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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Biehl

Upcoming meeting in Burke

Attention CAMRPSP (Citizens Against Missouri River Pump Storage Project),

There is going to be a public meeting held in Burke, SD at the Burke Auditorium on Monday, September 19th at 7pm.

Please plan to attend and feel free to invite anyone who wants to help our efforts in stopping this project.

Here's a few highlights on what has been done so far:

4-19-22: MidAmerican Energy and Missouri River Energy meet with landowners in Burke to explain their project and to answers questions

5-3-22: Gregory Co landowners meet at the Lucas church

6-2-22: Letters are mailed to Congressmen Thune, Rounds & Johnson, to Governor Noem and to State Legislators Blare, Tobin & Overweg

6-21-22: MidAmerican Energy and Missouri River Energy meet with landowners in Platte to explain their project and to answers questions

6-28-22: Preliminary Applicaiton Document (PAD) is filed with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by MidAmerican and Missouri River Energy

7-7-22: Gregory Co and Charles Mix Co landowners meet at Lucas church

7-19-22: Basic information about the project design, etc., its impacts, and our concerns were presented to the Gregory County Commissioners

8-1-22: Pamphlets are designed to be dispersed throughout the community to get the information out on bad this project is and will be for the area

8-4-22: Gregory Co and Charles Mix Co landowners meet at God's Country Campground. Faith Spotted Eagle attended and spoke. She said the tribe will join us in our efforts to stop this project. Chase Jensen with Dakota Rural Action was also in attendance and spoke. He provided information on what is available to help guide us on how to organize such an action as what we may be wanting to do. Samples of the pamphlets were looked at and everyone agreed to go forward with them.

8-8-22: Basic information about the project design, etc., its impacts, and our concerns were presented to the Tripp County Water Use District

8-17-22: Dakota Fest. Larry Johnson was able to catch Rounds, Thune and Dusty Johnson at different times at the Dakota Fest. All 3 seemed fairly unfamiliar with the project, despite letters having been sent to them 2 months earlier. Johnson and Thune didn't seem to have time for much of a discussion. Rounds did speak with Larry for 15 minutes and was going to look into it further.

8-22-22: Basic information about the project design, etc., its impacts, and our concerns were presented to the Rosebud Electric Cooperative

8-23-22: Landowners as well as Gregory and Charles Mix Co residents meeting at God's Country Campground - large attendance, Scott Pick with Randall Water and Brad Lawrence with Brosz Engineering spoke. A very good meeting. 1000 pamphlets were brought to the meeting, with all but 150 being handed out. MidAmerican and Missouri River Energy will be speaking to the Charles Mix Co Commissioner's this coming Thursday. Charles Mix Co landowners will be speaking about our concerns about the project to the commissioners after MidAmerican and Missouri River Energy speak. Everyone is encouraged to attend the commissioner's meeting to show the project developers we do not want this project.

8-25-22: Charles Mix Co Commissioner meeting in Lake Andes. There were about 30 community members there. The meeting was moved to the court room to accommodate all who attended. MidAmerican and Missouri River Energy representatives introduced their project to the commissioners. Brad Lawrence spoke on behalf of Randall Water, several residents spoke of their concerns and Faith Spotted Eagle told the commissioners that the tribe will not let this project happen. The commissioners expressed their opposition for the project and will look into what they can do.

9-1-22: Steering Committee is created to start getting organized for the FERC virtual meeting on the 22nd of September. Main discussion was of getting an attorney. The attorneys that were recommended are available to be interviewed on the 7th.

9-2-22: SD State Fair. Larry Johnson spoke with Chris Nelson of the PUC. Chris said that while our project is in the FERC stage, our SD state officials have no power or say in the project, since this is at the federal level at this point of the process. This is unprecedented. He said what we need to do right now is send letters to FERC telling them of all the flaws with this project. We will know more once the FERC hearings are over. Larry also talked to the Rounds group again and they echoed Nelson’s thoughts.

9-7-22: Steering Committee interviews attorney candidates for our efforts. Attorney is selected. A governing body is selected and action to create a corporation is agreed upon. More details will be available soon such as mailing address, website and officer's names.

A couple things worth noting. To anyone who is not concerned and refers back to when this project was attempted back in the 70's and it never happened, we are in a different world today. There is a big push for "green" energy and with heavy subsidies coming from Washington D.C., this type of project looks very, very good on paper. Another point of concern, at the commissioner's meeting the project developers kept saying that this project is "huge". Yikes! For them to say it, you know it is BIG! There have not been any images of what that power plant will look like on the west side of the riverbank. They have pictures of the transmission towers and the substation (that will be sitting on 90 acres), but nothing of the plant. Also, if you feel you are safe from your land not being involved because you haven't gotten a formal letter from MidAmerican, you are wrong. At the commissioner's meeting the project developers admitted they don't know exactly where the transmission lines will be going, or the exact area for the reservoir. I also included an attachment of a Google Earth image of the area where the access road for the power plant is projected to go. You can see they have cleared the cedar trees already, coincidence? I highly doubt it. It appears they are trying to get a jump on things. We have to be as proactive as possible.

On behalf of the steering committee for the CAMRPSP, your support is greatly needed and appreciated!

Melissa Johnson

Steering committee member

Access Road Clearing
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