ePlanning DOI-BLM-WY-0000-2007-0001-EIS (Gateway West Transmission Line Project)  
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09/29/2016 08:43:30 MDT
The Record of Decision (ROD) was released on November 14, 2013. The ROD identifies the BLM authorized route on public lands for Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10. As explained in the ROD and initially presented in the final EIS, the BLM has chosen to pursue a phased decision for the project, deferring the decision for Segments 8 and 9 until a later date. Visit the BLM Idaho website for updates on the siting process for these segments.

The route as authorized in the ROD is the same as the BLM preferred alternative as presented in the final EIS for Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10. A portion of Segment 4 in Lincoln County, Wyoming was modified following the release of the final EIS to minimize potential impacts on sage-grouse, ground disturbance in a landslide area, and conservation easements.

The BLM used the following criteria to select the authorized route:
•  Allow for reasonable construction costs associated with the preferred route.
•  Route on public land where practical.
•  Avoid cultural and natural resource areas.
•  Avoid sensitive species habitat, including bald eagle nests and big game winter range.
•  Follow existing corridors or linear structures.
•  Avoid Visual Resource Management Class II areas.
•  Avoid designated areas such as National Monuments, Wilderness Study Areas, National Landscape Conservation System areas and State and local parks.
•  Avoid BLM-identified preliminary priority sage-grouse habitat and Wyoming core habitat areas.

The ROD includes:
• The BLM's responses to public comments on the final EIS.
•  Information on required mitigation and monitoring plans.
•  Right-of-way (ROW) authorization for Segments 1 through 7 and Segment 10 including the BLM rationale for its ROW decisions.
•  Information on the BLM's decision to defer authorization on Segments 8 and 9.
•  Updated Plan of Development (POD) from Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power.
•  The BLM's responses to land use plan amendment protests.
•  The BLM's response to the Idaho Governor's land use plan consistency appeal.
About this project
The BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Caribou-Targhee, Medicine Bow-Routt, and Sawtooth National Forests conducted the initial NEPA process for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project, first proposed in 2007 for federal lands in Wyoming and Idaho. The BLM was the lead federal agency for that process, which resulted in a ROD for eight of the 10 segments originally proposed. The BLM continues to lead the NEPA process for the two remaining proposed segments, which involve BLM-managed public lands in Idaho and no USFS lands.

NEPA Process

The FEIS was released on April 26, 2013. The release of the document began a 60-day public comment period which closed Friday, June 28. Response to public comments can be found in the ROD.

The BLM released the DEIS for the project on July 29, 2011, which was followed by a 90-day public comment period and 17 public meetings throughout the project area.

Project impacts to sage grouse were analyzed and incorporated in the DEIS as part of the "Analysis Framework for Interstate Transmission Lines" (Appendix J). All components of the Analysis Framework were presented in the DEIS, with the exception of the habitat equivalency analysis (HEA), released on June 29, 2012 as part of a Sage-Grouse Addendum to the DEIS. The BLM incorporated comments received on the sage grouse analysis into the FEIS. The BLM also hosted two public meetings in February 2012 to present information and answer questions regarding the status of the sage-grouse HEA at that time.

The BLM identified the agency preferred alternatives for the project in August 2012. Preferred alternatives were selected after reviewing DEIS comments, coordinating with local, state and federal governments and cooperating agencies, briefing BLM Washington Office program and policy staff, and considering changes to the proposal identified in a February 10, 2012 letter from the Proponents.

Project Overview

The project is jointly proposed by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power. The project comprises 230 and 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines in 10 segments from the Windstar Substation near Glenrock, Wyoming, to the Hemingway Substation near Melba, Idaho, at a total length of approximately 1,000 miles.

For questions about the status of authorized segments of the project (1 through 7 and 10), please email Gateway_West_WYMail@blm.gov.

For questions or to share more information about segments 8 and 9 in southwestern Idaho, please email blm_id_gateway_west@blm.gov.

Cooperating Agencies
Cooperating agencies include the U.S. Forest Service; National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; State of Wyoming; State of Idaho; Idaho Army National Guard; Cassia, Twin Falls and Power counties, Idaho; City of Kuna, Idaho; Elko County, Nevada; Carbon, Lincoln and Sweetwater counties, Wyoming; and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins and Medicine Bow conservation districts in Wyoming.

For questions or to share additional information about the project please email: Gateway_West_WYMail@blm.gov.