The following letter from Judge Richard B. Solum, and also former Vice President Walter Mondale and former University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks, was sent to FERC on December 20, 2013. There is also a 16 page attachment at the end of the letter.
Richard B. Solum
Minnesota District Court Judge, Ret.
Dorsey & Whitney Partner, Ret.
100 3rd Ave. S. #1407 Minneapolis, MN, 55401
Mr. Edward A. Abrams, Director
Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20426
Re: Crown Hydro, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dear Mr. Abrams,
I am a retired Minnesota district court judge who was heavily involved with the wide opposition to Crown Hydro’s placement of a hydropower facility in the most historically sensitive Mill Ruins area on the Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront— within a National Historic District. In this regard, I have worked with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), the National Trust for Historic Preservation, members of the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota State Legislature representing the subject area, the National Park Service, and various Minnesota non-‐profit agencies dedicated to the historic preservation and betterment of the Downtown Riverfront. I have been joined in these efforts by former Vice President Walter Mondale and former University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks—both of whom join me in this submission.
I understand that FERC is accepting public comment in respect to Crown Hydro’s current effort to place a hydropower facility in a slightly different location which is still within the Mill Ruins area and which would still threaten historical resources, ruins, and the flow over the St. Anthony Falls—the power of which gave rise to our great city. As FERC is undoubtedly aware, this effort has been ongoing for over 15 years, and has been marked by Crown breaching its agreement with the MPRB, by Crown’s unsuccessful efforts to convince FERC to condemn public parkland, by Crown’s litigation against FERC seeking to overrule its refusal to condemn the such parkland, and by unsuccessful attempts by Crown to seek state legislation to take the subject parkland from the public.
I am attaching to this letter a paper done in cooperation with others opposing Crown’s attempt to force parkland from the MPRB through state legislation. The attached paper provides the basic history and underpinnings of such wide opposition to this project. And while the paper is dated, virtually all of its content is relevant to Crown’s current efforts and related public opposition. We respectfully request that FERC consider its contents.
I am also including at the end of this letter our City’s newspaper’s reporting on Crown’s recent informational meeting and Crown’s acknowledgement that the project could dry the historic St Anthony Falls.
Richard B. Solum
John Erwin, President Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Anita Tabb, Member Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council (Elect)
Lisa Goodman, Minneapolis City Council
Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis Mayor (Elect)
United States Army Corp of Engineers
Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Senator, United States Senate
Al Franken, Minnesota Senator, United States Senate
Keith Ellison, Minnesota Representative, United States Congress
Walter Mondale, former Vice President of the United States
Robert Bruininks, former President of the University of Minnesota
Paul Labovitz, Superintendent, National Park Service
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Friends of the Mississippi River
Scott Anfinson, Minnesota Archeologist
Link to the attached paper: