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WPSC prehearing date set
WPSC release

Notice has been given that the WPSC, Wisconsin Public Service Commission, will hold a prehearing conference on Monday, May 15, at 10 a.m. in the Amnicon Falls Hearing Room at the Public Service Commission Building, 610 North Whitney Way, Madison, and continuing at times to be set by the presiding administrative law judge.

This is a proceeding to consider the application (Application) of Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) and Minnesota Power Company (MP) (together, Applicants) for authority to construct, operate and maintain 345-kV electric transmission line between the Arrowhead Substation near Duluth Minnesota, and the Weston Power Plant near Wausau, Wisconsin. WPSC also proposes to construct a 345/115kV substation, located near Tripoli, Wisconsin (Tripoli Substation) and a 115kV electric transmission line between the new Tripoli Substation and the existing Highway 8 Substation near Rhinelander, Wisconsin.

Copies of the construction application are available for public review at public libraries throughout the project area. Copies of the construction application are also available at the office of the clerks for each county, town, village and city within close proximity of the project area. An electronic copy of the construction application may be viewed on the commission's web site, www.psc.state.wi.us

This building is accessible to people in wheelchairs through the Whitney Way first floor lobby entrance. Parking for those with disabilities is available on the south side of the building. Anyone with a dis~ability who needs additional accommodations should contact the case coordinator Neil Michek at the WPSC, 608/267-1209.

The prehearing conference is being held to identify persons who will actively participate as full parties, identify issues, determine the date and time for a hearing, specify dates for filing testimony and exhibits and any other matters that will facilitate the hearing.

Parties will be bound by the designation of issues and the schedule adopted at the prehearing conference. Persons who consider themselves to be potential parties should participate in the prehearing conference. Those who wish to become parties must request party status under Wisconsin Statute 227.44(2m) no later than Tuesday, May 30. Such requests must be in writing and addressed to Administrative Law Judge, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 78564, Madison 53707-7854.

If granted party status, you would have certain rights and obligations. You would be served with all legal documents in the case, such as letters, pleadings, testimony, briefs and decisions. You would also be required to follow the commission's rules of procedure and to provide a copy of anything you file to all other parties.

While interested participants may request to be ``party,'' be advised that you do not have to become a party in order to participate in the proceedings before the commission. You can participate in the process in several ways: - Anyone who wishes to participate in this case may do so. For example, you can testify at the public hearings and make your views part of the written record that will be reviewed by the commissioners when they decide whether to approve or reject the application. Under the commission's rules, you do not have to become a party to testify. You may participate as a ``limited intervenor'' simply by appearing at the hearing, giving your name and address and asking to speak. A limited intervenor has almost all the rights of party, including the same ability to testify on the record as party. - You can also assist commission staff in evaluating the application by contacting the staff with your comments and specific concerns about how this project might affect your property. Such comments should be directed to Neal Michek, Case Coordinator, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 7854, Madison 53707-7854.

- Providing written comments on the draft Environment Impact Statement that will be prepared to analyze the environmental issues raised by the project. Written comments on the draft EIS should be addressed to Kathleen J. Zuelsdorff, WEPA Coordinator, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 7854, Madison 53707-7854.

Parties may begin discovery immediately. Additional procedures regarding the discovery process will be discussed at the prehearing conference. To obtain a current list of parties, call Nancy Anthony at 608/ 266-1261. Pursuant to Wisconsin Administrative Code PSC 3.03(1), applications for intervenor compensation must be received at the commission by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30. Requests for intervenor compensation should be addressed to Linda L. Dorr, Secretary to the Commission, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 7854, Madison 53707-7854. Questions regarding applications for intervenor compensation should be directed to Gordon O. Grant at 608/267-9086.

The commission considers it necessa~ry, in order to carry out its duties, to investigate all books, accounts, practices and activities of the applicants. The expenses incurred or to be incurred by the commission, which are reasonably attributable to such an investigation, will be assessed against and collected from the applicants in accordance with the provisions of Wisconsin Statute 196.85 and Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. PSC 5. WPSC and MP are proposing construction of the 345kV electric transmission line from the Arrowhead Substation, near Duluth, Minnesota, to the Weston Power Plant, near Wausau, Wisconsin, in order to improve the reliability of the electric power supply to customers in northwest and northcental Wisconsin, to all customers of WPSC and MP, to all electric power customers in Wisconsin and to all electric power customers in the Upper Midwest. WPSC proposes the construction of the 345/115kV substation near Tripoli, Wisconsin, and the 115kV electric transmission line from the new Tripoli Substation to the existing Highway 8 Substation near Rhinelander, Wisconsin, to improve the local reliability of the ``Upper West'' portion of WPSC's service territory. The application defines WPSC's ``Upper West'' service territory as the area surrounding the following communities in Wisconsin: Antigo, Monico, Crandon, Three Lakes, Eagle River, St. Germain, Minocqua, Woodruff, Rhinelander and Tomahawk.

This is a Class I proceeding as defined in Wisconsin Statute 227.01(3)(a). This is a Type I action under Wisconsin Administrative Code PSC 4.10. This action requires that the commission prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Persons wishing to receive a copy of the draft Environmental Impact Statement should submit a written request to Barbara Pickhardt, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 7854, Madison 53707-7854. Persons wishing to comment or provide information on environmental aspects of this case may submit written comments to Kathleen J. Zuelsdorff, WEPA Coordinator, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, PO Box 7854, Madison 53707-7854. Comments are welcome now or at any time prior to the public hearings that will be scheduled in the future.

The commission does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of programs, services or employment. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in this proceeding or who needs to obtain this document in a different format should contact the case coordinator listed below.

Questions regarding this matter may be directed to case coordinator Neil Michek at 608/267-1209.