BPA proposes to improve a portion of the access road system for its existing 115-kV Boyer-Tillamook No. 1 Transmission Line located in Tillamook and Yamhill counties, Oregon. The proposed project would improve 13 miles of access roads. Associated activities would include resurfacing roads, adding drainage, widening 3 miles of road, constructing 0.1 mile of new road, maintaining culverts, and constructing outlet ditches and retaining walls. In addition, new bridges would be built, and culverts that currently block fish passage for anadromous and resident fish would be replaced. The project is necessary because existing access road conditions for this transmission line are in poor condition and do not meet current road standards for safety and operation. Many of the access roads are washed out with limited access in the summer and no access in winter, making regular maintenance and emergency repairs to the lines difficult, time consuming, and dangerous. In order to ensure safe and reliable electric service to customers in the area and public and worker safety, improved access roads to this important line are needed.
BPA will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to understand the potential impacts of the proposed road improvements and identify ways to reduce those impacts. The EA will also consider a No Action Alternative where the improvements would not be made and BPA would continue with current operation and maintenance practices.
A letter about the project was sent on March 5, 2013 to adjacent landowners, tribes, government agencies, and other potentially affected or concerned interest groups. The letter describes the project and provides contact information for those with comments or questions. The preparation of the EA will take place over the next few months, and a preliminary EA will be released for public review during the spring of 2013. BPA will produce a Final EA in the summer of 2014. Based on the analysis in the EA and comments received, BPA will either prepare a Finding of No Significant Impact and decide whether to proceed with the project, or an Environmental Impact Statement if there is the potential for significant environmental impacts.
You may submit any comments about the project online at www.bpa.gov/comment. Comments can also be faxed to 503-230-4019. Please refer to "Boyer-Tillamook Access Road Improvement Project" in your comments and submit them by March 22, 2013. If you have other questions or comments about the project, do not hesitate to call BPA toll free at 1-800-622-4519. BPA will post all comments we receive by March 22, 2013 in their entirety on the Boyer-Tillamook Access Road Improvement Project comments webpage.