Hooper Springs Transmission Project (DOE/EIS-0451)
Caribou County, Idaho
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 a proposed BPA connection facility that would connect with Lower Valley Energy's (LVE) existing transmission system in northeastern Caribou County, a distance of about 22 to 32 miles depending on the routing alternative. BPA also would construct an approximately 0.5-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 routing 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 four 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's non-wires website). BPA has not identified a preferred alternative at this time.
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 have selenium soil contamination from phosphate mining activities. Because of environmental and other concerns about these sites, BPA decided to develop an alternative transmission line route (the current North Alternative) for consideration and determined that preparation of an EIS for the project is appropriate.
BPA released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in March 2013. A public meeting was held on April 3, 2013 in Soda Springs, ID to gather comments and answer questions on the draft EIS.
All comments are encouraged and will be accepted through April 22, 2013. Comments may be submitted online at: www.bpa.gov/comment, via mail to: Bonneville Power Administration, Public Affairs Office - DKE-7, P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR, 97293-4428; or by fax to 503-230-4019. You may also call us with your comment toll free at 800-622-4519. Please reference "Hooper Springs Transmission Project" with your comments. All comments received on the project will be posted in their entirety on Hooper Springs Transmission Project comments webpage. Comments and responses to them will be made part of the final EIS.
For further information on this project, please contact:
Tish Eaton, Environmental Project Lead, Bonneville Power Administration, KEC-4, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, Oregon 97208-3621; toll-free telephone 1-800-282-3713; direct telephone 503-230-3469; or e-mail:
Erich Orth, Project Manager, Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-3, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, Oregon, 97208-3621; toll-free telephone 1-800-282-3713; direct telephone 360-619-6559; or e-mail:
Draft EIS Volume 1: Environmental Analysis (10.6MB pdf) (March 2013)
Draft EIS Volume 2: Appendices (12.6MB pdf) (March 2013)
Draft EIS Public Letter (33Kb pdf) (02/27/13)
Draft EIS Comment Form (46Kb pdf) (02/27/13)
Public Scoping Letter (28Kb pdf) (06/30/10)
Comment Form (20Kb pdf) (06/30/10)
NOI (30Kb pdf) (06/29/10)
Preliminary Project Map (1.7MB pdf) (June 2010)
Public Letter Announcing Preliminary EA (44Kb pdf) (05/12/09)
Comment Form (18Kb pdf) (May 2009)
Preliminary EA (1.5MB pdf) (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 (698Kb) (06/18/07)
Public Letter (34Kb pdf) (06/16/06)
Open House Information (63Kb pdf) (June 2006)
Comments from Open House (10Kb pdf) (June 2006)
Project Map (1.2MB pdf) (05/24/06)
EA Determination (32Kb pdf) (April 2006)
Map of Southeast Idaho Electrical System (682Kb pdf) (July 2003)