U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Wyoming State Office
|Release Date: 07/16/09|
BLM continues to collect input on route alternatives for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project
Suggestions received by September 4 to be analyzed in the draft EIS
In response to public input and coordination with state, tribal and county governments, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to discuss and develop potential alternative routes for the Gateway West Project in Wyoming and Idaho.
The BLM reaffirms its obligation to obtain and consider public input and work with the project proponents, Idaho Power Company and Rocky Mountain Power Company, to ensure alternative routes address public concerns and meet the utilities objectives for the project. Reasonable alternatives developed between now and September 04, 2009 will be analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), now slated for release in spring 2010.
“Over the past seven months, Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power have been working closely with communities and landowners to discuss potential alternatives to the proposed route,” said Walt George, BLM’s Gateway West Project Manager.
“The BLM has been listening to these suggestions. We want to ensure communities and groups have full opportunity to share their ideas. This effort is consistent with BLM’s responsibility under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to coordinate with state and local governments. The additional information will contribute to the analysis and will help us make better decisions. ” said Don Simpson, Wyoming State Director and the BLM’s decision maker for the project.
Tom Dyer, Idaho State Director praised elected officials for raising constituent issues associated with siting the transmission line route. “We appreciate the constructive efforts of Idaho’s elected officials, including Idaho’s Congressional delegation, to forward concerns of their constituents. We share their desire to have all interested groups and individuals working with the BLM, and Idaho and Rocky Mountain Power Companies, to develop alternatives for the environmental impact statement. The Draft EIS will allow all interested citizens to compare proposed routes and provide constructive input to the BLM and other authorizing authorities so they may make informed decisions. We encourage participation by all groups interested in the NEPA process.”
Additional meetings to finalize these alternatives will be arranged in local areas by Idaho Power, Rocky Mountain Power, local governments, and other groups. Notices of future meetings will be announced in the local media. The BLM will continue to participate and will be collecting additional information from these meetings; we will also continue to engage in consultation with Tribal governments so they can participate and represent their members in the process.
The Gateway West Transmission Line Project is proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power and would build approximately 1,150 miles of high voltage transmission lines from Glenrock, Wyoming to Melba, Idaho. The two companies applied to the BLM and U. S. Forest Service for right-of-way grants to construct, operate and maintain these transmission lines.
The BLM is the lead federal agency for the Gateway West project and is responsible for implementing the NEPA for the project, which includes preparation of an environmental impact statement.
For additional information on the Gateway West Project, visit www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/cfodocs/gateway_west
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
Wyoming State Office 5353 Yellowstone Cheyenne, WY 82009
|Last updated: 07-16-2009|
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