The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the final two segments of the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project, which if built would be the nation’s largest transmission project. Gateway West is proposed by Idaho Power and PacifiCorp, although the giant federal regional electricity wholesaler Bonneville Power Administration has joined the partnership for purposes of planning the line because it has new loads it must serve in southeast Idaho.
As would be expected with a proposed 1,100-mile transmission line project, Gateway West has been fraught with challenges primarily from local governments that object to the federal government’s proposal to run large power lines through counties and cities without local support. One of the most explosive disputes has occurred in and around Kuna and Owyhee County, where local and state governments have objected to a route that takes the line very close to the south end of Kuna rather than along an existing transmission corridor to the south. The final two proposed Gateway West segments – Segments 8 and 9 – are the westernmost parts of the line in the Kuna and Owyhee County area.
In releasing the DEIS, BLM also announced it is taking public comments on this latest proposal through June 9. It is also holding open houses in Boise and Kuna on April 19, Twin Falls on April 20, and Murphy on April 21.
For more information on the project, including how to comment and for more information about the times and locations of the open houses, go to: http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/nepa_register/gateway-west.html