Senate Study Bill 1201 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to agricultural land restoration for electric
2transmission lines, making penalties applicable, and
3including applicability provisions.
1   Section 1.  Section 478.3, subsection 1, Code 2023, is
2amended by adding the following new paragraph:
3   NEW PARAGRAPH.  i.  An agricultural land restoration plan
4which complies with the rules established pursuant to section
6   Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  478.34  Land restoration.
   71.  The board, pursuant to chapter 17A, shall adopt rules
8establishing standards for the restoration of agricultural land
9during and after the construction, erection, or installation
10of an electric transmission line. Rules adopted under this
11section shall not apply to land located within city boundaries
12unless the land is used for agricultural purposes. Rules
13adopted under this section shall address but are not limited
14to all of the following:
   15a.  Removal of rocks and debris from the right-of-way.
   16b.  Revegetation.
   17c.  Restoration of areas of soil compaction.
   18d.  Ruts, erosion, or washing away of the soil.
   19e.  Drainage system repair.
   20f.  Fence repair.
   21g.  Restoration of areas used for field entrances.
   222.  For an electric transmission line to be constructed or
23installed below ground, rules adopted under this section shall
24address but are not limited to, in addition to paragraphs “a”
25through “g” of subsection 1, all of the following:
   26a.  Topsoil separation and replacement.
   27b.  Temporary and permanent repair to drain tile.
   28c.  Restoration of terraces, waterways, and other erosion
29control structures.
   30d.  Restoration of land slope and contour.
   31e.  Construction in wet conditions.
   323.  A person, company, or corporation requesting or
33having secured a franchise to construct or erect an electric
34transmission line shall designate a point of contact for
35inquiries or complaints from a landowner or a person in
-1-1possession of the real property impacted by the transmission
2line and provide an address, phone number, and electronic means
3of contact.
   44.  The board shall review the land restoration plan as
5part of the board’s consideration of the petition and may
6require modifications as necessary to comply with this section,
7rules adopted pursuant to this section, or any alternate land
8restoration agreement reached with a landowner and person
9in possession of the real property if different from the
10landowner. The board may require a modification to the land
11restoration plan at the request of the landowner or person in
12possession of the real property.
   135.  If a person, company, or corporation having secured
14a franchise or its contractor fails to comply with the
15requirements of the land restoration plan approved by the
16board, the affected landowner or person in possession of the
17real property or residing on the real property may file a
18complaint with the board requesting a hearing after providing
19reasonable notice to the person who has secured the franchise.
   20a.  The board may informally work with the parties to resolve
21the complaint. If the complaint is not resolved informally,
22the board shall initiate a contested case proceeding pursuant
23to chapter 17A.
   24b.  The board may consolidate similar complaints into one
25contested case proceeding.
   26c.  If the board finds the person who has secured the
27franchise or its contractor is in violation of the land
28restoration plan or other provisions under this chapter, the
29board shall determine a just and reasonable resolution and
30shall order compliance with the land restoration plan or other
31alternate agreement. The board may levy a civil penalty
32pursuant to section 478.29.
   336.  This section shall not preclude additional means of
34land protection or restoration different than the methods
35prescribed in this section, rules adopted under this section,
-2-1or independent written agreements between a landowner or
2a person in possession of the real property and a person,
3company, or corporation having secured a franchise.
4   Sec. 3.  APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to electric
5transmission lines constructed, erected, or installed on or
6after the effective date of this Act.
8The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
9the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   10This bill relates to agricultural land restoration for
11electric transmission lines.
   12The bill provides that a petition submitted to the Iowa
13utilities board (board) requesting approval to construct,
14erect, or install an electric transmission line shall include
15an agricultural land restoration plan (plan).
   16The bill requires the board to adopt rules for the
17restoration of agricultural land during and after the
18construction, erection, or installation of an electric
19transmission line. Rules shall address subject matters
20relating to rock removal, revegetation, soil, drainage, fence
21repair, and field entrances. Rules shall include additional
22subject matters concerning topsoil separation, temporary and
23permanent repair to drain tile, restoration of terraces,
24waterways, and other erosion control structures, restoration of
25land slope and contour, and construction in wet conditions in
26matters relating to below-ground installation.
   27The bill provides that a person, company, or corporation
28requesting or having secured a franchise (franchise) shall
29designate a point of contact regarding questions and complaints
30and provide an address, phone number, and electronic means of
31contact for contact.
   32The bill requires the board to review the plan and allows for
33required plan modifications.
   34The bill provides that an affected landowner may file a
35complaint with the board for a franchisee’s or a contractor’s
-3-1failure to comply with the plan. The board may informally
2attempt to resolve the complaint before initiating a contested
3case proceeding. The bill authorizes the board to consolidate
4similar complaints into one proceeding. If the board finds the
5franchise or contractor violated the plan or other provisions
6of Code chapter 478, the board shall determine a just and
7reasonable resolution and order compliance with the plan or
8alternative agreement. The board may impose a civil penalty
9of not more than $100 per violation or $1,000 per day of a
10continuing violation, whichever is greater, pursuant to Code
11section 478.29.
   12The bill does not preclude additional means of land
13protection or restoration in addition to the plan, rules
14regarding the plan, or other written agreements.
   15The bill applies to transmission lines constructed, erected,
16or installed on or after the effective date of the bill.