Last Thursday, May 9th 2013, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (more commonly know as “ETT”) received its final approval to immediately start acquiring private lands to build 156 miles of electric transmission lines in the growing region of South Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley. The 345kV transmission line is the largest and highest voltage model currently being built in Texas and is expected to affect hundreds of landowners who own land along its path.
This project will begin in the Laredo area stretching south into the Lower Rio Grande Valley and ending at the northern border of Edinburg, TX. Landowners in the path of this line are already receiving letters from ETT about acquiring their land through the power of eminent domain. “Although many landowners do not take this letter seriously, being contacted by ETT at this stage in the transmission line process means that they will condemn your land for the construction of this line,” explains Patrick Reznik, attorney and counselor at Braun & Gresham, PLLC, a law firm that specializes in advocating for landowner rights in transmission line cases.
ETT and Sharyland Utilities, L.P. will soon be seeking regulatory approval in a joint venture to further extend this transmission line an additional 80-125 miles. This line is still in the routing phase but is planned to extend from Hidalgo County at the northern perimeter of the city of Edinburg and continue on to Cameron County to end in the Brownsville /Harlingen area. Landowners who own property or a home near the proposed routes should expect to be contacted soon by ETT/Sharyland about routing the line across their property.
Both the Lobo to Rio Bravo to North Edinburg line and the North Edinburg to Loma Alta transmission lines are part of a larger transmission line network called the Cross Valley Project. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors endorsed and deemed the construction of the Cross Valley transmission project “critical to reliability” for the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and imperative to addressing continued growth in electrical load in the Brownsville area.
Condemnation lawyers and transmission routing attorneys can assist landowners with protecting their property rights and even negotiate the relocation of a line if the project is still in the routing phase. Recently, Braun & Gresham successfully represented a group of landowners on a section of the Cross Valley project, protecting more than 350,000 acres of heritage Texas ranches and open space. Says Patrick Reznik, “As a firm that has experience with this stretch of transmission lines, and advocated for clients affected by the Cross Valley Project, Braun & Gresham can give you a powerful voice in this complex process.”
If you or someone you know is effected by either of these lines, please contact Machelle Knight, a Braun & Gresham paralegal today to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation to learn more about your rights in this complex process: firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-894-5426