Property owners need more rights when it comes to the expedited procedures power companies use to place electric transmission lines across private property, according to a state senator.


Republican state Sen. Dale Righter’s Senate Bill 2551 seeks to limit the expedited review procedures for proposed electric transmission lines over privately owned real estate.


In a news release, Righter says property owners are left without sufficient notice or time to review plans when utility companies use the fast-track protocol.  


James Monk, president of the Illinois Energy Association, said the expedited process is an important issue for energy consumers.

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“We need to make sure that our system, our high-voltage and our distribution systems, are reliable so our customers can get their power,” Monk said.


He added that his association advocated for the expedited transmission process that was passed several years ago.


Without the expedited procedure, Monk said, it would take years in some cases to get the green light to build the infrastructure, straining power companies.


“If you need those transmission assets and capabilities and don’t have them, then there are reliability concerns on our system,” Monk said.


The Illinois Energy Association doesn’t have a position on Righter’s proposed measure at this time, but expects to be involved in further negotiations, Monk added.  


Righter’s bill “would restore the balance for allowing for the construction of power lines and power infrastructure and the rights of property owners,” the senator said. “We are lacking that balance right now because of the fast-track process on some of these projects.”


The bill is assigned to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee.


(Copyright WBGZ / )