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Wyoming State Office
Release Date: 01/04/10
Contacts: Beverly Gorny 307-775-6158    

BLM Announces Routes for Proposed Transmission Line Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the proposed and alternate routes which will be analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project.  The BLM identified these routes using information from the scoping period in the summer 2008, comments received, cooperating agency input, and by applying evaluation criteria which examined opportunities and constraints of various routes.  Cooperating agencies participated in an additional alternative formulation period this past July and August.

The next opportunity for formal public comment will be the 90-day public comment period following the release of the draft EIS in the summer of 2010. The BLM will hold public meetings during the draft EIS comment period across Idaho and Wyoming.

The BLM Wyoming is preparing the draft EIS. The BLM is the lead federal agency in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this project, and is working with cooperating agencies including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS); National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Wyoming; State of Idaho; Cassia, Twin Falls and Power Counties, Idaho; the City of Kuna, Idaho; Carbon, Lincoln and Sweetwater Counties, Wyoming; and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District and Medicine Bow Conservation District in Wyoming. In addition, tribal consultation is ongoing.

“The BLM listened to public comments and cooperating agencies to ensure that communities and groups shared their ideas to help us make better decisions,” said Don Simpson, Wyoming State Director and the BLM’s decision maker for the project. “This effort is consistent with BLM’s responsibility under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to coordinate with state and local governments.”

Tom Dyer, Idaho State Director, praised state and local elected officials for raising constituent issues associated with siting the transmission line route. “We appreciate the efforts of Idaho’s elected officials to work with us 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 enabling us to make informed decisions. We encourage participation by all groups interested in the NEPA process.”

This project is jointly proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power, and would build nearly 1,150 miles of high voltage transmission lines across southern Wyoming and southern Idaho. The project proponents have applied to the BLM and USFS for right of way grants to construct, operate and maintain transmission lines from the proposed Windstar substation near Glenrock, Wyoming, to the proposed Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho, approximately 20 miles southwest of Boise. An interactive map is available on the BLM’s Web site detailing these routes: Detailed route information is also available on the web site in the updated Siting Study and Scoping Report. BLM is distributing a newsletter to the over 10,500 names on the project mailing list.

The BLM manages more land - 253 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. 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: 01-14-2010