The B2H Project will construct a new high power (500 kilovolt) electric transmission line over 298 miles of private and public lands throughout North-Central to Eastern Oregon and Idaho. The B2H Project is currently scheduled to begin construction in 2011 and begin service in 2012. Between now and 2011, the project is undergoing the permitting and engineering phases. There are opportunities to participate and submit written comments!
This project will affect landowners’ property interests. Approximately 86% of the project crosses private land. The other 14% is land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Forest Service, the States of Oregon and Idaho, and other various public entities. In the last month, approximately 800 landowners received a mailing from Idaho Power providing notice of the project. These landowners hold property interests in the “notification zone.” Idaho Power will work to acquire easements, and or rights-of-way (ROW) with the private landowners. In some cases, Idaho Power may purchase the land in fee simple. If these options fail, Idaho Power will acquire easements and ROW through eminent domain.
The ROW will be approximately 250 feet wide, however, the proposed corridors, including alternate corridors, maintain a 2 mile width for evaluation purposes. The average distance between the 100 to 190 feet tall lattice steel towers and H-frame steel power structures will be 1200 to 1300 feet. The amount of land affected during construction includes 13,500 acres whereas the land affected during operation will include 7,550 acres. During the scoping meeting, each landowner is encouraged to provide written comment to question and discuss the limitations of these identified corridors. The landowner knows best!
Because this project traverses both public and private lands, two review procedures will occur simultaneously. These processes include National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) compliance at the federal level via an environmental impact statement (EIS). BLM will be the lead agency in charge of the EIS. On a local level, the Oregon Department of Energy, Energy Facility Siting Council (ODOE-EFSC) reviews the Notice of Intent (NOI) received from Idaho Power. The NOI is then noticed to the public and persons can submit their written comments to the NOI which is available on the project website. The NOI was submitted on August 28, 2008.
-Public Written Comments to the EIS Scoping phase are due on November 14, 2008, and can be submitted to the Federal Project Manager, Lucas Lucero at 4701 N. Torrey Pines Dr., Las Vegas NV 89130.
-Public Written Comments to the ODOE-EFSC are also due on November 14, 2008, and can be submitted to the Energy Facility Analyst for ODOE, Adam Bless at 625 Marion St. NE, Salem OR 97301.
Transmission lines over private property do affect property values and options. Humans and animals are sometimes affected when living under or near transmission lines. Health and safety issues must be considered in light of the public need for these transmission lines.
Public information and scoping meetings are being held in October from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the following locations. You are encouraged to attend!
â€¢ October 21: Marsing, Idaho (Marsing American Legion Comm. Cntr, 126 N. Bruneau Hwy)
â€¢ October 22: Ontario, Oregon (Four Rivers Cultural Cntr, 676 S.W. 5th Ave)
â€¢ October 23: Baker City, Oregon (Baker County Fairgrounds, 2610 Grove St.)
â€¢ October 28: Island City, Oregon (OSU Agricultural Service Cntr, 10507 N. McAlister Rd.)
â€¢ October 29: Pendleton, Oregon (Pendleton Convention Cntr, 1601 Westgate)
â€¢ October 30: Boardman, Oregon (Port of Morrow Riverfront Cntr, 2 Marine Dr.)
For more information, copy and paste this link in your brower: http://www.boardmantohemingway.com/default.aspx
At Schroeder Law Office we are versed in navigating through the permitting process, submitting comments to BLM and ODOE, and protecting property interests. Submitting comments is an imperative part in protecting your property interests. Please contact our office if you have any questions or desire to employ our assistance.