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Release Date: 09/23/11
Contacts: Beverly Gorny, 307-775-6158    

BLM Grants Right-of-Way Allowing Additional Geotechnical Studies
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 (ROW) grant for additional geotechnical studies to be conducted in association with the Gateway West Transmission Line Project, proposed by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power (companies).

In 2010, the companies were granted a ROW to conduct geotechnical surveys after the action was reviewed in a June 2009 environmental assessment. Information was collected from 124 locations. The information collected will be used for the design of foundations and support structures in association with the proposed route of the Gateway West electric transmission line.

BLM received a revised application from the companies in 2011 to continue geotechnical investigation in Wyoming in order to collect hydrogeologic and geotechnical soil properties for the engineering design of the proposed transmission line. Impacts resulting from the revised proposal were analyzed in a Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA) completed in May 2011.

The BLM ROW grant allowing these geotechnical studies covers BLM-managed lands in Wyoming affected by the proposed project. A Notice to Proceed will be issued by each BLM Field Office working with the companies.

Drilling would occur at 25 locations on BLM lands, and up to 64 locations total (including all federal, state and private land) where permitted by the agency or landowner. Environmental protection measures and monitoring will be in place during the drilling to minimize or eliminate potential negative environmental impacts.

The proposed Gateway West electric transmission line would extend between the Windstar Substation at Glenrock, Wyo., and the Hemingway Substation approximately 30 miles southwest of Boise, Idaho. The draft environmental impact statement was recently released for public review.

The Environmental Assessment, Decision Record, FONSI and ROW 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.

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Last updated: 10-03-2011