BPA has decided to construct the Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project in Wasco County, Oregon and Klickitat County, Washington. This project consists primarily of constructing a new, approximately 28-mile-long, 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission line and ancillary facilities between BPA's existing Big Eddy Substation in The Dalles, Oregon, to a proposed new Knight Substation that would be connected to an existing BPA line about 4 miles northwest of Goldendale, Washington.
The Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project will respond to requests for transmission service in the region by increasing transmission capability of the electrical system. For the transmission line, BPA has decided to build East Alternative Option 3, which was identified in the final EIS as the preferred alternative for the transmission line route. For the first 14 miles, the line will use double-circuit towers (combining the new line and an existing line on one set of towers) mostly on existing right-of-way. The remaining 14 miles of the new line will be built with single-circuit towers in newly-established transmission line right-of-way. BPA has also decided to build the small (about 1 mile) realignment of the East Alternative on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, as described in the final EIS. For the proposed new Knight Substation, BPA has decided to build Knight Substation on Site 1, which is on private property about 0.5 mile west of Knight Road. For the fiber optic cable necessary for system communications, BPA has decided to build the Loop Back Option, which will string fiber optic cable on the new transmission towers from BPA's Big Eddy Substation to the new Knight Substation and back again. The project also includes new equipment at BPA's existing Big Eddy and Wautoma substations.
BPA considered three transmission line alternatives, two Knight Substation sites, two fiber optic cable options, and the No Action Alternative.
To make an informed decision on whether to build the project and to understand the impacts of the alternatives,
BPA prepared a draft and final environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental
Policy Act (NEPA).
In December 2010, BPA released the draft EIS, asked for public comments, and held two public meetings. About 370 people commented on the draft EIS, which helped BPA make adjustments to the project and refine the environmental analysis and mitigation measures. All comments we received on the draft EIS are posted on the Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project comments webpage.
BPA released the final EIS in July 2011. The final EIS describes the proposed project and why it is needed, discusses the environmental impacts the project would create, lists the mitigation measures that would lessen or eliminate those impacts, and addresses comments received on the draft EIS. Impacts are disclosed for the following resources: land use, visual quality, vegetation, soils, water resources and wetlands, wildlife, fish, cultural resources, socioeconomics, transportation, noise, health and safety, air quality, and greenhouse gases.
As described above, BPA has made a decision to build the project using East Alternative Option 3, Knight Substation Site 1, and the fiber optic cable Loop Back Option.
BPA began construction on portions of the project in late September 2011. Project work was suspended in fall 2013 because of cultural resources concerns. To address these cultural resource issues, BPA will continue working closely with representatives at the state, tribal and federal level; trained cultural resource monitors will be on site during all construction activities. BPA estimates construction will be completed and the line energized in the winter of 2015.
If you are interested in receiving a paper copy of the ROD or final EIS, or would like a compact disc with an electronic copy of the document, please call our toll-free document request line at 800-622-4520. Please leave a message with the project name "Big Eddy-Knight Transmission Project", the document you are requesting, and your complete mailing address.
For further information on this project, please contact:
Stacy Mason, Environmental Coordinator, Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, OR
97208-3621; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 503-230-5455; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emmanuel Jaramillo, Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-1, P.O. Box 61409, Vancouver, WA 98666-1409; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 360-619-6116; or e-mail email@example.com.
Laura Loop, Realty Specialist, Bonneville Power Administration - TERR-3, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, OR 97208-3621; toll-free telephone 800-282-3713; direct telephone 503-230-5536; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.