Thursday, September 12, 2013
Imagine you lost a football game, but then asked officials if you could start over and play the game again using the knowledge gained in the first game. That is an analogy being made by members of Save The Ozarks (STO) who oppose a motion by American Electric Power (AEP)/Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) to amend their application to the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) of their proposal to build a high voltage transmission line from Shipe Road in Benton County to near the Kings River in Carroll County. AEP/SWEPCO made their request to amend in the last hour of the last day of a weeklong hearing before the APSC regarding an application for approval.
“They knew that they’d lost in the hearing, so they want a ‘do-over’,” said Pat Costner, director of STO. “AEP/SWEPCO wants to amend their application to include newly-submitted testimony from their experts. This is testimony we’ve had little or no opportunity to review or rebut, and we haven’t had access to the information their experts relied on in their new testimonies.”
Administrative Law Judge Connie Griffin asked AEP/SWEPCO to submit a written motion to amend within 10 days. While the five-day hearing recessed on August 30, as of Sept. 10, AEP/SWEPCO had not filed its motion.
“Until they file their motion to amend, we can’t respond to it,” Costner said. “The judge has to see that motion and our response before she can rule on it. AEP/SWEPCO has apparently decided to wait until the last minute to file their motion to amend because that minimizes the amount of time we have to respond. ”
Costner gave a summary of the hearing, which has been continued, not closed. Matters still pending before the Judge Griffin include:
- Danos family. Motion to dismiss submitted Aug. 2, 2013 based on inadequate public notice as required by law.
- STO. Motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, or in the alternative for continuance, submitted August 16.
- STO. Motion to compel responses to discovery requests, submitted August 16.
Costner outlined the next steps in the APSC proceedings:
- AEP/SWEPCO will submit in written form the motion to amend their application that they made orally in the last hour of the last day of the hearing in Little Rock.
- STO, Danos and other intervenors will submit responses to SWEPCO’s motion to amend.
- Judge Griffin will issue an order calling for legal briefs on AEP/SWEPCO’s motion to amend and possibly other issues.
- Legal briefs will be prepared and submitted by SWEPCO, STO, Danos and other intervenors.
- Judge Griffin may ask for oral arguments on some of the issues addressed in the legal briefs.
- Judge Griffin will close the hearing and issue her decision within 60 days or less.
- Judge Griffin will submit her decision as recommendations to the three commissioners of the APSC.
- The APSC Commissioners will consider Judge Griffin’s recommendations, review the case and make their decision at their discretion.
If the APSC Commission decides to approve the project, STO is planning a legal challenge.
Comments:Be the first to comment!
Login to comment!