JUNCTION, TEXAS (September 18, 2009) – Thanks to the efforts of the Clear View Alliance and its network of like-minded organizations and individuals, the LCRA has taken the first step to protect the Texas Hill Country from the effects of ill-planned energy sprawl. LCRA asked the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to extend the deadline for filing the proposed routes for the high-voltage transmission lines slated to be built in the region. If granted, the delay will give the LCRA time to study a broader area that includes an existing 138 kV transmission line right-of-way and the I-10 corridor.
“From the beginning, Clear View Alliance (CVA) has asked LCRA to include existing rights-of-way in its plans to prevent unnecessary development and damages to the natural resources of this region,” said Bill Neiman, president of CVA. “We’re pleased the LCRA has listened to our concerns and we hope the PUC will act accordingly.”
According to its filing, the LCRA has received more public comment regarding this project than any other in its history.
“The people have spoken and the government is listening – this is democracy working at its highest and best level,” Neiman continued. “The Hill Country is every Texan’s backyard. It is imperative that these massive, permanent transmission lines be deliberately sited with care to protect this shared environment. Texas has a lot to lose if we do not get this right. The Hill Country will not get ‘do-overs.”
The PUC will consider LCRA’s motion at its next open meeting in Austin on Thursday, September 24. If the commissioners accept the motion, the deadline for filing the proposed Twin Buttes-McCamey D route will be delayed until January 15, 2010 and the proposed McCamey D-Kendall-Gillespie route will be extended until July 6, 2010. Currently, the deadline is October 28.
“The LCRA’s motion is an encouraging sign, but Hill Country residents and Texans at-large cannot abandon the process,” Neiman said. “We still have a long way to go. These high-voltage transmission lines will change the face of the Hill Country forever; CVA must ensure the scars are minimized.” The CVA is also working to encourage the use of monopoles throughout the construction and to ensure fair compensation for landowners whose property is taken for the transmission line easement.
The Clear View Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit formed to raise awareness and work to minimize unintended impacts from the construction of wind transmission lines. For more information on the Clear View Alliance, visit its website at: www.clearviewalliance.org .