Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Trinity Public Utilities District (Trinity PUD) are proposing a Wildfire Risk Reduction, Reliability, and Asset Protection (WRAP) Project to reduce fire risk to the surrounding Trinity County communities and public lands, as well as to increase electrical reliability to maintain critical services in the local communities.
The areas surrounding WAPA and Trinity PUD’s systems are particularly vulnerable to fire risk due to the dense vegetation and steep terrain. This proposed WRAP project would reduce fire risk by expanding existing transmission/distribution rights-of-way (ROWs) on US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and private lands and by implementing a proactive integrated vegetation management program within the expanded ROWs. Maps of the Project area are included in the PROJECT DOCUMENTS section below.
- Expand the width of WAPA’s ROW for the 17.5 miles between Trinity Substation and Weaverville Switchyard from 80 feet to up to 130 feet.
- Expand the width of Trinity PUD’s transmission and distribution utility ROW for 216.8 miles from 20 feet to up to 130 feet (based on topography, land use, and sensitive resources). The existing ROW easements for underground distribution lines would not change.
- Improve WAPA’s existing legal access roads using Best Management Practices for routine access road maintenance and associated rehabilitation. Trinity PUD would maintain existing ROW access roads to the road standards set by the land managers.
- Clear vegetation within the ROWs using a combination of mechanical, manual, and herbicidal control methods.
- Update WAPA and Trinity PUD’s Operation and Maintenance Plans for long-term maintenance of vegetation and protection of sensitive resources within the ROW.
WAPA commenced its public scoping period on January 29, 2021. Due to COVID-19 concerns WAPA hosted virtual scoping meetings on January 12th and 14th, 2021. A copy of the presentation is included in PROJECT DOCUMENTS below. WAPA invited the public to provide comments on the scope of the WRAP EIS/EIR during this extended 50-day public scoping period that started December 11, 2020 and ended January 29, 2021. The Scoping Report, provided below under PROJECT DOCUMENTS, provides a summary of the public comments and will be used to assist in the development of the scope of issues addressed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR).
The next step is preparation of a EIS/EIR document. When the Draft EIS/EIR is available, scheduled for Spring 2022, interested parties will have the opportunity to review and provide comments on the Draft EIS/EIR.
We would like to know about issues, concerns, and suggestions you may have regarding the proposed WRAP Project. Your comments will help define issues and alternatives for consideration in the environmental review process. Comments can be provided in writing or by fax to the contact listed below.
Mail: Western Area Power Administration, Sierra Nevada Region
ATTN: Tish Saare, Supervisory Environmental Protection Specialist