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Butte Field Office
Release Date: 04/02/10
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

BLM, DEQ Delay MSTI Environmental Impact Statement

United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management and Montana Department of Environmental Quality have pushed back the release date for a joint Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Mountain States Transmission Intertie Project.

The Draft EIS was originally scheduled to be released in April 2010.  Because of public interest in the project, the agencies have opted to take additional time to consider further agency and public input on the project prior to releasing the document for public review. The Draft EIS is now expected to be released in early June 2010.

The MSTI project is a proposed 500-kilovolt electric transmission line extending from a proposed substation just south of Townsend, Montana to an existing substation just north of Jerome, Idaho.  Numerous alternative routes and local routing options are being evaluated in the Draft EIS, as well as a No Action Alternative. The preliminary agency-preferred alternative will be identified in the Draft EIS.

Public and agency comments, as well as input from Native American Tribes, have been considered both in the development of alternatives to the proposed action and in the analysis of the potential effects of the proposed project.

The EIS is being prepared to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Montana Environmental Policy Act and Montana Major Facility Siting Act.  NorthWestern Energy has submitted an application for a Certificate of Compliance for the MSTI project to the MDEQ.  The company has also requested a right-of-way grant from the BLM and a Special Use Permit from the US Forest Service for transmission line facilities on federal lands.  If approved, the MSTI project would require amendments to BLM and USFS Land Use Plans.

Upon release, copies of the Draft EIS will be available for review at several BLM and USFS office locations, MDEQ, public libraries, and online.

A 90-day comment period will follow the release of the Draft EIS. Timely comments will be evaluated and responded to in the Final EIS, currently scheduled for release in fall 2010.

More information about the MSTI project is available at these Internet sites:
You may also call Tom Ring (MDEQ) at 406-444-6785 or Mark Mackiewicz (BLM) at 435-636-3616.

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. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Butte Field Office   106 N. Parkmont      Butte, MT 59702   

Last updated: 06-28-2012