Western District Court of Appeals has ruled in Neighbors United’s favor, regarding the validity of the Conditional Certificate of Need (CCN) provided to Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) by the Missouri PSC.
Art Hernandez, attorney for Neighbors United, appeared before the Western District Court of Appeals in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 7, 2017. The case, Neighbors United appealed the Missouri Public Service Commission’s (PSC) decision to grant a conditional Certificate of Convenience and Necessity to Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) prior to ATXI being granted approval from the five County Commissions of the counties in the path of the Mark Twain Transmission Project (MTTP). Missouri state Statute § 229.100. (see below.)
The Neighbors United case is, that the County Commissioners of Schuyler, Knox, Marion, Adair, and Shelby must have approved the transmission line, before ATXI approached the Public Service Commission requesting a Conditional Certificate of Need which is required to build the line.
The three judges of the Western District Court of Appeals handed down their opinion on March 28, 2017, stating,
“The PSC’s Report and Order is vacated, as it was entered in excess of the PSC’s statutory authority.”
The judges for the Division IV of the Western District Court of Appeals, who passed down the ruling, are Mark D. Pfeiffer, Chief Judge, Judge Thomas H. Newton, and Judge Anthony Rex Gabbert.
Neighbors United stand has always been that the CCN could not be granted by the PSC, because the consent of the five county commissioners is a mandatory prerequisite prior to ATXI approaching the Missouri PSC to obtain their Certificate of Convenience and Necessity. The Court agreed also.
This is the Missouri Statute upon which the Western District Court of Appeals judges based their opinion.
Improvements Along Public Roads–Location–Control
“No person or persons, association, companies, or corporations shall erect poles for the suspension of electric light, or power wires, or lay and maintain pipes, conductors, mains, and conduits for any purpose whatever through, on, under, or across the public roads or highways of any county of this state, without first having obtained the assent of the county commission of such county therefor; and no poles shall be erected or such pipes, conductors, mains, and conduits be laid or maintained, except under such reasonable rules and regulations, as may be prescribed and promulgated by the county highway engineer, with the approval of the county commission.” (This provision is from the Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 229, Provisions Relating to All Roads 229.090Section 229.100.1 229.110. August 28, 2015) (Visit http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/22900001001.html for more information)