The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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February 19, 2014

Silence by Arkansas Public Service Commission signals approval of SWEPCO alternative

— Silence on Tuesday from the Arkansas Public Service Commission signaled concurrence with a judge’s order approving a route through Southwest Missouri for a controversial transmission line.

Feb. 18 was the deadline for the three APSC commissioners to either approve or reject Administrative Law  Judge Connie Griffin’s Jan. 17 order giving the green light to Southwestern Electric Power Co. to build the line, which will traverse 25 miles in Southwest Missouri and 31 miles in Northwest Arkansas.

SWEPCO requested approval for the 345,000-volt line in order to connect the Shipe Road Substation in Benton County, Ark., to the proposed Kings River Substation in Carroll County, Ark. The project will require 150-foot right-of-way and 150-foot towers every 800 feet.

Griffin’s recommended route, will cross at least 136 privately owned properties, according to a list obtained from the grassroots opposition group Save the Ozarks.

Arkansas Public Service Commission Director John Bethel said today that if by 30 days after an admistrative law judge’s order, the commission doesn’t aprove or reject that order, it indicates the commission’s acceptance.

“After 30 days, that decision becomes the order of the commission,” Bethel said.

Bethel said the commission’s rules also allow official parties who have a concern or objection to all or part of the order to file a petition for a rehearing. The deadline for that petition is March 20.

Pat Costner of Save the Ozarks said today that the group will file a request for a rehearing of the APSC decision.


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