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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 3, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE:  If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, May 2, 2011.  Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available you may have to appear in person.

 NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's Web site and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear.  The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's Web site under the Commission Actions tab, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

NOTE:  Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place.  If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.



1.      Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on April 5, 2011. (Staff: Tina Douglas)

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission.  (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)


1.     EL11-001     In the Matter of the Petition of Black Hills Power, Inc. to Establish an Environmental Measures Cost Recovery Tariff (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Brittany Mehlhaff, Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

        On January 25, 2011, the Commission received a petition from Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) requesting the Commission approve its new tariff establishing an Environmental Improvement Adjustment (EIA) pursuant to legislation enacted during the 2007 Legislative Session.  SDCL Chapter 49-34A, Sections 97 through 100, authorize the Commission to approve a tariff mechanism for the automatic annual adjustment of charges for a public utility to recover the South Dakota jurisdictional portion of eligible investments in and expenses related to new environmental measures. The statute defines eligible new environmental measures as any environmental improvements required under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, or any other federal law or rule, or any state law or rule implementing a federal law or rule, or voluntary environmental measures designed to protect the environment. At its regularly scheduled meeting of March 8, 2011, the Commission approved the assessment of a filing fee up to the statutory limit of $50,000.

     TODAY, shall the Commission give the Executive Director authority to enter into necessary consulting contracts having a total amount not to exceed $40,000?

2.     EL11-004     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

        On February 25, 2011, the Commission received an application by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for approval to revise its Rate No. 73 – Small Qualifying Facility Rider (Occasional delivery energy service) and Rate No. 74 – Small Qualifying Facility Rider (Time of delivery energy service) tariff rates to reflect prices based on 2010 data. The update reflects the Company's 2010 avoided cost of fuel and purchased power. The Company has requested an effective date of May 1, 2011, for the proposed modifications to the rate schedules.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Tariff Revisions?


1.     TC09-098     In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Sprint Communications Company L.P. Regarding Failure to Pay Intrastate Centralized Equal Access Charges and to Immediately Pay Undisputed Portions of SDN's Invoices (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer

        On October 29, 2009, SDN submitted this complaint against Sprint for 1) failing to pay intrastate centralized equal access charges at the rates approved by the Commission, 2) failing to immediately pay undisputed portions of SDN's invoices as required by SDN's Tariff, and 3) payment by Sprint of SDN's costs of action, reasonable attorneys fees incurred by SDN, and for twice the amount of damages sustained by SDN, if SDN is required to recover its damages by suit or on appeal. On April 21, 2011, Sprint filed a Motion for Approval of Stipulation regarding Expert Discovery.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Sprint's Motion for Approval of Stipulation Regarding Expert Discovery?

2.     TC10-090     In the Matter of the Petition of Cellco Partnerships and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates to Amend and Consolidate Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designations in the State of South Dakota and to Partially Relinquish ETC Designation (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

        On September 3, 2010, the Commission received a petition from Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, and its subsidiaries and affiliates offering commercial mobile radio services in South Dakota (Verizon Wireless), to amend and consolidate the eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) designations currently held separately in the name of WWC License, LLC and RCC Minnesota, Inc. in the state of South Dakota to reflect Cellco Partnership and its affiliated legal entities as the designated entity. Verizon Wireless requests that amendment and consolidation of the ETC designations be deemed effective immediately. Verizon Wireless further requests that the partial relinquishment of its ETC status in the Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. Study Area Code 391659 be deemed effective immediately. On September 24, 2010, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from South Dakota Telecommunications Association and Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. On October 14, 2010, James Valley Wireless filed a Petition to Intervene. The Commission granted the Petitions to Intervene. On November 5, 2010, Verizon Wireless filed a Motion Requesting Confidentiality Agreement. The Commission approved the Protective Order on November 9, 2010, at its regularly scheduled meeting. On November 12, 2010, the Commission received a Motion for Commission Approval of Partial Relinquishment of ETC Designation. On April 12, 2011, Petitioners filed a Motion to Strike Testimony of Witness Peter Bluhm. On April 25, 2011 Verizon Wireless filed Motions to Compel Discovery Responses from Golden West, SDTA and James Valley Wireless.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motions to Compel Discovery? AND shall the Commission grant the Motion to Strike Testimony? OR how shall the Commission proceed?

Items for Commission Discussion


1.     A motion's hearing in docket CT07-006 will be held Tuesday, May 3, 3011, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

2.     Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of South Dakota rural electric cooperatives Tuesday, May 10, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 412 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D. to discuss topics related to rural electric cooperatives.

3.     A hearing in docket TC10-090 will be held May 11-12, 2011, beginning at 9:00 a.m. CDT each day, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

4.     The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

5.     Commission meetings are scheduled for May 31 and June 14, 2011.

6.     The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, May 30, 2011, in observance of Memorial Day.

7.     Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of MidAmerican Energy Co. on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:00 a.m. CDT in Room 413 of the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D. to discuss natural gas hedging.

8.     Commissioners and staff will attend the annual meeting of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference, June 5-8, 2011, at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, Rapid City, S.D.

/S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
PUC Email
April 26, 2011