Judge recommends alternate route for CapX2020 utilities lineby Matt Sepic, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A judge has made a route recommendation for a high-voltage power line in southeastern Minnesota.
Administrative Law Judge Kathleen Sheehy says the 90-mile section of the CapX2020 project should cross the Zumbro River at the Lake Zumbro hydroelectric dam north of Rochester.
The decision moves the line to where infrastructure already exists, which pleases Jeff Broberg, an environmental consultant for Oronoco Township.
"It's one of the shortest routes. It meets in the best sense that they could what Minnesota calls their nonproliferation act," Broberg said. "In other words, you put infrastructure where there's already infrastructure."
But Red Wing attorney Carol Overland represents opponents of the CapX2020 project and says it could still damage the environment.
"There's a very high area of biodiversity there a very valuable natural area," she said. "And there are a lot of landowners there, so we did specifically advocate against that route, so we're not very happy with this choice."
CapX2020's first phase went online in central Minnesota in December. Planners hope to finish the 700-mile project across Minnesota and into Wisconsin and the Dakotas by 2015.