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CoSu public meetings help scope environmental review

​by Jennifer Neville, March 8, 2017

WAPA, SMUD host CoSu public outreach meetings 

Several people stop by the Woodland Community and Senior Center, Jan. 31, to learn more about the environmental review of the proposed CoSu Transmission Line. The meeting was one of six held in Colusa, Sacramento, Sutter and Yolo counties, as part of a second round of scoping, to take public comments on environmental impacts to consider in the draft environmental impact report (EIS/EIR). (Photo by Andrew Montaño)

See more photos on WAPA's Flickr channel   .

More than 100 citizens and community leaders in Northern California took time in January and early February to learn more about a proposed transmission line and to give local insights on the scope of the project's environmental review.

The proposed project, the Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line (CoSu), was first scoped from December 2015 through April 2016. The project is needed to enhance the reliability and capacity of the local area's power grid and increase SMUD's ability to import clean power from and export power to other energy markets, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

Through an extended 60-day public comment period, Western Area Power Administration and SMUD held a series of six additional public meetings to include the review of an additional study area. WAPA and SMUD are continuing scoping efforts for the environmental impact statement and environmental impact report (EIS/EIR) of the proposed CoSu Line Project.

"Public input has really been a big part of our scoping effort for reviewing this project," said Andrew Montaño, the National Environmental Policy Act document manager. In fact, the extended comment period and additional study area are a direct response to public input during the initial scoping period in 2016.

Additional study area requires more scoping
Through the initial scoping period, the public provided input that identified an additional study area and helped refine study area boundaries. The study area identified crosses directly into SMUD territory approximately 20 miles south of the study areas previously scoped.

"We are committed to engaging in an open and transparent environmental review process," said Kim Crawford, SMUD's California Environmental Quality Act project manager. "While we gained valuable input from the public, the meetings also gave us an opportunity to convey to the public the value this project would deliver in terms of enhanced reliability for all of northern California."

Scoping includes all study areas previously scoped, slight modifications to the previously-identified study areas and a new study area that would connect the California-Oregon Transmission Project line in Yolo County to the Elverta Substation in northwestern Sacramento County. WAPA is the lead agency for the EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act. For California Environmental Quality Act requirements, SMUD is the lead agency preparing the concurrent EIR.

Comments still being collected
Due to potential impacts from the regional flooding, WAPA and SMUD will be accepting comments on the proposed CoSu Line Project past the Tuesday, March 7 deadline up through Tuesday, March 21, 2017.  If you would like to provide input on the scope of this EIS/EIR, examine the scoping materials   and send comments to comments@cosuline.com by March 21. The input will help WAPA and SMUD identify alternatives within the project study areas to be analyzed in the draft EIS/EIR and identify the potential environmental effects of the proposed project.

Next steps
After scoping closes, all comments collected during the initial scoping period in late 2015 and early 2016 and the 2017 scoping period will be assembled in a Scoping Report and made available to the public on the CoSuLine.com   website, under the Project Documents link. The agencies will then analyze the comments and develop a draft EIS/EIR that is anticipated to be ready for public comment in 2019. All relevant substantive comments received during the public scoping period will be considered in the preparation of the Draft EIS/EIR. Comments provided previously, in response to the original notice about this project will be considered in the Draft EIS/EIR and need not be repeated during this scoping period. No action will be taken on the project proposal until after the environmental review is completed in 2020. For more information about the project and the environmental review process, visit the website at https://www.cosuline.com        .

Page Last Updated: 3/8/2017 12:07 PM