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Release Date: 12/07/12
Contacts: Megan Crandall , 801-539-4020 ,
  Kenton Call , 435-865-3730  

BLM and Forest Service Approve Versatile 170-Mile Transmission Line for Southern Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah – Officials from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service have signed Records of Decision (ROD) approving a right-of-way across federal land for the Sigurd to Red Butte No. 2 – 345-Kilovolt Transmission Line Project.   In response to anticipated load growth in southwestern Utah, the project will provide approximately 600 megawatts of electrical capacity—enough energy to power 584,000 American homes—upon completion. In support of the Obama administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, this transmission line could provide clean wind energy projects in Utah with transmission capacity in the future.  Through construction, the project is also expected to boost the local economy by creating up to 255 jobs.
The signing of the RODs for this project will allow Pacificorp (doing business as Rocky Mountain Power) to construct, operate, and maintain a single-circuit, alternating-current, 345-kV overhead transmission line.  The transmission line would run approximately 170 miles from the existing Sigurd Substation near Richfield, Utah to the existing Red Butte Substation in Washington County, Utah.  The requested right-of-way width for construction and operation of the line on Federal lands is 150 feet.
Approximately 113 miles (67 percent) of the transmission line route would be located on lands administered by three BLM-Utah field offices (Cedar City, Fillmore, and Richfield Field Offices) and two national forests (Dixie and Fishlake National Forest), which required that Pacificorp request a right-of-way from both the BLM and the Forest Service.  The Forest Service will issue a special use permit for the project and will sign a separate ROD.  The RODs were prepared after a 30-day waiting period on the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was released on October 5, 2012. 
“This transmission project will strengthen Utah’s energy corridors and improve reliability,” said BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma.  “The BLM collaborated with federal and state partners and worked closely with tribal and local governments and communities to complete the environmental analysis for this project, and we are confident that the proposed action will boost our economy and help meet our nation’s growing demand for electricity.”
 “The completion of the Sigurd to Red Butte project environmental analysis is an important contribution from federal lands,” said Fishlake Forest Supervisor Allen Rowley.  “This project will provide vitally needed increased transmission capacity, jobs during construction, and the opportunity to tap into renewable power sources.”
The BLM was the designated lead Federal agency for preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as defined in 40 CFR 1501.5.  Agencies with legal jurisdiction or special expertise were invited to participate as cooperating agencies in preparation of the EIS.  The following entities participated as cooperating agencies:  the Forest Service; the United States Army Corps of Engineers; the State of Utah; Millard, Sevier, Beaver, Iron, and Washington Counties, Utah; and the cities of St. George and Enterprise, Utah.  As a result of a collaborative process among these federal, state, and local governments and Pacificorp, best management practices will be implemented over the course of this project.

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.

Last updated: 12-07-2012