FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2018
CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-962-7411
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – After comprehensive evaluation and extensive public engagement, Western Area Power Administration published the final environmental impact statement, or final EIS, for a project to rebuild and consolidate two transmission lines between the Estes Substation and the Flatiron Substation, west of Loveland, Colorado.
The final EIS is a culmination of a five-year environmental study that follows the National Environmental Policy Act. The document defines the proposed route, also called the agency preferred alternative, for rebuilding a single, double-circuit power line that would replace two 60-year-old transmission lines.
"The existing transmission lines are aging and deteriorating," said WAPA NEPA Document Manager Mark Wieringa. "They need to be replaced to make sure the transmission system continues to deliver power reliably and safely to Front Range communities. The preferred alternative would consolidate both lines into one, eliminate about 16 miles of transmission line, and allow the abandoned right of way to revegetate naturally."
The final EIS describes route alternatives and analyzes their environmental impacts. The document also addresses public comments made to the draft EIS previously released in September 2014, and thoroughly analyzes and provides the rationale for the agency preferred alternative route announced in December 2016. The route mostly follows existing transmission line rights of way to minimize environmental impacts.
"The feedback received during the scoping and draft EIS comment periods ensured this EIS would be a comprehensive analysis of the different alternatives, and ultimately informed the decision to use parts of different alternatives in the selected route," added Wieringa.
The Canyon Lakes District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, a cooperating agency on the EIS, concurred on the agency preferred alternative selection.
WAPA will prepare a record of decision regarding the project no earlier than 30 days from now. The Forest Service will issue a separate record of decision for the project. More information about Forest Service's NEPA process is available on its website.
If WAPA decides to rebuild the line following the final EIS recommendation, construction would begin no earlier than May 2019.
To see the final EIS and for more information about the history and the environmental review of the Estes-to-Flatiron Transmission Lines Rebuild Project, visit the project web page
About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at www.wapa.gov.