Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Twin Cities Field Office

4101 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: 952-252-0092
Fax: 952-646-2873
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)




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CapX 2020 Transmission Line

Brookings County - Hampton 345 kV Project


The CapX 2020 line is a collaboration of 11 utility companies in the Midwest region to build a long-distance electric transmission grid. These transmission lines are built in phases; one of these line phases is the Brookings County - Hampton line, which will pass through the Minnesota River Valley. To date, the location of where the transmission line will cross the Minnesota River has not been determined. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended that the crossing be in the vicinity of Belle Plaine, MN. Below we have documented the Fish and Wildlife Service's impact-assessment process. The recommended line placement has been remanded back to the Administrative Law Judge for further review and public comment:


Decision Remand Order


There will be additional opportunities for the public to comment on this issue:


Public Hearings Schedule (PDF)


Correspondence between FWS and Great River Energy - 2008 to Present

Below are copies of correspondences between Fish and Wildlife Service and Great River Energy (the lead company for the Brookings-Hampton section of the CapX 2020 line). These letters explain FWS's position and reasons for recommending the Belle Plaine river crossing for this transmission line.



USFWS Letter to Great River Energy, Regarding New Eagle Information Received During Public Hearings - October 29, 2010 (PDF)


Great River Energy response to FWS's June 2010 comment letter - June 2010 (PDF)


FWS Comment Letter - June 2010 (PDF)

Attachment: Eagle Collision Risk Assessment (PDF)


Great River Energy response to FWS's Feb. 8 comment letter - May 2010 (PDF)


FWS Comment Letter - February 8, 2010 (PDF)

Attachment: Effects of Overhead Utility Lines to Wintering Eagles (PDF)



FWS Comment Letter - November 2009 (PDF)

FWS Comment Letter - October 2009 (PDF)

FWS Comment Letter - April 2009 (PDF)

FWS Comment Letter - March 2009 (PDF)



FWS Comment Letter - December 2008 (PDF)


Site Specific Eagle Inquiries

Before the Fish and Wildlife Service recommended transmission line placement near the city of Belle Plaine, we inquired with the Minnesota DNR, local birding groups, the Audubon Society, the Minnesota Ornithologists Union, and national eagle experts regarding eagle populations. Below are excerpts of emails, letters, and meeting notes about the two river crossing sites. Names have been redacted for privacy.


Both Sites

Minnesota DNR letter regarding eagle activity in the Minnesota Valley (PDF)

National eagle conference notes regarding line placement (PDF)

March 2009 Site Visit (PDF)


Belle Plaine

Inquiry to Local Birder (PDF)

Inquiry to Audubon Society: August (PDF)

Site Visit Report; June 2010 (PDF)

Inquiry to Audubon Society: January (PDF)

Minnesota Ornithologist Union Inquiry (PDF)

Inquiry to author of "A Birder's Guide to Minnesota" (PDF)

Inquiry to local DNR office (PDF)


Le Sueur (correspondence with local birder)

Initial Fish and Wildlife information request (PDF)

Local Birder update 1 (PDF)

Local Birder update 2 (PDF)

Local Birder update 3 (PDF)

Local Birder update 4 (PDF)



Effects of Powerlines on Eagles

Literature Cited from FWS February Letter (PDF)

Literature Cited from FWS June Letter (PDF)




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Last updated: February 11, 2016