Federal officials say they have an updated plan for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line,
which has been discussed and debated for several years
. They now want the public to weigh in on the proposal during a series of public meetings in the new year.
It has been more than two decades since the region has seen a new major power line go up. But since 2008, Idaho Power has been working on a plan to prop up a 500-kilovolt line from Boardman, Ore., running 300 miles southeast through Oregon's Umatilla, Morrow, Union, Baker and Malheur counties and Owyhee County in Idaho, where it would terminate at the Hemingway Substation near Melba. Idaho Power is hoping to begin construction in 2018, with completion expected by the end of 2020.
Nearly 33 percent of the project is located on public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation, with the remaining 67 percent located on private and state land.
The project requires many partners in addition to the Forest Service, BLM and Bureau of Reclamation. Cooperating agencies include the Bonneville Power Administration; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Navy; the state of Idaho; Oregon Department of Energy; Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; and the cities of Boardman, Ore. and Parma, Idaho.
Seven public meetings are scheduled to provide information on the project, including one in Marsing on Tuesday, Jan. 13.
The public has until March 19, 2015 to review and comment on the draft environmental impact statement, available here