BLM releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed Ten West Link Transmission Line project
PHOENIX – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Ten West Link Transmission Line project and proposed amendments to the BLM Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan and California Desert Conservation Area Plan.
The 500-kilovolt transmission line would connect existing substations near Tonopah, Arizona, and Blythe, California. The project, which has been identified as a priority under Title 41 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, would modernize energy infrastructure, strengthen grid reliability and improve efficiency for millions of customers in Arizona and California.
“Modernizing America’s aging infrastructure and facilitating responsible energy development on public lands are BLM priorities,” said BLM Deputy Director for Plans and Programs William Perry Pendley. “This transmission line would increase capacity for the electric grid in the Desert Southwest, improving energy efficiency and reliability in a region that is home to some of the most populous counties in the nation.”
The Final EIS, which was developed in accordance with Secretarial Order 3355, analyzes several alternatives, with the BLM’s preferred alternative being a 125-mile-long route mostly located within existing utility corridors or parallel to existing infrastructure. This route is responsive to stakeholder input by avoiding popular recreation areas, the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge and tribal lands. The route also minimizes impacts to local communities and the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, avoiding impacts to military readiness, and provides interconnections for future energy development projects.
“Ensuring the reliability of our electric grid is crucial and our preferred route accomplishes that while avoiding impacts to communities, outdoor recreation and sensitive wildlife habitat,” said BLM Arizona State Director Raymond Suazo. “We listened closely to stakeholder input and believe this alternative strikes the right balance.”
The EPA’s Notice of Availability in the Federal Register for the publication of the Final EIS initiates a formal 30-day protest period before a Record of Decision can be signed. The Final EIS and Proposed Plan amendments are available on BLM’s ePlanning website at https://go.usa.gov/xU6Be
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.