March 30, 2016
Photo and article by Jen Neville
Neighbors, local government officials and project representatives for the Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line proposal met during public meetings in January and February to discuss the proposed project, which is needed to enhance the reliability of the electrical grid and deliver more clean power to the Northern California region.
The six public meetings, hosted by WAPA and SMUD, provided stakeholders a chance to read and learn more about the project, interact with project subject matter experts, and share their comments to help define the scope of the proposed project’s draft environmental impact statement and report.
“More than 240 people attended the six informal workshops we held,” said Lowell Rogers, SMUD’s project manager. “We are getting valuable information and input on siting opportunities and constraints and environmental impacts that will be considered for the environmental studies.”
Gathered around a large map of the project study areas, participants asked questions and identify features such as airstrips, wells and agriculture operations. “WAPA relies heavily on public input to help inform us about local environmental issues, as well as guide us through what can be a complicated process,” said Andrew Montaño, the National Environmental Policy Act Document Manager.
With high public interest for this project, Western extended the scoping period through April 18. The original 60-day scoping period would have ended Feb. 16. The extension allows project staff to continue work with the local communities to gather input.
If you would like to provide input on the scope of this EIS/EIR, take the time to examine the scoping materials and send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 18. The input will help WAPA and SMUD identify alternatives within the project study areas to be analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement and report.
After scoping closes, all comments collected during the 120-day period will be assembled in a Scoping Report and made available to the public on the CoSuLine.com website, under documents. Then the agencies will analyze the comments and develop a draft EIS/EIR that is anticipated to be ready for public review by December 2017. “The Draft EIS/EIR will integrate scoping comments into the detailed analysis of environmental effects, like visual impacts, agriculture and biological resources. That analysis is vital for comparing and contrasting the impacts between proposed alternatives, including a no action alternative,” said Montaño. In the interim, project staff will continue to meet with stakeholders and landowners to provide project updates.
For more information about the project and the environmental review process, visit the website at https://www.cosuline.com .