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Northern Mid-Columbia Joint Project (DOE/EA 1945)

Douglas and Chelan counties, Washington


    BPA had ongoing discussions with the Public Utility Districts (PUDs) of Grant, Chelan, and Douglas counties in Washington State on how to address deficiencies in the transmission system of the northern mid-Columbia area. Solutions were explored that would meet each utility's electric reliability needs. These discussions led to an agreement between BPA and the three county PUDs to jointly propose and fund the Northern Mid-Columbia Joint Project (Joint Project).

    The Joint Project would require Douglas PUD to design, build, own, and operate a 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line. The line would extend from Douglas PUD's existing Rapids Substation in the city of Rock Island to BPA's existing Columbia Substation, approximately eight miles to the southeast. Both endpoints of the proposed line are in Douglas County, Washington. To interconnect the proposed line to the Federal Columbia River Power System, BPA would add a bay to the Columbia Substation.

    Three transmission line route alternatives are being considered for the proposed transmission line (See Project Map). BPA is also considering a No Action alternative, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Most of the routes cross private land although some public lands would be crossed including parcels owned by the Bureau of Land Management and a parcel owned by the WA Department of Natural Resources.

    The East Route alternative is on the east side of the Columbia River, entirely within Douglas County. It follows Highway 28 for approximately three miles, then diverges from the highway and climbs a steep slope, traverses land on top of the plateau that is mostly cultivated, descends the plateau near Palisades Road, and terminates at the BPA Columbia Substation.

    The West Route alternatives begin and end in Douglas County, with the majority of the route in Chelan County. The northern portion of the West Route alternatives share a common route and then the routes diverge, with one route closer to the Columbia River and crossing mostly agricultural lands and the other route further from the Columbia River and closer to residences. Both West Route alternatives would require two crossings of the Columbia River, but would traverse more level terrain than the East Route.


    BPA prepared a draft environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposal and identify ways to reduce those impacts. The draft EA also considers a no-action alternative where the proposed 230-kV transmission line and associated facilities would not be constructed. Based on the analysis in the draft EA and comments received, BPA will prepare either a finding of no significant impact and decide whether to proceed with the project, or an environmental impact statement if there is the potential for significant environmental impacts. All comments are posted in their entirety on the project's webpage at: comment webpage.


    Scoping comment period
    Scoping meeting
    Draft EA comment period
    Public meeting
    Public meeting
    Final EA
    Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted)
    If decision to rebuild, construction start
    October 26, 2012 to December 14, 2012
    November 14, 2012 in Wenatchee, WA
    November 17, 2014 to January 14, 2015
    December 9, 2014 in Rock Island, WA and
    December 10, 2014, Malaga, WA
    Fall 2015 to Winter 2015-2016
    Winter 2015-2016
    Fall 2016 or 2017


    For environmental 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:
    Alaric Hsu
    Project Manager

    Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-CSB-2
    P.O. Box 61409
    Vancouver, WA 98666-1409

    Direct line:
    John Brown
    Douglas County PUD
    Property Supervisor

    Direct line:

    Dennis Baker
    Douglas County PUD
    Distribution Engineering Supervisor
    Direct line:


    (All documents are in pdf format)

    Comments received on Draft EA
    Public Letter (188 Kb) (11/17/2014)
    Draft EA (8.6 Mb) (11/17/2014)
    Comment Form (80 Kb) (11/17/2014)

    Public Letter - update (35 Kb) (03/07/2013)
    Summary of Public Scoping Comments (37 Kb) (03/07/2013)
    Revised Project Vicinity Map (1.4 Mb) (02/01/2013)

    Scoping comments received
    Letter to the Public (38 Kb) (10/26/2012)
    Comment Form (39 Kb) (10/26/2012)
    Project Vicinity Map (1.2 Mb) (10/19/2012)

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 Page last reviewed on 10/18/2012 12:29:02 PM