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Wyoming State Office
Release Date: 09/09/10
Contacts: Walt George, BLM Project Manager, 307-775-6116    
  Beverly Gorny, Public Affairs Specialist, 307-775-6158    

BLM Approves Right-of-Way Grant Allowing Geotechnical Studies to Move Forward for the Proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a Decision Record, Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), and associated right-of-way grant for geotechnical studies to be conducted in association with the Gateway West Transmission Line Project, proposed by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power (Companies). An Environmental Assessment addressing the geotechnical studies was released for public review and comment in June 2009.

The BLM right-of-way grant allowing these geotechnical studies covers BLM-managed lands in Wyoming and Idaho affected by the proposed project. A Notice to Proceed will be issued by each BLM Field Office working with the Companies. The right-of-way grant limits the geotechnical studies to segment numbers one through four of the proposed Gateway West project and to areas where little controversy or where no substantial alternatives have been proposed. Geotechnical studies may begin in 2010 and will be completed in 2011. Other right-of-way grants will approve subsequent geotechnical studies on public land.

“The BLM finds that this action allows gathering important information needed to safely design towers while protecting the natural and human environment,” said Don Simpson, BLM Wyoming state director. Environmental protection measures and monitoring will be in place during the drilling to minimize or eliminate potential negative environmental impacts.”

The Environmental Assessment, Decision Record, FONSI and right-of-way grant documents may be found at the BLM’s Gateway West project website at:

The decision granting the right-of-way may be appealed within 30 days from the date the right-of-way grant is approved. Specific procedures for appeal may be found in the Decision Record.

A separate environmental impact statement is currently being prepared by the BLM for the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project. The decision to approve the geotechnical studies does not have any bearing on BLM’s final decisions on the proposed transmission line.

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.

Wyoming State Office   5353 Yellowstone      Cheyenne, WY 82009   

Last updated: 09-09-2010