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Decision could come soon in Grain Belt Express Clean Line project

The Missouri Public Service Commission may soon announce their decision to approve or deny a controversial power line that would go through Mid-Missouri.

The Grain Belt Express Clean Line would run more than 700 miles from Kansas to Indiana, passing through northern Mid-Missouri.

The project promises to provide clean and affordable energy.

However, residents in Chariton, Randolph and Monroe counties are worried about their property value, crop irrigation, and adverse health effects.

Ralls County commissioners once supported the line, however, this week reiterated to the PSC the fact they are very much against it.

One of the biggest concerns with the Grain Belt Express Clean Line is eminent domain, the fact that a private company could come in and have access to put large towers on resident’s property.

On Thursday ABC 17 News learned five Missouri counties have rescinded their approval of the Grain Belt Express in the last few months.

It has been one year since people gathered in Randolph County to address their commissioners about the concerns with the line.

Since then Randolph County’s new presiding commissioner has publicly said he is against Grain Belt.

However, the decision ultimately lies with the Public Service Commission whether or not the line will go through Missouri.

“It’s perplexing to me that I don’t think the Public Service Commission has ever handled another case like this where they give an applicant two or three chances to get their application correct,” said Wiley Hibbard, Raul County presiding commissioner.

ABC 17 News spoke with the public service commission on Thursday which said as of yesterday it was still receiving new information about the energy lines.

Commissioners said to call back next week for an update, but as of now they do not know when their decision is going to be made.

ABC 17 News asked Hibbard what is going to happen if PSC approves the lines but the counties are against it.

“That is something that seems to be the question because out of all the counties that the Grain Belt line would go through only three have given permission,” said Hibbard.

No one from Grain Belt Express has returned ABC 17 News’ phone call, but last time ABC 17 spoke with the CEO, Michael Skelly, he said, “The great thing about what we are doing is the wind isn’t going anywhere. It will continue to be very windy in western Kansas.”

But will Missouri leaders allow that wind to move energy farther east?

So far Indiana and Kansas have given approval for the line to go through their states.

Illinois filed with the Commerce Commission last month.

Again, there is no time frame for Missouri’s Public Service Commission to make a decision.

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