Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 March 25, 2009

Contact: Kevin Sloan, 303-236-4404  

              David McGillivary, 303-236-4411

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comments

on the Populus to Ben Lomond 345kv Transmission Line Project on the

Brigham Face Wildlife Management Area, Utah

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment (DEA) for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) on the proposed transmission line and access roads that would cross portions of the 4,289 acre Brigham Face Wildlife Management Area (BFWMA). The BFWMA is managed by the UDWR and was acquired in part with Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act program funds for big game winter range and wildlife-related recreation.  The public will have until Friday, April 10, 2009 to submit their comments.

The UDWR proposes to issue a right-of-way easement to allow Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) to construct a new 345kV transmission line between the new Populus Substation near Downey, Idaho and the existing Ben Lomond Substation located in southern Box Elder County, Utah.  A 1.8 mile section of the proposed transmission line would cross both the northern and southern portions of the BFWMA which is managed by the UDWR.  Construction of new access roads and improvement of some existing access roads would be required within the BFWMA for construction and periodic inspections and maintenance of the new transmission line. Total permanent disturbance as a result of all construction and access related activities would be 3 acres.  Total temporary disturbance within the right-of-way easement would be 32 acres.    

The proposed action within the BFWMA consists of the following:

  • Construction of a 345kV double-circuit transmission line in a new, expanded right-of-way adjacent to an existing 50-foot-wide right-of-way containing a 138kV transmission line within the northern portion of the BFWMA. The expanded right-of-way containing both the new 345kV and existing 138kV transmission lines would be 175 feet wide.
  • Construction of a new 345kV double-circuit transmission line and relocation of an existing 138kV transmission line in a new 195-foot-wide right-of-way within the northern portion of the BFWMA.
  • Construction of a new 345kV double-circuit transmission line in a new 150-foot-wide right-of-way within the southern portion of the BFWMA.
  • Construction of new access roads and improvements to existing access roads along the 345kV transmission line to provide for construction and maintenance activities.

 

The proposed easement issuance and the subsequent construction constitute a federal action subject to the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.  The Service is therefore required to prepare a DEA to analyze the effects on the human environment and document the findings.  The Service will use this DEA to determine if the proposed action is likely to result in significant impacts to the human environment.  If it is determined that there are no significant adverse impacts, the Service will issue a final environmental assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact.  If it is determined, conversely, that significant impacts might occur, the Service will be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

Detailed information on the proposed project is contained in the DEA and Appendices.  Public comment on the proposed exchange and the DEA will assist the Service in deciding whether to approve the project.  The Service must determine whether the proposed project is eligible pursuant to the Wildlife Restoration Act grant program.  The project will be assessed for character, design, and compliance with federal rules and regulations.

Copies of the DEA are available online by clicking on the title of the document at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Service’s Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program at 303-236-8165.  Comments should be sent to: Chief, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO  80225. 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

  • -FWS-