Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ACC votes 5-0 to protect Kofa NWR from powerline

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Corporation Commission today voted 5-0 to deny a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility to Southern California Edison for the Devers–Palo Verde No. 2 Transmission Line Project (DPV2), a 500 kV line proposed to run 230 miles between the Harquahala Generating Substation in Arizona and the Devers Substation in California, including 97 miles in Arizona.

The identified route would have cut across important and sensitive wildlife habitat, including the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. The denial of this certificate is great news for the Refuge and its wildlife.

The Arizona Corporation Commission could affirm, deny, or approve with conditions the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility which had been issued by the Arizona Power Plant and Line Siting Committee.

The law requires that the Commission consider several factors in deciding whether or not to issue the Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and they must “. . . balance, in the broad public interest, the need for an adequate, economical and reliable supply of electric power with the desire to minimize the effect thereof on the environment and ecology of this state.”

In doing so, they said no to the line and the destruction of wildlife habitat in the Kofa NWR.

This is really an unprecedented decision in Arizona and a huge win for everyone who cares about our wildlife refuges and other protected lands.

Special thanks to Tim Hogan and the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, who represented the Sierra Club in this process. Tim spent countless hours before line siting and then at the Commission and did a great job.

Thanks to Sandy Bahr of the Sierra Club for again being effective for Arizona conservation.

Thanks to the Arizona Corporation Commission staff. They raised a lot of important issues and also asked for the denial of this Certificate.

Thanks to Don Begalke, who intervened as an individual and worked very hard to present a strong case against the line.

Thanks to Ken Sweat for providing expert testimony in the line siting process and helping us with our comments.

Thanks to Jon Findley for all his work and support through the process.

Thanks to Cary Meister and Yuma Audubon for stepping up once again to protect those precious remote desert lands in western Arizona.

Thanks to Lon Stewart who helped with some early research to get us rolling on this project and continued to comment throughout the process.

Thanks to SW PEER and many Arizonans for caring, for writing, for emailing, and continuing to fight to protect Arizona’s wildlands and wildlife.

And a big thanks to the Arizona Corporation Commissioners, who today, voted to do the right thing.

- adapted from Sierra Club

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