Sign In  |  Register  |  About Corte Madera  |  Contact Us

Corte Madera, CA
September 01, 2020 10:27am
7-Day Forecast | Traffic
  • Search Hotels in Corte Madera

  • ROOMS:

Conservation groups sue to stop a transmission line from crossing a Mississippi River refuge

Environmental groups claim that a new high-voltage powerline linking IA's Dubuque County and WI's Dane County will negatively impact migratory routes.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A coalition of conservation groups filed a last-minute federal lawsuit seeking to stop plans to build the high-voltage Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line across a Mississippi River wildlife refuge.

American Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative Inc. want to build a 102-mile (164-kilometer), 345-kilovolt line linking Iowa's Dubuque County and Wisconsin's Dane County. The cost of the line is expected to top half a billion dollars but the utilities contend the project would improve electrical reliability across the region.


A portion of the line would run through the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Cassville, Wisconsin. The federal wildlife refuge is a haven for fish, wildlife and migratory birds that use it as their breeding grounds within the Mississippi Flyway. Millions of birds fly through the refuge, and it’s the only stopping point left for many migratory birds.

Opponents have been working to stop the project for years. The National Wildlife Federation, the Driftless Area Land Conservancy and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation filed an action in federal court in Madison on Wednesday seeking an injunction to block the refuge crossing.

The groups argue that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued final approvals for the refuge crossing in February without giving the public a chance to comment.

They also contend that the FWS and the utilities improperly reached a deal calling for the utilities to transfer about 36 acres (15 hectares) south of Cassville into the refuge in exchange for 19 acres (8 hectares) within the refuge for the line. The groups argue the deal violates the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act, which establishes a formal process for determining refuge use.

The groups went on to argue in their filing that they need an injunction quickly because the utilities are already creating construction staging areas on both the Iowa and Wisconsin sides of the river to begin work on the crossing.

The lawsuits names the FWS, the refuge's manager and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as defendants. Online court records showed U.S. Department of Justice attorney Kimberly Anne Cullen is representing them. She referred questions to U.S. DOJ spokesperson Matthew Nies, who declined to comment.

Dairyland Power Cooperative and ITC Midwest officials issued a joint statement saying they were "dismayed" at the lawsuit. They said that the land exchange would trade lower quality wildlife habitat for higher quality habitat, allowing for greater protection for birds, animals, fish and plants. They added that the lawsuit will only drive up costs and will slow efforts to link renewable energy sources to the transmission system.

ATC officials had no immediate comment.

Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.
Copyright © 2010-2020 & California Media Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.