By Associated Press - Thursday, May 21, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has approved a $54 million, 144-mile electrical transmission line through the Black Hills National Forest, though more hurdles remain for the project.

Black Hills Power still needs permission from the Wyoming Public Service Commission, and it still hasn’t negotiated easements with all of the private landowners along the route from northeastern Wyoming to southwestern South Dakota, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1IRd5m5 ). Some of the property owners don’t think Black Hills Power is offering enough money for the easements, and some are unhappy with the proposed route.

South Dakota-based Black Hills Power wants to have the Teckla-Osage-Rapid City line operational by the beginning of next year.

The Forest Service approval followed a multi-year review during which several route modifications were made to reduce the effects on wildlife, residences, public-use areas and Native American religious sites.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a permit in December for the South Dakota portion of the line, but Wyoming’s Public Service Commission still is considering approval.



Black Hills Power also must obtain easements from some landowners whose land was burned by a 2012 wildfire caused by a damaged Black Hills Power pole. A lawsuit arising from that fire is still pending, and at least some of the plaintiffs are landowners in the proposed line’s path.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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