauga" by reporter Diane Ryder. Her basic coverage of the facts of the incident is weak. She describes the problem as a "blown circuit breaker" that "gave way shortly after 2 p.m." She does not make the important distinction as to whether the circuit breaker tripped open due to an over current condition, or if the circuit breaker malfunctioned due to age or lack of maintenance and opened the circuit for no good reason. Since the event occurred on a day with mild temperatures and no thunderstorms, hence non-extreme electrical consumption for air conditioning, one would suspect that the circuit breaker opened due to malfunction, age or lack of maintenance, rather than an over current condition.
Diane then proceeds to assume that the circuit breaker opened due to an over current condition and allows FirstEnergy Area Manager for Geauga County Mia Moore imply that The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project would have prevented the tripped circuit breaker. Mia Moore's assertion may or may not be true, but it's being presented as true without any factual basis. Diane Ryder should not be making assumptions that lead to reporting questionable information.
George Davet of Thompson Township brought an interesting bit of information to my attention. He emphasized the importance of making certain that every property owner on any route brings to the attention of The Ohio Power Siting Board that if The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project constructed, it will drastically reduce the value of their property. The reason for this is that in the event of a doomsday scenario where FirstEnergy is granted their certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for the project as proposed, FirstEnergy will need to take property by eminent domain. In the lawsuits that will follow, everyone will need to demonstrate that they warned FirstEnergy and OPSB that their land value would be slashed by the transmission line, before the certificate was granted. I'm neither an attorney nor a judge, but this information makes intrinsic sense to me. This is one more good reason to write to the OPSB to make your voice heard. Click here for tips on writing an effective letter and the mailing addresses for the members of the OPSB. Thanks George.
On Tuesday, October 22, 2007, Mr. David Lawrence visited some residents along the over-land route. His purpose was to distribute a "Right of Way Option" contract and encourage land owners to sign the contract. Pat Jonath snagged a copy of this contract. I removed the names and parcel information and have posted it here.
A right of way option means that FirstEnergy wants to "lock in" their ability to purchase a right of way through property at some later time, for a pre-determined price. When FirstEnergy buys a right of way option, FirstEnergy gives the land owner a sum of money for the option of buying a right of way at some date in the future. The option expires in two years. If FirstEnergy exercises its option within two years, it gives the land owner another sum of money and the land owner grants FirstEnergy a right of way through their property.
This is an extremely bad contract from the land owner's point of view. It is an absolutely one-sided contract that gives FirstEnergy free reign and gives the land owner almost nothing. Don't take my word for it -- have any attorney read this contract and give their opinion. Here are two general rules that apply whenever Mr. Lawrence or anyone else brings you a contract and encourages you to sign it.
The Geauga County Maple Leaf news paper has published a very accurate and detailed news article on the proceedings of the Huntsburg Township Board of Trustees' meeting on Tuesday, October 16, 2007. Another excellent news item written by journalist Ann Wishart, it includes the fact that the Huntsburg Board of Township Trustees have created a letter to the OPSB that correctly reflects the positions of their constituents. Click here to read the letter from the Huntsburg Board of Township Trustees to the OPSB.
I am very satisfied with the letter that the Huntsburg Board of Township Trustees have written to the OPSB. They have articulated the facts of the situation and accurately represented the positions of their constituents. Pete, Clark and Nancy have done an good job of transmitting the opinion of their constituents to the OPSB. Please let them know that you appreciate their work and that their continued support of relocating the proposed transmission line to an existing civil corridor represents your preferred solution to FirstEnergy's electrical power delivery problems.
Pat Jonath reports that she received a letter from Lee Fisher thanking her for writing to express her views on correspondence regarding The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. Mr. Fisher suggested that we also write to:
Ohio Consumers' Counsel
10 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3485
I will be very sure to include the Ohio Consumers' Counsel in any letters that I write to express my opinion. Thanks Pat!
The November 8, 2007 edition of the News Herald newspaper ran a letter to the editor written by Pat and Bill Jonath. It's a great letter; I wish more affected families wrote letters to the newspapers. Please read Pat and Bill's letter. It may give you ideas for a letter to the editor of your own.
On November 8, 2007, The Ohio Power Siting Board announced that it will be holding a meeting on Monday, November 26, 2007, at 3:30 PM. I have the meeting agenda on line, click here to read it. There is nothing about The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project on the agenda.
CITIZENS ADVOCATING RESPONSIBLE ENERGY
FIRST MEETING TO BE HELD ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2007 AT 7:30 PM
AT THE MONTVILLE COMMUNITY CENTER
The Citizens Advocating Responsible Energy (CARE) is an organization of citizens opposed to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project as it has been proposed by FirstEnergy.
Specifically, it shall be the purpose of CARE to
(1) Oppose the construction of a new transmission line utility corridor through Thompson, Montville and Huntsburg townships in the interest of preservation and conservation,
(2) Advocate the use of a pre-existing civil corridor for a new transmission line, such that neither the over-land nor the Clay Street routes, as applied for by FirstEnergy, are constructed,
(3) Create a common, unified voice through which CARE members may communicate with FirstEnergy, The Ohio Power Siting Board, the legislature and the courts,
(4) Pool financial resources and raise money from sources outside of CARE to fund legal representation and other expenses,
(5) Ultimately secure a resolution to FirstEnergy’s needs that is satisfactory to the CARE membership.
It is important to realize that CARE does not promote the use of one of the two proposed routes (the over-land or the Clay Street) over the other. Both routes proposed in FirstEnergy's application involve creating a new utility corridor through farms, neighborhoods, virgin woods, and residential properties. These are not acceptable places to create a new utility corridor, therefore CARE opposes the proposed project.
Opposing the project without offering alternatives is not productive, therefore CARE advocates the use of pre-existing civil corridors as sites for a new transmission line. Fortunately, there are pre-existing corridors that are suitable for a new transmission line. CARE will work to persuade the Ohio Power Siting Board that FirstEnergy should be using the available pre-existing civil corridors.
The CARE constitution and bylaws are available on-line for review.
Please spread the word to everyone you know that might be interested in joining CARE. The siting process is moving forward as we speak. CARE is the next phase in our effort to steer the siting process toward an end that does not ruin our farms, homes, properties and lifestyles.
The first CARE meeting, held on November 16, 2007, was a complete success. The constitution and bylaws were adopted, officers were elected, a membership committee was appointed. Thanks to everyone who attended the meeting. Your support is appreciated!
On November 28, 2007, Alan Schiber, chairman of The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and The Ohio Power Siting Board wrote a letter to FirstEnergy's attorney, Mr. Michael Beiting, stating that the preliminary application for The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project has been found to comply with all of the rules and requirements for an application. The OPSB is now preparing to begin the process of evaluating the project. Looking at the flowchart of the power siting process, we have now moved from the "60 Day Staff Compliance Review" to the stage of "Letter of Completeness and Proof of Service". This is an important step in the process, but definitely not one to be taken as a defeat. FE has made many similar applications that have been found to comply with the rules and requirements for an application. There's no reason why this application would not comply with the rules as well. The important take-away is that the next review process will be the actual review of the merits of the project. It will be our chance to make our case at public hearings. Stand by for more information on the next steps.
The OPSB posted a letter from the Montville Township Board of Trustees dated November 5, 2007, that contained a Resolution passed by the board, in opposition to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. The docket page and the actual document are here. I highly encourage everyone to read this resolution.
Thompson Township Trustee Erwin Leffel emailed in and pointed out to me that the Thompson Board of Township Trustees met in a special session on April 1, 2007. At that session, they passed a resolution in opposition to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project. The docket page and .PDF document are here. It was my mistake for not remembering their on-the-spot resolution. I stand corrected!
The December 5, 2007 edition of the News Herald newspaper ran a news item titled "Area farms see growth", by Jeffrey L. Frischkorn. It's an interesting article, that states what most of us already know, i.e., that agriculture is the #1 industry in Geauga County. Professor Randy James of the OSU Agricultural Extension Service makes some very powerful, fact based conclusions in the article. This article will definitely help our cause, since it is obvious that The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is detrimental to agriculture. Since agriculture is Geauga County's primary industry (and the only growing industry) The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is detrimental to Geauga County's primary industry. It is very difficult to rationalize a project that penalizes the county's primary industry (and the only growing industry) to support other subordinate industries.
On Thursday, December 3, 2008, FirstEnergy published a news release, stating that "FIRSTENERGY COMPANIES FILE APPLICATION FOR GEAUGA COUNTY TRANSMISSION LINE". The key statement in the news release is:
With the completed application now filed, the OPSB will appoint an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to conduct hearings on the merits of the proposed line. The ALJ will establish dates for public and adjudicatory hearings in this case. Once these dates are scheduled, the company will publish two separate public notices in local newspapers, advising of the date, time and place for the public hearing, which will be held in Geauga County and will provide all interested parties the opportunity to speak regarding the project.
With this statement, FirstEnergy is moving the process to the next stage. The following people have been appointed to oversee the case,
The Ohio Power Siting Board has posted their next meeting on their public calendar. The next OPSB meeting will take place on Monday, March 3, 2008, at 3:30 PM. The meeting will be held at 180 East Broad Street, 11th Floor, Room E, Columbus, OH. An agenda for the meeting has not been published.
FIRSTENERGY HAS SUBMITTED A REVISED APPLICATION TO THE OPSB
On January 2, 2008, FirstEnergy filed a revised application to the Ohio Power Siting board. The title of the application has not changed, except that the revised application is identified by "Revision 1". The differences between the original and Revision 1 applications are detailed in pages 3 through 9 of volume 1 part 1.
I have downloaded the entire application and have it on line. There are seven separate documents in the application:
OPSB has posted the agenda for their March 3, 2008 meeting on the public calendar. The agenda does not include any reference to The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project, case number 07-0171-EL-BTX.
The Farm and Dairy for February 21, 2008, ran another great article by Ann Wishart, Citizens frustrated at lack of answers concerning FirstEnergy power plans. Unfortunately, the article is not on the The Farm and Dairy on-line edition, so there's no link to the article. The main points of the article are:
Thanks to Ann Wishart for helping to keep The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project in the news. It's obvious to everyone that The Geauga County - 138kV Transmission Line Supply Project is an extremely poor project, so the more people become familiar with the facts, the more opponents the project will create.
The orders in this entry include:
Click Here for a map showing the PUCO building. (The PUCO building is on the north east corner of Broad Street and N. 4th Street)
The entry of findings and orders document is available here.
Watch the Raccoon Country Roundtable for late breaking news on the public and adjudicatory hearings.
The orders in this entry include:
Click Here for a map showing the PUCO building. (The PUCO building is on the north east corner of Broad Street and N. 4th Street)
The entry of findings and orders document is available here.
... followed by ...
Click Here for an interactive map showing the PUCO building. (The PUCO building is on the north east corner of Broad Street and N. 4th Street)
By relocating the public hearings to locations within the affected communities, Judge Stoneking has demonstrated an interest in insuring that the proceeding will be fair, impartial, and will not impose travel deterrents to any citizen whishing to exercise their right to give testimony.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO GIVE TESTIMONY AT OPSB HEARINGS
There are two Public Hearings scheduled. The first is on Monday, May 12, 2008 beginning at 4:30 p.m., at Ledgemont Elementary-Middle School, 16200 Burrows Road, Thompson, Ohio, in the gymnasium. The second Public Hearing is the following day, Tuesday, May 13, 2008, beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Huntsburg Town Hall, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio, in the meeting room on the second floor. Each speaker will be limited in time to his/her presentation, probably 3-5 minutes each, and speakers will be allowed to present at only one of the hearings.
At the Public Hearings, CARE will want to articulate its position and the position of its members clearly and non-repetitively. Although exact methods to coordinate the presentations have not yet been decided, it is probable that, prior to the hearings, CARE may ask those who want to make a presentation to meet with CARE’s counsel, write out and rehearse their presentation and make their presentation in an order to be pre-determined.
The Adjudicatory Hearing is a formal evidentiary hearing to be held in Columbus, Ohio. It is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on May 21, 2008 at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 180 East Broad Street, 11th floor, Hearing Room F, Columbus, Ohio. This hearing is likely to continue for at least three days, and could continue for up to five or more days. The CARE leadership, and CARE counsel will determine what witnesses will testify on behalf of CARE. Any witness selected will be required to:
If you are interested in making a presentation at either of the Public Hearings, or if you want to be considered to be a witness on behalf of CARE at the Adjudicatory Hearing, please contact Jim Galm, email@example.com, TEL (216) 346-0782, as soon as possible to volunteer. We are now 52 days from the first Public Hearing. There is no time to waste.
Mario DiFranco found these two vintage newspaper ads in a Geauga County history book. They were run in the Good News during 1983 and 1985. Geauga Preservation Society was the group founded by Chuck White in Middlefield, that successfully prevailed against CEI not once, but twice!
Thanks for the items, Mario. Click on the thumbnails to see full size scans.
To anyone who doubts that FirstEnergy can be prevailed upon, here is the proof. It can be done, it has been done, and it will be done again.
Nancy Kothera and the other township trustees saved a high quality paper copy of the CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project, case number 95-0600-EL-BTX, submitted to the OPSB on November 28, 1995. She generously loaned CARE this document for reference.
I have scanned the CEI/Rachel Transmission Line Project application and now have the complete text ON LINE. Unlike the docketing department scans, these are high resolution scans saved as OCR/text coded PDFs. They can be searched for keywords, and text may be copied and pasted. Some of the figures were too large for my scanner. As the oversize pages are scanned on a larger scanner, I will post them as well. The Part 1 through Part 7 files listed below are divided arbitrarily, to create reasonably sized files. The parts don't correspond to actual divisions in the application.
The entry of findings and orders has not been posted to the docket card, but a copy was faxed to CARE's legal team on Wednesday, May 7, 2008. Although the entry does not specify when the hearings will be rescheduled, it is very likely that the public hearings will take place during the week of July 7, 2008, and the adjudicatory hearing will begin on July 17, 2007. These dates are based on the conference discussions referenced in the finding (3) of the entry.
HERSHEY MONTESSORI STUDENTS POST VIDEO ESSAY, “PEOPLE PLACE AND POWER” on YouTube.
The students at the Hershey Montessori Farm School in Huntsburg have produced a video essay titled, “People Place and Power” that presents solid facts and learned opinions on the Geauga 138 kV Transmission Line Project. The students emphasize the biological, land use, and societal impacts of the project. I don’t impress easily, but I was blown away by their essay. The students obviously understand the widespread, long term implications of the project, and express their understanding with clarity and precision. The images are visually stunning – not only is the message on target but the essay is beautiful to watch.
There is no way that I can sufficiently encourage everyone to watch this video essay. It’s on YouTube right now at “People Place and Power”. Please leave your feedback on YouTube or send it directly to the students. I’m certain that they would enjoy reading your comments.
You will not be disappointed by this video essay.
HEARING DATES ARE BEING SET
On Monday, June 23, 2008, a telephone status conference was held between the parties of record in the case and the administrative law judge, Janet K. Stoneking. During the conference, some key dates for hearings were established.
OPSB Staff report due - August 4, 2008.
Public hearings (Thompson and Huntsburg) - August 20-21, or two days during the week of August 26-28, 2008.
Adjudicatory hearing - September 2-5, and September 8, 2008 onward.
Judge Stoneking stated that these are the intended dates for the associated events. The public hearing dates are obviously subject to the availability of the facilities in Thompson and Huntsburg. The other dates have no specific contingencies attached. Nevertheless, an order has not been written that explicitly states that these are THE dates. When such an order is posted on the case docket, I’ll post the information here at once.
Join CARE and the DiFrancos for
A Night of Fine Dining
Saturday, July 12, 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Montville Community Center
MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW.
CLICK HERE FOR THE MENU AND POSTER.
Please HELP SELL TICKETS for this wonderful event.
CARE's latest fundraising event, The CARE Evening of Fine Dining is complete and was a complete success. According to the initial totals, CARE's net income from the event is surely a record for our dinner events.
This event was the brainchild of Rocky and Mary DiFranco, who essentially thought it up and made it happen. CARE is very lucky to have creative, hard-working volunteers like the DiFrancos. Thank you, Rocky and Mary.
The highlight of this event was of course the dinner. Our guests were delighted with the excellent dinner and everyone complemented the chefs (no exceptions). Everyone involved in cooking and preparing the wonderful food is to be congratulated, especially Rocky and Mary for running the kitchen, and particularly Kathy Vickery for her beautiful, delicious deserts.
This was a labor intensive event, and CARE members and friends responded to the call for volunteers with CARE enthusiasm. Every volunteer member of the set-up staff, kitchen crew, floor helpers (i.e., the Ross Family), clean-up, wash-up, and transportation crews worked very hard and should take great pride in a job well done. Thank you, everyone.
We must never forget that the excellent venue for this and so many other CARE events is provided for our use by the Montville Township Board of Trustees, Alexa Holbert, Jim Marsic and Randy Petersen. Without their support, we would have no chance of finding such a great place for our events. Thank you, Alexa, Jim and Randy.
Finally, thanks to everyone that helped sell tickets, bought tickets or attended our CARE Evening of Fine Dining. If you didn't come to the CARE Evening of Fine Dining, you missed a genuine fine dining experience.
Local Public Hearing dates for The Geauga 138 kV Transmission Line Supply Project have been announced by Judge Stoneking.
On Friday, July 11, 2008, Judge Janet Stoneking wrote an order with wide-spread impact on all aspects of our case. Click here to go to the case docket entry containing the order. Click here to read the full text of Judge Janet Stoneking's order.
Of most immediate importance to CARE members and friends, the order fixed the dates of the following procedural milestones:
|Witness Identification:||August 1,2008|
|File Staff Report:||August 12, 2008|
|Discovery Completion:||August 15,2008|
|Case Status Conference:||August 18,2008|
|File Direct Testimony:||August 25,2008|
|Local Public Hearings:||August 27 - 28,2008|
|Adjudicatory Hearing:||September 2,2008|
It is most unfortunate that Judge Stoneking did not consider the date conflict between the Local Public Hearings and The Great Geauga County Fair. This year, we must forego the first day of the wonderful Fair in an effort to protect Geauga County. There will be many more Great Geauga County Fairs, but this is our one and only chance to rescue our legacy, heritage and precious green space from attack by a merciless $32.4 billion corporation and an uncaring government.
Please plan to attend the Local Public hearings. There will be much more information to follow.
LOCAL PUBLIC HEARING DATES CONFIRMED, THIRD PUBLIC HEARING DATE ADDED
On August 6, 2008, Judge Stoneking entered an order that confirmed the dates of the local public hearings, confirmed the dates of the adjudicatory hearing in Columbus, OH, and added a third public hearing on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 6:00 p.m. at the Huntsburg Town Hall, second floor, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046. Click here to read Judge Stoneking's order, or click here to visit the case docket entry.
This is excellent news for everyone involved in the Great Geauga County Fair. The initial two public hearing dates conflicted with fair week, thus precluding many citizens' abilities to testify at the hearings. We now have a public hearing on a date that does not conflict with the fair. The public hearings are presently scheduled as follows. Click on the locations for interactive maps.
|Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at 4:30 p.m.||Ledgemont Elementary - Middle School, gymnasium, 16200 Burrows Road, Thompson, Ohio 44086.|
|Thursday, August 28, 2008, at 1:30 p.m.||Huntsburg Town Hall, second floor, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046.|
|Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 6:00 p.m.||Huntsburg Town Hall, second floor, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046.|
The adjudicatory hearing remains scheduled for September 2, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 180 East Broad Street, 11th floor, Hearing Room F, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793. Click here for a map showing the PUCO building.
Both routes are complete and online.
ADJUDICATORY HEARING DATE CHANGED
On August 7, 2008, the CARE legal team filed a petition to continue the adjudicatory hearing, i.e., postpone it to a later date. The legal team asked for an immediate ruling. Click here to read the motion and memorandum in support, or here to view the entry on the case docket.
The motion and memorandum in support did the job. On August 14, 2008, Judge Stoneking entered an order that continued the adjudicatory hearing until Tuesday, September 16, 2008. Click here to read the order, or here to view the entry on the case docket. It is my understanding that the hearing is expected to last nine days, thus the complete hearing is planned to run from September 16 - 19 and September 22 - 26.
According to the order, the case procedural schedule is now as follows:
|Case Status Conference||August 18, 2008|
|Local Public Hearings||August 27 & 28, 2008|
|Discovery Completion||August 29, 2008|
|File Direct Testimony||September 8, 2008|
|Local Public Hearing||September 10, 2008|
|File Staff Testimony||September 16, 2008|
|Adjudicatory Hearing||September 16, 2008|
The adjudicatory hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., at the offices of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 180 East Broad Street, 11th floor, Hearing Room F, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793. Click here for a map showing the PUCO building.
The complete calendar of hearings is as follows:
|Public Hearing||Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at 4:30 p.m.||Ledgemont Elementary - Middle School, gymnasium, 16200 Burrows Road, Thompson, Ohio 44086.|
|Public Hearing||Thursday, August 28, 2008, at 1:30 p.m.||Huntsburg Town Hall, second floor, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046.|
|Public Hearing||Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 6:00 p.m.||Huntsburg Town Hall, second floor, 16534 Mayfield Road, Huntsburg, Ohio 44046.|
|Adjudicatory Hearing||Monday, September 16, 2008||Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 180 East Broad Street, 11th floor, Hearing Room F, Columbus, Ohio 43215-3793|
THE FABULOUS DIFRANCO FISH FRIES ARE BACK!
It's that time of year again. You've waited all winter and your patience is about to be rewarded. Citizens Advocating Responsible Energy (CARE) is sponsoring SIX DiFranco Fish Fries this season. The dates are:
Friday, March 6
Friday, March 13
Friday, March 20
Friday, March 27
Friday, April 3
Friday, April 10
We'll be serving from 5 to 7:30 PM at the Montville Community Center. The Montville Community Center is located at 9755 Madison Road, Montville, Ohio 44064, just south of US-6. Click here for a map.
All you can eat dinner includes DESSERT! $8.50 Adults Pre-School Children FREE • K - 6th Grade $4.00
Carryouts available for stay-at-homes
Click here for the poster
Friends and neighbors, this is no ordinary fish fry. The DiFranco Fish Fries are LEGENDARY. You will not find a better fish dinner, or a better value anywhere in the area. See you there!
CARE has filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, in view of the unfavorable decision by The Ohio Power Siting Board. The OSC on-line case docket and case number is 2009-0481.
Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 16, 2009.
The DiFrancos will be cooking an Italian spaghetti dinner on Saturday, May 16 at the Montville Community Center. We will be serving from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Carry-outs available for stay-at-homes. Click here for the event poster.
This incredible dinner includes all-you-can eat spaghetti, 3 meatballs, garlic toast, tossed salad, coffee and dessert! $7.00 Adults Pre-School Children FREE • K - 6th Grade $4.00
The winner of the fantastic CARE Vacation Cash Drawing will be drawn at 7 PM.
Bring your appetite and your rabbit's foot.
Click HERE for the Clambake Poster.
COMPLETE ROUTE AMENDMENT AND SET OF SCANNED AMENDMENT MAPS IS NOW ONLINE
On March 30, 2011, FirstEnergy filed an amendment to the Geauga county 138 kV Transmission Line Supply Project, OPSB Case 07-0171-EL-BTX with the Ohio Power Siting Board. The substance of the amendment is to make four changes to the transmission line route. Of course, the OPSB rubber stamped FEs amendment and approved everything.
I have scanned the entire amendment. Click here for the text portion of the amendment. I have also scanned the maps and figures from the amendment. There are two overview figures and eight new maps. The map numbers correspond to the numbers of the maps that they replaced, as shown above.
|Overview maps||Detail Maps|
Check back here soon for some new updates!
LINKS TO AGENCY AND GOVERNMENT HOME PAGES
The Ohio Power Siting Board - The group that reviews and has the authority to grant or deny a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need. This certificate is required to begin construction of any project such as this one.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio - The overall commission in Ohio charged with regulating providers of all kinds of utility services, including electric and natural gas companies, local and long distance telephone companies, water and wastewater companies, and rail and trucking companies. The Ohio Power Siting Board is one small part of PUCO.
Geauga County Government - An incredibly good web site, well organized with a wealth of information. Go here first for contact information of all elected or appointed county officials.
GeaugaLink - A non-official web site with plenty of interesting information on Geauga County. This site contains contact information for all Township Trustees.
LINKS TO OUR GOVERNOR, STATE SENATOR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's web site has a contact list and an email portal, click here to reach his email portal.
Timothy Grendell is our Ohio Senator for the 18th district. His email address is SD18@mailr.sen.state.oh.us.
Matthew J. Dolan is our Representative to the Ohio House of Representatives for the 98th house district. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
LINKS TO OUR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE AND U.S. SENATORS
Steven C. LaTourette is our representative to the United States House of Representatives for the 14th congressional district. His web site has an email portal, click here to reach his email portal.
Sherrod Brown is one of our two United States Senators from the state of Ohio. His contact information and email portal are available by clicking here.
George Vionovich is the other of our two United States Senators from Ohio. His contact information and email portal are available by clicking here.
EMAIL ADDRESSES AND TELEPHONE NUMBERS OF OUR TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES
Frank Sirna, (440) 298-3273, Frank.Sirna@ThompsonOhio.org
Ben Smith, (440) 298-9701, Ben.Smith@ThompsonOhio.org
Erwin Leffel, (440) 298-9856, Erwin.Leffel@ThompsonOhio.org
Alexa Holbert, (440) 968-3394, email@example.com
Jim Marsic, (440) 286-1009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Peterson, (440) 968-3460, email@example.com
Jerry M. Rose Jr.
Clark M. Adams, (440) 635-0018, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy J. Kothera, (440) 636-5498, email@example.com
Please send any and all information that you might have related to The Geauga County -138kV Transmission Line Supply Project to
webmaster(ampersat goes here)huntsburg(period goes here)org
jgalm(ampersat goes here)huntsburg(period goes here)org