Mid-Mile Fiber Project Environmental Assessment
Plumas Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (PSREC) is a member-owned electric cooperative that provides electric and related services to its member owners in accordance with the reliability standards defined by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and Western Electric Coordinating Council. PSREC serves 6,500 customers in Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra counties in California, and the western edge of Washoe County in Nevada.
Many of the community Critical Anchor Institutions in this rural area of northeastern California currently lack adequate access to the bandwidth required to support e-healthcare, advanced learning opportunities, economic development opportunities, and communication needs. PSREC plans to meet the broadband needs of these institutions by constructing 185 miles of new fiber for a middle mile network to deliver broadband speeds between 45 Mbps and 10 Gbps to anchor institutions and local internet service providers. Among the 18 CAIs currently committed to connect to the PSREC-PST Mid-Mile Fiber Project’s network are seven government facilities, two community colleges, county offices of education, two healthcare providers, an Indian Reservation Corporation, and state correctional facilities.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is the federal lead for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the BLM has participated in the development of the Mid-Mile Fiber Project Environmental Assessment (DOI-BLM-NV-C020-2011-0008-EA). The BLM’s SFFO would authorize construction of underground and overhead fiber optic lines on lands within its jurisdiction. Several other federal agencies have also participated in this project, including BLM’s Eagle Lake Field Office in California, and the Plumas National Forest in California. These offices would process the ROW authorizations on the lands that they administer.
PSREC has submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Sierra Front Field Office (SFFO) a right-of-way application (ROW) (SF-299) for the construction of fiber optic broadband lines across BLM lands in Washoe County, Nevada and Lassen County, California. Approximately 11.1 miles of overhead cable to be hung on existing poles and 1.3 miles of underground installation in the NDOT ROW would on BLM administered lands. Approximately four to six miles of overhead cable and approximately one to two miles of underground installation would occur within the jurisdiction of SFFO.
The BLM issued a Finding of No Significant Impact and Decision Record on July 27, 2011. For more information, please call Brian Buttazoni at 775-885-6004.