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Montana-to-Washington Transmission System Upgrade Project (DOE/EIS-0484)

Spokane County, Washington
Nez Perce, Clearwater, and Shoshone counties, Idaho
Mineral, Sanders, Missoula, and Powell counties, Montana


    In 2010, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) conducted a Network Open Season (NOS) process to help manage requests to BPA for long-term transmission service. During the NOS process, utilities and power generators (including wind generators and power marketers) requested the use of BPA's transmission system to transmit their power. To determine if BPA could offer the requested service, BPA studied the transmission system and identified where existing capacity was available and where the system needed upgrades to increase capacity. The studies found that there was not enough available transmission capacity to accommodate all requests for long-term service from BPA's Garrison Substation in western Montana to areas west of the Cascades and to market hubs serving the entire Northwest power market

    To enable BPA to respond to customer requests for transmission service, BPA proposes to upgrade some portions of BPA's transmission system in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The project would involve upgrades at five existing BPA substations (Garrison and Hot Springs Substations in Montana, Dworshak and Hatwai Substations in Idaho, and Bell Substation in Washington), replacement of about 11.4 miles of electrical wire (conductor) along portions of BPA's existing Dworshak-Taft transmission line, improvements to about 25 miles of existing access roads, and the construction of a new substation in Montana (see Project Vicinity Map). The proposed new substation would be constructed along the BPA's existing Garrison-Taft transmission line. BPA is evaluating three different locations for the substation - near St. Regis, Mineral County; near Miller Creek, Missoula County; and near Alberton, Missoula County).


    BPA is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed Montana-to-Washington Transmission Upgrade Project (M2W Project). BPA held a series of public meetings to solicit comments on the scope of this proposed project in May through June, 2012. The scoping comment period closed on July 2, 2012; and, the comments that were received can be seen in their entirety at the 2012 scoping comments page. Following the receipt and review of scoping comments received during the initial scoping period, BPA identified additional sites for the proposed substation. The scoping period was reopened through October 31, 2013 to allow for comments on the new substation location options that were not previously identified. The comments that were received during 2013 can be seen in their entirety at the 2013 scoping comments page.

    This summer and fall you may see workers along the transmission line or at substation sites collecting environmental data and conducting engineering surveys for the project. The data collected will be used to prepare the draft EIS. The EIS will describe the potential environmental impacts of the project and evaluate the alternatives, including the proposed substation locations and the No Action alternative in which BPA would not upgrade its system. The US Forest Service and the Idaho Office of Energy Resources are cooperating with BPA in the preparation of the EIS.


  • Scoping comment period April 27, 2012 to June 18, 2012
    Public scoping meeting May 22, 2012 in Lewiston, ID
    Public scoping meeting May 23, 2012 in Spokane, WA
    Public scoping meeting June 12, 2012 in Missoula, MT
    Public scoping meeting June 13, 2012 in St. Regis, MT
    Draft EIS available for public comment Late Fall 2014
    Final EIS Fall 2015
    Record of Decision Spring 2016
    If decision to rebuild, construction begins    2016


  • For environmental-related information, contact:
    Kimberly St. Hilaire
    Environmental Protection Specialist
    Bonneville Power Administration - KEC-4
    P.O. Box 3621
    Portland, OR 97208-3621

    Direct line:


    For project information, contact:
    Amit Sinha
    Project Manager

    Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-3
    P.O. Box 61409
    Vancouver, WA 98666-1409

    Direct line:



    (All documents are in pdf format)

    Public Letter - update (269 Kb) (08/01/2014)
    Project Map (551 Kb) (07/16/2014)

    2013 Scoping comments received
    Scoping Comment Report (5.8 Mb) (12/17/2013)
    Project Fact Sheet - update (456 Kb) (08/23/2013)

    Public Letter - update (78 Kb) (August 2013)
    Project Maps
    Comment Form (17 Kb) (08/23/2013)

    Public Letter - update - Alberton, Montana (61 Kb) (08/01/2013)
    Project Maps
    Comment Form (17 Kb) (08/01/2013)

    Public Letter - update - State of Montana (28 Kb) (05/25/2012)

    Public Letter - update - State of Idaho (29 Kb) (05/18/2012)

    Public Letter - update - State of Washington (59 Kb) (05/18/212)

    2012 Scoping comments received
    Public Letter (35 Kb) (04/27/2012)

    Federal Register Notice of Intent (200 Kb) (04/23/2012)

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 Page last reviewed on 8/1/2013 2:23:53 PM