LAKE DELTON — Residents living along both proposed routes for the Badger-Coulee Transmission project had the opportunity to learn about the project and speak up about its potential impact on them and their property June 5.
During a meeting at the Kalahari Resort, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin sought comments about the proposal from ATC Energy and Xcel Energy. Comments also can be contributed online at psc.wi.gov.
Daniel Sage, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin assistant administrator, said the Commission is developing an environmental impact statement that will be used with other information to help establish a final plan.
The proposed routes for the high-voltage power lines would take them along interstates 90/94 through Sauk County or along Highway 16 between Wisconsin Dells and Portage for the leg that would traverse the area.
Sage said the state is working to learn what, if any, private conservancy areas could be affected, among other potential environmental concerns. Additional hearings related to the overall project are likely to take place in December, he said.
“This is really more to find people in the project area and hear concerns about what the project would do,” Sage said. “How does this go across someone’s property? Is there something that might need to be avoided?”
Environmental factors used in the report include land value and aesthetics in addition to flora and fauna. Sage said this step in the process is the best chance for landowners to be heard. He encouraged people to submit their comments in writing.
“We encourage people to do it in writing because it’s more concrete and people can be more specific,” Sage said. “It becomes part of the documents staff works with.”
The commission will not make any recommendation on the project. It simply gathers information on the two proposed routes and presents the information it found. People in the area of the power lines should have received a letter alerting them to the environmental impact process.