About the Project
BLM New Mexico and the Western Area Power Administration (Western) have issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Southline Transmission Project.
The EIS provides an analysis of potential effects that could result from construction of the transmission line. The EIS is not a decision document. It is the foundation for a project record of decision (ROD), which is likely to be issued by early 2016. The BLM Las Cruces District Manager will issue the ROD, which in part, will determine whether a right-of-way (ROW) is granted allowing use of public lands for the transmission line. The ROD will also determine the most appropriate route across BLM-administered public lands for the transmission line, if the ROW is granted.
Information on the project is available from Mark Mackiewicz, BLM National Project Manager, at (435) 636-3616 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 approximately 240-mile segment would provide up to 1,000 megawatts of initial rated capacity. The second segment would be an upgrading and rebuilding of about 120 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 prepared the EIS. Western, a power-marketing arm of the Department of Energy, was 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 EIS is the result of studies, public input, and collaborative work that began in 2012. The Final EIS, along with the Draft EIS are available from the column on the right.
Sixteen agencies have participated as cooperating agencies: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Bureau of Reclamation; Department of Defense Clearinghouse; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Fort Huachuca Army Base; National Park Service; U.S. Forest Service (Coronado National Forest); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Arizona Game and Fish Department; Arizona State Land Department; New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; New Mexico State Land Office; Cochise County, Arizona; Greenlee County, Arizona; Graham County, Arizona; and City of Sierra Vista, Arizona.