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Great Lakes Article:

Groups file challenge to Duluth-to-Wausau power line

Published Nov 30 2001

Associated Press

MADISON, WIS. -- Three groups filed challenges Thursday against a high-voltage power line planned to run from Duluth through northwestern Wisconsin.

Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL), the Citizens' Utility Board (CUB) and Wisconsin's Environmental Decade sued state regulators in Marathon County Circuit Court in Wausau on separate issues in an effort to stop the line.

SOUL's suit claims that the line is not needed; CUB claims that there are better alternatives, and Environmental Decade claims that the damage to the environment the power line would cause is unacceptable.

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) issued a formal order last month that allowed the utilities behind the line to begin applying for state and federal construction permits.

Wisconsin Public Service Corp. of Green Bay and MinnesotaPower of Duluth proposed the $175 million, 210-mile transmission line, which would run from Duluth to Wausau. The 345-kilovolt line would carry enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes.

SOUL's challenge raises 16 issues, claiming that the PSC failed to address the environmental impact of the project properly and contends that its benefits do not justify the cost.

CUB's challenge says the PSC failed to consider less destructive and less expensive alternatives before approving the line and asks the court to overturn its decision.

-- Associated Press

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