Project Description

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to implement the Radio System Upgrades at Willow Creek Summit and Windy Devil Annex Project.  The project will have two radio stations built in Custer County, Idaho: one at Willow Creek Summit on Bureau of Land Management- (BLM) managed land at an existing communications site, and one at Windy Devil on U.S. Forest Service-managed land in an annex to an existing communications site.  Project outcomes are anticipated to be greater reliability and coverage of the Very High Frequency (VHF) two-way radio system used by BPA field personnel, and enhancement of the safety of the Federal Columbia River Transmission System that depends on fast and clear communications.

Environmental Review

To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA considered the action alternative as described above, and a no-action alternative that would have prolonged the current system’s inadequacies for an unknown length of time. The EA analyzed the alternatives in light of potentially affected natural and human resources and included mitigation measures that will help avoid or minimize those impacts. The draft EA was released for public review and comment in July 2021; joint comments were received on the draft EA from two Idaho state agencies in one letter.
The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:
Scoping comment period February 8, 2019 - March 8, 2019
Draft EA comment period June 24, 2021 - July 23, 2021
Final EA October 2021
Finding of No Significant Impact (If warranted) October 2021
If decision to build, construction start June 2022

Current Status

BPA and the BLM have released its final EA and separate Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) documents. The BPA FONSI includes a Mitigation Action Plan to help avoid or lessen potential impacts.    

Contact

For environmental information, contact:

Mike O'Connell
Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration - ECT-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621
Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-230-7692
Email: mjoconnell@bpa.gov

For project information, contact:

Charley Majors
Project Manager
Aerotek
Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-CSB-2
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, WA 98666-1409
Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  360-619-6683
Email:  vcmajors@bpa.gov

Documents

FINAL EA & FONSI
Final EA  (10/22/2021)
FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan (10/22/2021)
Public Letter (10/22/2021)

DRAFT EA
Draft EA comments received
Draft EA (06/24/2021)
Public Letter (06/24/2021)
Comment Form (06/24/2021)


SCOPING
Scoping comments received 
Public Letter (02/08/2019)
Project Map (02/08/2019)
Comment Form (02/08/2019)