IUB denies request to pause construction of Cardinal-Hickory Creek electric transmission line
Project extends from two eastern Iowa counties into Wisconsin
(Des Moines) ― The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) issued an order today denying a series of motions requesting a pause in construction of a previously approved electric transmission line in Dubuque and Clayton counties. The petition for the project, referred to as the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line, was filed with the IUB by ITC Midwest LLC and Dairyland Power Cooperative on May 11, 2018, in Docket No. E-22386. The requests for a stay in construction were filed with the IUB in February 2022 by multiple intervenors in the docket.
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek project extends from Iowa and into Wisconsin. The IUB authorized the issuance of electric transmission franchises in both Iowa counties and allowed ITC Midwest and Dairyland to begin construction of the portion of the project to be located in Iowa. The IUB issued its decision in this contested case docket on May 27, 2020, pursuant to Iowa Code § 17A.15.
Under Iowa law, the deadline for filing an appeal of the IUB’s final decision was August 14, 2020. No party involved in this docket filed an appeal from the IUB’s decision.
The IUB’s administrative rules at 199 Iowa Administrative Code 7.28 set the process for any person seeking a stay of an IUB decision. Iowa Code § 17A.19(5) provides the IUB the authority to issue a stay during the pendency of an appeal.
Today’s order states the motions filed by the individuals do not clearly address the factors in Iowa Code § 17A.19(5)(c), there is not a court proceeding seeking judicial review of the IUB’s final order, and the time to seek such review has passed.
Ongoing litigation in the federal courts in Wisconsin has challenged the regulatory processes necessary to start construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek project across the Mississippi River. The litigation is not challenging the IUB’s May 27, 2020, final decision. Because the motions filed with the IUB did not state legal grounds on which the IUB may stay construction and the federal litigation does not challenge the IUB’s final order, the IUB’s order today denies the motions.
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek project includes approximately 14.25 miles of 345 kV electric transmission line and 2.44 miles of 161 kV electric transmission line being built as part of a larger project that would extend to Montfort and Middleton, Wisconsin. The proposed 345 kV line in Iowa would connect to the existing ITC Midwest Hickory Creek substation in Dubuque County. The proposed 161 kV line would be double-circuited with the proposed 345 kV line and would connect to ITC Midwest's Turkey River substation in Clayton County.
All documents in this case are available for review in the IUB’s electronic filing system under Docket No. E-22386.