ePlanning DOI-BLM-AZ-C020-2016-0010-EIS (Ten West Link Transmission Project)  
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10/22/2019 15:42:10 MDT
Final EIS published
Welcome to the BLM's NEPA website for the Ten West Link Transmission Line EIS

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is pleased to announce the availability of the Ten West Link Transmission Line Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA).  The document was published September 13, 2019.  Thank you to everyone who reviewed the document, attended a meeting, and/or provided substantive comments on the project. The BLM is working to resolve the protest issues. The BLM anticipates issuing a Record of Decision in November 2019. 


The Ten West Link Transmission Line Project Final EIS and Proposed RMPA analyzes and discloses the potential effects of a transmission line project proposed by DCR Transmission, LLC (DCRT).  The EIS includes analysis of proposed amendments to the Yuma Field Office Resource Management Plan and California Desert Conservation Area Plan, which would be needed for the project to be approved. 

The proposed project would be sited on state, private and Federal lands, and would provide a connection between the Arizona Public Service Company’s Delaney Substation in Tonopah, Arizona, and the Southern California Edison Company’s (SCE) Colorado River Substation in Blythe, California, by largely following the existing SCE Devers-Palo Verde 500-kV No.1 transmission line in an established utility corridor.  The Proposed Action would involve approximately 83 miles of public lands along a route spanning roughly 114 miles, with approximately 97 miles in Maricopa and La Paz Counties, Arizona, and 17 miles in Riverside County, California.  

Based on feedback from Cooperating Agencies and public scoping, the BLM developed a robust suite of alternatives, which are detailed in the EIS.  The EIS  discloses the potential effects these alternatives would have on human, natural, and cultural resources, as well as determining what measures would be necessary to mitigate or reduce those impacts.  The Proposed Action and alternatives presented in the FEIS are the same as those presented and analyzed in the Draft EIS released in August 2018. The FEIS addressed public comments on the Draft EIS. The FEIS also analyzes more refined Project engineering and design information provided by the Project proponent, specifically locations and types of transmission structures and location, size and scope of access roads needed to build and maintain the Project. The discussion of the land use plan amendments considered by the BLM is also clarified in the FEIS .

The BLM’s Preferred Alternative is Alternative 2, the BLM Utility Corridor Route, with some route segment modifications. The Preferred Alternative spans 125 miles and is located mostly within BLM-designated utility corridors or parallel to existing infrastructure. Of the 125-mile route, 64% is on BLM-managed public lands, 20% is on private land, 15% on state land, and 1% on Bureau of Reclamation-managed public lands.

DCRT proposed the project because the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) identified a need for additional high-voltage transmission connection between the Delaney and Colorado River substations to support grid reliability and efficiency and state energy policy. Through a competitive bid process, CAISO selected DCRT to permit and construct a 500-kilovolt transmission line to meet that need.

Publication of the Ten West Link Transmission Line Project Proposed RMPA and Final EIS in the Federal Register initiated a 30-day protest period, from September 13 to October 15, 2019. 
The BLM received two letters protesting the land use plan amendments.  The BLM is working to resolve the protest issues.  

Pursuant to BLM's planning regulations at 43 CFR 1610.5-2, any person who participated in the planning process for this Proposed RMPA and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the planning decisions may protest approval of the planning decisions contained therein. Specifically, the BLM's proposed RMPA decisions would amend the Yuma Field Office RMP to allow for consideration of rights of way outside of designated corridors on a case-by-case basis and amend the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan to allow for construction of the Project within 0.25 mile of occurrences of the Harwood's eriastrum, a sensitive plant species. 

The BLM Director will render a written decision on each land use plan protest. The decision will be in writing and will be sent to the protesting party by certified mail, return receipt requested. The decision of the BLM Director shall be the final decision ofthe Department of the Interior on each land use plan protest. Responses to land use plan protest issues will be compiled and formalized in a Director's Protest Resolution Report that will be posted on www.blm.gov. Upon resolution of all land use plan protests, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision, which will include information on further opportunities for public involvement.