Hooper Springs Transmission Project (DOE/EIS-0451)
Caribou County, Idaho
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is proposing to build a new 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line that would extend from BPA's proposed Hooper Springs Substation near the city of Soda Springs, Idaho, to either an existing Lower Valley Energy (LVE) substation or a proposed BPA connection facility that would connect with LVE's existing transmission system in northeastern Caribou County. The new line would be about 22 to 33 miles depending on the route alternative or option. BPA also would construct an approximately 0.2-mile-long 138-kV transmission line between the proposed Hooper Springs Substation and PacifiCorp's
existing Threemile Knoll Substation to connect the electrical
facilities to the regional transmission grid. The project is needed
to improve voltage stability on the transmission grid to meet future
load growth in southeast Idaho and northwestern Wyoming.
Two route alternatives are being considered for the proposed line from the Hooper Springs Substation to the connection with LVE's transmission system: a North Alternative, including two route options and a South Alternative, including five route options. BPA is also considering a No Action Alternative, that is, BPA would not build the transmission line. BPA also considered but eliminated from detailed study several other potential alternatives, including potential non-wire solutions for more information on non-wires, please visit: BPA Non-Wires Initiative Information).
BPA has identified the South Alternative's Option 3A as the
BPA is the lead agency for preparation of the EIS. The U.S. Forest Service, Caribou-Targhee National Forest (C-TNF), U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the State of Idaho's Office of Energy Resources are cooperating agencies and have assisted with preparation of the EIS, including assisting BPA in evaluating transmission line alternatives and identifying issues that should be addressed in the EIS.
In May 2009, BPA issued a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) (DOE/EA-1567) for BPA's proposal to construct, operate, and maintain Hooper Springs Substation and to partially fund LVE's construction, operation, and maintenance of a new 22 mile, 115-kV transmission line. The proposed line considered in the preliminary EA extended from the proposed Hooper Springs Substation generally northeast across C TNF, BLM, and private lands along the Blackfoot River, connecting with an existing LVE transmission line near the intersection of Blackfoot River Road and Diamond Creek Road.
Based on comments received on the preliminary EA, BPA discovered that the proposed route identified in the preliminary EA (the current South Alternative) crossed one or more areas that may have selenium soil contamination from phosphate mining activities. Because of environmental and other concerns about these sites, BPA developed the North Alternative for consideration and determined that preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project was appropriate. The draft EIS evaluated a North Alternative and two route options, and a South Alternative and four route options.
After release of the draft EIS, BPA continued to evaluate comments and suggestions concerning the alternatives and options. As a result, BPA identified an additional route option for the South Alternative. Because it is largely similar to Option 3, this additional route option has been identified as Option 3A. While similar to South Alternative route options included in the draft EIS, Option 3A was not specifically evaluated in the draft EIS. BPA therefore has prepared this supplemental draft EIS to evaluate this route option in detail.
BPA released a supplemental draft EIS May 1, 2014 for public review and comment. An open-house public meeting was held on May 27, 2014 in Soda Springs, ID to answer questions and accept comments on the scope of the supplemental draft EIS. The comment period closed August 7, 2014.
As BPA staff and contractors continue to further refine and evaluate project alternatives and options in the coming months, you may see these specialists working in the area. BPA will use the updated information gathered to help respond to the comments it has received and to prepare the final EIS. After this work is complete, BPA will issue the final EIS. BPA will respond to comments submitted on the SDEIS in the Final EIS. BPA expects to complete and publish the final EIS in winter 2014/2015. We then expect to issue a record of decision in early 2015 that will explain BPA's decision about whether to build the project and, if so, the alternative selected.
|For environmental information, contact:
Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-36211
|For project information, contact:
Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-3
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, WA 98666-1409
(All documents are in pdf format unless otherwise noted)
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT:
Comments received on EA
Public Letter Announcing Preliminary EA (44 Kb) (05/12/2009)
Comment Form (18 Kb) (May 2009)
Preliminary EA (1.50Mb) (May 2009)
This project was formerly called the Caribou Valley Energy Project. The documents below were released before the project name was changed.
Photomap of Proposed Transmission Line Route (698 Kb) (6/18/2007)
Public Letter (34 Kb) (6/16/2006)
Open House Information (63 Kb) (June 2006)
Comments from Open House (10 Kb) (June 2006)
Project Map (1.2MB) (5/24/2006)
EA Determination (32 Kb) (April 2006)
Map of Southeast Idaho Electrical System (682 Kb) (July 2003)