Boise, IDAHO – The subcommittee of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District Resource Advisory Council (RAC) evaluating options for siting two segments of the proposed Gateway West power transmission line has added five public meetings to its work schedule.
Meetings are scheduled for February 26, 2014; March 10, 18 and 27, 2014; and April 2, 2014 at the BLM Boise District Office, 3948 Development Avenue, Boise, ID 83705. Each meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn at 3:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and present written or oral comments to the subcommittee during the public comment period.
The subcommittee advises the Boise District RAC on matters of planning for segments 8 and 9 of the Gateway West project. The subcommittee has held five previous meetings and will update the full RAC on work to-date at the quarterly RAC meeting on January 28th. The Boise RAC is a 15-member advisory panel that provides advice and recommendations to the BLM on resource and land management issues for approximately four million acres of federal public lands within ten counties in southwestern Idaho.
Gateway West is a joint project proposed by Idaho Power Co. and Rocky Mountain Power and includes constructing and operating 230 and 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines across southern Wyoming and Idaho. Segments 1 through 7 and 10 were approved in a Record of Decision published on November 14, 2013, but the BLM deferred a decision for Segments 8 and 9 to allow time for additional stakeholder outreach and public engagement in exploring options for siting these two segments.
Neither the subcommittee nor the full RAC will make any decisions on siting segments 8 and 9. Rather, the subcommittee is evaluating possible routes on public lands and providing options for the BLM to consider prior to beginning required additional environmental review of the remaining portions of the project. Public comments and input offered during each subcommittee meeting is most welcome and supports the fullest possible evaluation of options.
The subcommittee is also examining the mitigation and enhancement proposal being offered by the companies, particularly as it relates to lands in the BLM Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
It is possible that the subcommittee will not need all of the scheduled meetings to complete its work. If one or more of the meetings listed above are cancelled, announcements will be made through local media and on the BLM Idaho website at http://www.blm.gov/id . Information about the Gateway West project in Idaho is also available online at http://www.blm.gov/id/st/en/prog/nepa_register/gateway-west.html .
For more information about meeting arrangements and details, contact Marsha Buchanan, Boise District RAC coordinator, at208-384-3364.