BLM New Mexico is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Southline Transmission project, proposed to be built in southern New Mexico and Arizona.
The BLM has completed the scoping phase of the EIS. Scoping gives the public a chance to learn about a proposed project and share concerns, pertinent information, and provide comments. For that purpose, the BLM designated a 90-day scoping comment period and held a series of public meetings in New Mexico and Arizona. The scoping period ended in July 2012.
Southline Transmission, LLC, proposes constructing, operating, and maintaining a high-voltage power line in two segments totaling approximately 360 miles. The first segment would be a new double circuit 345-kilovolt line from a substation in Afton, New Mexico (south of Las Cruces), to a substation in Apache, Arizona (south of Willcox). This 225-mile segment would provide up to 1,500 megawatts of capacity. The second segment would be an upgrading and rebuilding of about 130 miles of existing transmission lines between the Apache substation and the Saguaro substation northwest of Tucson. It would provide capacity for an additional 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
The line would cross Federal lands managed by the BLM and other agencies. It also would cross state and private lands. BLM New Mexico is preparing the EIS and is taking the lead in considering potential Federal land use plan amendments that the project may require. Western Area Power Administration, a power-marketing arm of the Department of Energy, is a co-lead in preparing the EIS.
Southline Transmission, LLC, is a subsidiary of Hunt Power, L.P., which develops and invests in entrepreneurial electric and gas utility opportunities. It is part of a larger privately held group of entities managed by the Ray L. Hunt family. Black Forest Partners, L.P., is the project manager for Southline Transmission, LLC.
The BLM continues to accept comments by mail, e-mail or facsimile.
Comments can be sent by mail to:
Bureau of Land Management
Las Cruces District Office
Southline Transmission Project
Attention: Frances Martinez
1800 Marquess St.
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Fax: (575) 525-4412
Additional information is available from Mark Mackiewicz, BLM National Project Manager, at (435) 636-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org