Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter:  Ted Hollingsworth

Action
Request for Utility Easement – Hall County — Caprock Canyon Trailway
TUCO to Wheeler Transmission Line
March 29, 2012

I.       Executive Summary:  Southwestern Public Service Company requests the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission grant an easement for the proposed crossing of the Caprock Canyons Trailway by an electric transmission line.

II.      Discussion:  Southwestern Public Service (SPS) has filed an application with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to amend SPS’s Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) for a proposed 345 kV transmission line from the TUCO substation to Wheeler (PUC Docket No. 38877).  The proposed transmission line will or may run through Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Briscoe, Hall, Childress, Donley, Collingsworth, and Wheeler counties.  TPWD staff have intervened and participated in this CCN matter.  One of the preferred routes would cross the Caprock Canyon Trailway.  Southwestern Public Service has requested that the TPW Commission grant an easement for crossing the Caprock Canyons Trailway in Hall County.

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

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit A

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

Whereas, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS) has requested an easement covering approximately one acre crossing the Caprock Canyon Trailway (the Trailway) in Hall County Texas (the Easement); and,

Whereas, SPS has filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) its Application to  Amend a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) for a Proposed new 345 kV Transmission Line Within Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Briscoe, Hall, Childress, Donley, Collingsworth, and Wheeler Counties, Texas (PUC Docket No. 38877).  The proposed line begins at the existing TUCO substation in Hale County, Texas, and ends at a point of interconnection with Oklahoma Gas & Electric, which is approximately three miles east of the Texas/Oklahoma state line and approximately three miles southeast of Texola, Oklahoma, in Beckham County, Oklahoma.

Whereas, TPWD staff intervened and participated in this CCN matter and negotiated with SPS, PUC staff, private landowners and local governments a settlement route that has been proposed to the PUC (“settlement route”); and,

Whereas, the settlement route recommended to  the PUC is located in Hale, Floyd, Motley, Cottle, Briscoe, Hall, Childress, Donley, Collingsworth, and Wheeler Counties and would require crossing the Trailway in Hall County and would therefore trigger Chapters 26 and 13 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code; and,

Whereas, SPS has indicated that the routes that would not cross the Trailway would not be acceptable to a number of private landowners; 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 Hall County in which such newspapers are published (Lubbock Avalanche Journal in Lubbock County), in addition to the Hall County Herald, 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 SPS 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, SPS 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 proposed transmission line are likely to result in greater net impacts to the state’s fish and wildlife resources, or to the aesthetic integrity of the Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, 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); and (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;

Now, therefore, contingent upon the approval of the settlement route or a route substantially similar to the settlement route by the Public Utility Commission, 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 SPS for the purposes and subject to the conditions described herein and in the motion approved in this Resolution.

Adopted and approved this 29th day of March 2012.

________________________________
T. Dan Friedkin, Chairman

________________________________
Bill Jones, Member

________________________________
Ralph H. Duggins, Vice-Chairman

________________________________
Margaret Martin, Member

________________________________
Antonio Falcon M.D., Member

________________________________
S. Reed Morian, Member

________________________________
Karen J. Hixon, Member

________________________________
Dick Scott, Member

________________________________
Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., Member

 

Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit B

Location Map for Hall County


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit C

Vicinity Map for Caprock Canyon Trailway


Commission Agenda Item No. 5
Exhibit D

Site Map Showing Proposed Settlement Route (shown as purple line) Relative to Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway (shown as red and brown line)


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