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Reauthorization of Transmission Line Permits, Maintenance and Vegetation Management
on Forest Service Lands in Colorado, Nebraska and Utah

Draft Environmental Impact Statement, DOE/EIS-0442

Project Description

Western Area Power Administration proposes to improve the way it manages vegetation along its rights of way on National Forest System lands in the states of Colorado, Utah and Nebraska.  Implementing the proposal would include modifying existing Forest Service authorizations or issuing new authorizations to accommodate Western’s proposal and other routine maintenance.

In response to North American Electric Reliability Corporation requirements and changing industry practices, Western proposes to modify its overall approach to vegetation management. The new approach involves evaluating existing vegetation conditions on the ROW, defining actions needed to manage vegetation and then implementing the actions and monitoring the ROW.

Implementation would include a variety of vegetation management activities designed to reduce or eliminate threats to facilities, mitigate ROW fuel load conditions, and meet other objectives listed below.  In general, trees that grow to heights that may present a safety hazard are considered incompatible.  These species would be targeted for management.  About 237 miles of transmission line ROW are proposed for initial treatment to meet these objectives.

Western and the Forest Service are Joint Lead Agencies on the Environmental Impact Statement.

Upcoming actions
  • Notice of Availability issued: The Environmental Protection Agency issued the Notice of Availability for the draft EIS on Sept. 27, 2013. The Notice starts the 45-day public comment period. The public comment period ends Nov. 12, 2013.
  • Public hearing set in October: A public meeting/hearing will be held:

    Oct. 23, 2013, 4 to 8 p.m.
    Sheraton Denver West Hotel
    Bergen Park Room
    360 Union Boulevard
    Lakewood, CO 80228 

You will be able to learn more about the project, get your questions answered and provide comments. You may also provide comments to Mr. Jim Hartman. His contact information is below.

Informal Public Meeting and Hearing Format

Format and Procedure

The Public Meeting and Hearing  format will be informal.  This will allow anyone who wants to participate to do so anytime between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.  This will provide more flexibility for you to attend.

Public Meeting: 

  •  The Public Meeting will be in an open house format.
  • This format is informal. You can arrive sometime between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as your schedule allows.
  • There is no formal presentation.
  • There will be posters and displays.
  • There will be representatives from Western and the Forest Service available to:
    • Answer your questions on the project
    • Explain the purpose of the project
    • Take your comments if you wish
    • Explain other opportunities available to you to give comments

Hearing:

  • The Hearing format will be informal.
  • No formal hearing time is set. You can arrive sometime between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as your schedule allows.
  • You will not have to speak publicly.
  • A Court Reporter will be available for you to record your oral comments. The Court Reporter will record your comments and provide the comments to Western and the Forest Service.
  • Your comments will be considered when the final environmental impact statement is prepared.
  • You do not have to leave oral comments with the Court Reporter. There are several other ways to provide comments.  Please see how to submit comments below under Western’s Contact (Submit your comments).

Comments on the draft EIS are due by Nov. 12, 2013

 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement Western's contact (submit your comments) 

 Comments on the draft EIS should be sent to Western's contact:
 Jim Hartman
 Natural Resources Office
 Western Area Power Administration
 Corporate Services Office
 12155 West Alameda Parkway
 Lakewood, CO 80228
 (720) 962-7255
 Western-FS-EIS@wapa.gov

Forest Service contact

 Chris Wehrli
 U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region
 Regional Environmental Coordatinator
 (303) 275-5108

Resources

Right-of-way Management Guidance for vegetation, encroachments, and access routes order (WAPA O 430.1A), (67 kb pdf)
Transmission Vegetation Management Program order (WAPA O 450.3A), (52 kb pdf)
Transmission Vegetation Management Program facility standards:
- FAC-003-1 (25 kb pdf)
- FAC-003-2 (295 kb pdf)

Scoping report available

This scoping report explains the scoping process and describes the tools Western and the Forest Service used to provide information to the public about the project and solicit comments on the scope and content of the EIS. The report also summarizes the comments Western and the Forest Service received during the scoping period. The public scoping period closed May 26, 2010.