To provide greater protections for private property owners when utility companies seek to build more power lines, State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) filed legislation giving property owners more rights.
Senate Bill 2551 would seek to limit the so-called “expedited review procedure” to electric transmission lines under 25 miles in length over privately-owned real estate.
“Public utilities and, in one case, a private for-profit entity are using this process on projects of immense length, causing too many property owners to feel as though they have not been given sufficient notice and time to review the plans,” Righter said.
Sen. Righter says he is also concerned that the Illinois Commerce Commission is allowing the expedited review process for a Clean Line Energy project, a private for-profit company that is not a public utility. That project has proposed an electric transmission line that cuts right through Sen. Righter’s district.
“This is about property owners’ rights,” Righter said. “This legislation would restore the balance for allowing for the construction of power lines and power infrastructure and the rights of property owners. We are lacking that balance right now because of the fast- track process on some of these projects.”
“The Illinois Farm Bureau really appreciates that Sen. Righter is working on transmission line issues for landowners,” said Bill Bodine, Associate Director of State Legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “The use of expedited review for complicated electric transmission line projects that impact a large number of our members has created significant concerns and hardship for those in the potential path of these projects.”