Commission denies STO's request for attorney's fees, closes case
The Arkansas Public Service Commission, in an order issued Wednesday, closed the docket on the Southwestern Electric Power Co.'s bid to construct a high-voltage power line that would have run through the heart of Carroll County.
In its final order, the commission denied Save The Ozarks' request to be awarded attorney's fees in the case. STO, a grassroots group of local citizens who banded together to fight SWEPCO's request for regulatory approval for the project, had asked to be awarded the attorney's fees after SWEPCO abruptly withdrew its application on Dec. 30, 2014.
In addition to seeking attorney's fees, STO also had asked the commission to declare STO and others at "prevailing parties" in the case and declare SWEPCO's application "denied" rather than accepting its withdrawal.
In Wednesday's order, the commission denied all those requests.
SWEPCO, which had estimated the cost of the project at between $90 million and $117 million, said in its motion to withdraw the application that further analysis had indicated that there was no need for the project.
STO had argued from the beginning that the project was unnecessary, and that it could have potential negative impacts on the area's environment and economy.