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Congresswoman Walorski Visits with Local Farmers about Proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski recently met with a group of farmers and Farm Bureau members in Marshall and Kosciusko counties regarding the proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line being developed by the utility NIPSCO. Hosting the farm tours were Floyd and Charlie Houin (Marshall) and Kip Tom (Kosciusco) with additional participation by approximately 15 other area farmers who will be impacted by the proposed transmission line.

Topics discussed at the meetings included the reported need or demand for the new transmission line, regulatory oversight and permitting, citing and placement of transmission towers, imminent domain, and measures to ensure that impacted land owners are adequately represented and that their voices are heard by company officials, regulators, and public officials. In addition to listening to concerns, Congresswoman Walorski provided insights from a federal perspective and offered her support to conduct research and investigate the matter to determine additional options or information that may be available to those impacted by the project. One of the key outcomes from the meeting included the prioritization to research how other states review, cite, and permit similar projects and compare that to Indiana’s process to see if further legislative action is warranted.

NIPSCO expects this project to be completed by 2018, but we will likely be able to identify a more specific date by the end of 2013. While the company has not yet released its final route, it will connect NIPSCO’s Reynolds substation (in Reynolds, IN), Burr Oak substation (in Burr Oak, IN) and Hiple substation (near Topeka, IN). According to the company, the purpose of the project is to enhance system reliability, offer environmental benefits by increasing access to wind and solar energy and allow for greater access to supplies of electricity including improved access to lower cost electricity for customers.

For a list of commonly asked questions and answers about the proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line project from recent Farm Bureau stakeholder meetings, view the list here.

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