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Copyright (c) 2009 Drake Journal of Agricultural Law
Drake Journal of Agricultural Law

ARTICLE: PIPELINES, POWER LINES, AND ORGANIC FARMS

Spring, 2009

DRAKE JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL LAW

14 Drake J. Agric. L. 19

Author

Paula Goodman Maccabee*

Excerpt

I.Introduction - Land Use Conflict with Energy Infrastructure

Many of the threats to organic farms and organic clients are not new issues for agricultural land use. Power lines, pipelines and other elements of energy infrastructure have encroached upon agricultural land for decades. As energy resources ranging from crude oil shale and natural gas, to wind turbines and mine mouth coal continue to develop at locations remote to the communities requiring use of the energy, it becomes more rather than less likely that there will be land use conflicts between agriculture and energy infrastructure.

State law often recognizes the risk of this encroachment in statutes and rules providing that mitigation of impacts on agricultural land should be considered in certifying and routing of energy infrastructure. For example, Minnesota statutes pertaining to certification of large energy facilities, including power lines as well as generators, state that the applicant for a Certificate of Need (CON) must notify the commissioner of agriculture if the proposed project will impact cultivated agricultural land. 4 The commissioner and department may play a role in determining need and in developing a plan for mitigation:

The commissioner may participate in any proceeding on the application and advise the commission as to whether to grant the certificate of need, and the best options for mitigating adverse impacts to agricultural lands if the certificate is granted. The



Department of Agriculture shall be the lead agency on the development of any agricultural mitigation plan required for the ...
 
 
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