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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 22, 2006
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Big Stone II Public Input Hearing Scheduled for June 29

PIERRE, S.D. – Members of the public interested in the application to construct the Big Stone II Project being considered by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission may testify before the commission during a public input hearing on Thursday, June 29, 2006. The hearing begins at 7 p.m. CDT in Room 413 of the Capitol building in Pierre.

The public input hearing is for persons who are not official parties to this proceeding. People who testify at this hearing will be subject to cross examination by attorneys from any official party. The commission emphasizes the possibility of cross examination should not hinder any person's desire to participate in the hearing. "People should not be fearful of cross examination. This is their opportunity to offer their comments to the commission," said the PUC's general counsel, John Smith, who will preside over the hearing.

Written comments from those who do not wish to verbally testify must be received by the commission no later than 5 p.m. CDT, June 30, 2006. Written testimony must be delivered to the PUC at 500 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

The public input session is a component of the PUC hearing on the Big Stone II permit application which is scheduled for June 26-30, 2006, in Pierre.

The June 29 session will be the second public input hearing before the PUC as part of the Big Stone II proceeding. The commission heard oral testimony and received written comments at a public input hearing Sept. 13, 2005, in Milbank, S.D.

To listen to a live Web cast of the June 26-30 hearing, go to the PUC Web site,, and click on the "Listen LIVE" link near the top of the home page.

Visit the PUC Web site for more information on the Big Stone II application and related filings submitted to the commission. Select "Commission Actions," then "2005 Electric Dockets." Click on the docket titled EL05-022 to access the documents.