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September 8, 2008

Contact:
   Walter George, Project Manager, BLM 307-775-6116
   Roger Alexander, BLM Wyoming, 307-775-6047

BLM Announces Availability of Scoping Report for 
Proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that the scoping report for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project (Gateway West) is now available.

The Gateway West scoping report documents scoping outreach efforts, summarizes comments received, and identifies issues raised and suggested alternatives to the proposed project. The report is available for download from BLM’s project web site at www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west. Public scoping for Gateway West took place May 16 through July 3, 2008.

The report covers the 200-plus comments received during the scoping period as well as additional comments received until August 25, 2008, after the close of the formal comment period. Comments were provided primarily by local, state and federal agencies. Consultation with affected Tribal governments was initiated and is ongoing.

The report also includes the comments received during the nine public scoping meetings held June 3-5, 2008, in Idaho, and June 9-12, 2008, in Wyoming. The BLM received nearly 60 E-mails, meeting comments and/or letters prior to August 25, which contained over 200 distinct comments.

"I am pleased to announce the release of this scoping report and acknowledge this important step in preparing for the draft EIS," said Walter George, Gateway West Project Manager for the BLM. "I also encourage continued public participation on the project while we prepare the EIS," explained George.

The next opportunity for formal public comment will be the 60-day public comment period following the release of the draft EIS (DEIS) in the spring of 2009. BLM will also hold formal public hearings during the DEIS comment period.

The public can stay involved prior to the DEIS release in the following ways:

  • Write to Bureau of Land Management, Gateway West Project, P.O. Box 20879, Cheyenne, WY 82003

The BLM Wyoming State Office and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Caribou-Targhee and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests are preparing the DEIS. While the BLM is the lead federal agency for this project, it is working with cooperating agencies including the USFS, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Wyoming, Twin Falls and Power Counties, Idaho, and Lincoln and Sweetwater Counties, Wyo.

This project, jointly proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, would build nearly 1,000 miles of high voltage transmission lines across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho. Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power have applied to the BLM and USFS for right-of-way grants to construct, operate and maintain transmission lines from the proposed Windstar substation near Glenrock, Wyo., to the proposed Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho, approximately 20 miles southwest of Boise.

- BLM -