Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Presenters:  Ted Hollingsworth
Brent Leisure

Action
Request for Easement – Briscoe County
Transmission Line Crossing Caprock Canyons Trailway
January 27, 2011

I.       Executive Summary:  Cross Texas Transmission, LLC requests the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission grant an easement for the proposed crossing of the Caprock Canyons Trailway by an electric transmission line component of the Competitive Renewable Electric Zone.

II.     Discussion:  In 2005, Texas Senate Bill 20 (79th Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session) directed the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to determine the most productive and developable wind zones in Texas, known as Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) (Tex Utilities Code §§39.203, 39.904).  Since that time, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) has been evaluating proposed routes for CREZ transmission lines in multiple dockets at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

In Application of Cross Texas Transmission, LLC for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to the Silverton to Tesla 345 kV Transmission Line in Briscoe, Childress, Cottle, Floyd, Hall and Motley Counties — PUC Docket No. 38435, SOAH Docket No. 473-10-5543, a number of the proposed routes being evaluated by the PUC would require crossing the Caprock Canyons Trailway.  The “First Settlement Route” presented to TPWD staff evolved into the “Second Settlement Route” in response to concerns raised by TPWD staff.  The project sponsor, Cross Texas Transmission, LLC requests that TPWD grant an easement for crossing the Caprock Canyons Trailway in Briscoe County at the location identified in the second settlement route.

III.    Recommendation:  The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

“The Commission adopts the Resolution attached as Exhibit A.”

Attachments — 5

  1. Exhibit A — Resolution
  2. Exhibit B – Location Map
  3. Exhibit C – Vicinity Map
  4. Exhibit D – Project Map
  5. Exhibit E – Site Map


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit A

This Resolution has been amended from the version originally posted.

A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission Regarding the Granting of an Easement Covering Approximately One Acre of Real Property in Briscoe County for a Transmission Line Crossing the Caprock Canyon Trailway

Resolution

Whereas, Cross Texas Transmission, LLC (Cross Texas) has requested an easement covering approximately one acre crossing the Caprock Canyon Trailway (the Trailway) in Briscoe County Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, in 2005, Texas Senate Bill 20 (79th Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session) directed the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUC) to determine the most productive wind zones in Texas, resulting in the designation of Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) (Tex. Utilities Code §§39.203, 39.904); and,

Whereas, in response, the PUC selected Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ),  identified transmission system improvement projects needed to transmit electrical power from wind generation, selected transmission plans and transmission service providers for the projects, and has approved routes for the transmission lines and facilities; and,

Whereas, the route approved by the three-member Public Utility Commission for the Silverton to Tesla 345 kV CREZ transmission line in Briscoe, Childress, Cottle, Floyd, Hall and Motley Counties (PUC Docket No. 38435, SOAH Docket No. 473-10-5543), would require crossing a portion of the Trailway in Briscoe County and would therefore trigger Chapters 26 and 13 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code; and,

Whereas, Cross Texas has indicated that the routes that would not cross the Trailway would result in significant additional costs; and,

Whereas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (the Commission) finds that as required by Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, notices of today’s hearing of this matter were published at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in newspapers of general circulation which are published at least six days a week in the counties nearest to Briscoe County in which such newspapers are published (Lubbock Avalanche Journal in Lubbock County, the Amarillo Globe-News in Potter and Randall Counties, and the Plainview Daily Herald in Hale County), in addition to the Briscoe County News, which is a weekly publication, with the last day of publication being not less than one week or more than two weeks before the date of today’s hearing and that such notices; and,

Whereas, PUC staff and Cross Texas have worked with TPWD staff to determine a route across the Trailway intended to minimize biological and aesthetic impacts to the Trailway and the adjacent landscape; and,

Whereas, Cross Texas has agreed to compensate TPWD for the Easement and to undertake certain activities and certain mitigation measures to minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the Trailway; and,

Whereas, TPWD staff believe that some of the alternative routes for the Silverton to Tesla line are likely to result in greater net impacts to the state’s fish and wildlife resources, and therefore granting of an Easement to Cross Texas is not inconsistent with the mission of TPWD; and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 26, that (1) there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land (Easement);  (2) the program or project that requires the use or taking of land (Easement) includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land (Easement); and,

Whereas, the Commission finds, in accordance with Section 13.009 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code that conveyance of the Easement subject to conditions that will minimize the overall impacts of the Easement on the Trailway is in the best interest of TPWD; and,

Now, therefore, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to take all necessary steps to negotiate terms and conditions under which an Easement may be granted, and to grant an Easement to Cross Texas for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 27th day of January 2011.

________________________________
Peter M. Holt, Chairman

________________________________
T. Dan Friedkin, Vice-Chairman

________________________________
Mark E. Bivins, Member

________________________________
Ralph H. Duggins, Member

________________________________
Antonio Falcon M.D., Member

________________________________
Karen J. Hixon, Member

________________________________
Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

________________________________
S. Reed Morian, Member


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit B

Location of Caprock Canyons Trailway in Briscoe, Floyd and Hall Counties

Location of Caprock Canyons Trailway in Briscoe, Floyd and Hall Counties


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Caprock Canyons Trailway

Vicinity Map for Caprock Canyons Trailway


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit D

Map Showing Caprock Canyons Trailway and CREZ Project Vicinity

Map Showing Caprock Canyons Trailway and CREZ Project Vicinity


Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Exhibit E

Site Map for Proposed CREZ Line Routes Across Caprock Canyons Trailway

Site Map for Proposed CREZ Line Routes Across Caprock Canyons Trailway


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