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A Better Partnership
May 16, 2017

MSC: State electrical transmission law prevails over local ordinances regulating new construction

The State Electric Transmission Line Certification Act (Act 30) and its certification process prevails over a township ordinance that conflicted with Act 30 and regulated the construction of new transmission lines, according to the Michigan Supreme Court in In re Application of Michigan Electric Transmission Co. for Transmission Line, No. 150695.
The state certification process empowers the Public Service Commission to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity, which grants a utility the right to begin construction of transmission lines.  Oshtemo Township, however, placed an additional restriction on utility lines and equipment, requiring that they be constructed underground “within the public road right-of-way and to a point within 250 feet either side of said public right-of-way.”  The Oshtemo ordinance conflicted with Act 30 in that it required a showing of necessity, as well as township approval of the line.  Accordingly, the Michigan Supreme Court found this ordinance to be unreasonable and unconstitutional because Act 30 preempted the local ordinance.
To view our previous blog post on the MSC’s order granting leave to appeal, click here.

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