Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to rebuild its 26-mile long, 115 kilovolt (kV), wood-pole Hills Creek-Lookout Point transmission line generally located between Lowell and Oakridge, in Lane County, Oregon. The existing wood-pole line was constructed in 1953 and most of the structures are now physically worn. Based on its deteriorated condition, the line needs to be rebuilt in order to maintain reliable electrical service, avoid risks to the public and ensure worker safety.
The project would include replacement of all wood-pole structures and conductor (wires) and improvement of the access road system. Most structures would be replaced with similar size poles in the same locations unless changes are needed for safety or to minimize potential environmental impacts. Access roads would be improved and trails would be constructed to remote tower locations that are inaccessible by vehicles. Up to 4,000 trees within and adjacent to the transmission corridor and access road system would be removed along the entire length of the transmission line to prevent electrical outages and damage to the transmission line. Backup generators would be temporarily located adjacent to the Lane Electric Cooperative Oakridge Substation to provide a secondary source of electricity in the event of an emergency. The transmission line would continue to operate at 115-kV.
To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA previously completed an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 2017.
The 2017 EA analyzed the Hills Creek-Lookout Point transmission line rebuild, as well as a no-action alternative. Upon completion of the final EA, BPA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on September 5, 2017. The project was then delayed for several years and is now undergoing an environmental review to determine if changes to the project scope would have impacts to environmental and cultural resources in the project area. A supplement to the 2017 EA will analyze the potential for any additional effects to resources.
In the development of the 2017 EA, the Forest Service was a cooperating agency, as the agency needed to consider whether to issue a special use permit to allow BPA to realign short sections of the line within the Willamette National Forest. The Forest Service will continue to provide input and feedback on the proposed minor changes to the project description. The supplemental EA will describe anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and will identify mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts.
BPA will continue to work with landowners, tribes, federal, state and local agencies, and interest groups.
The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:
||Summer 2021 |
|Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted)
|If decision to build, construction start
||Late Spring 2022|
The public scoping comment period closed on May 20, 2021. All comments received will be considered as we draft the Supplemental EA.
|Mail: Bonneville Power Administration
Public Affairs - DKE-7
P.O. Box 14428
Portland, OR 97291-4428
For environmental information, contact:
Environmental Protection Specialist
Flux Resources, LLC
Bonneville Power Administration - ECT-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621
For project information, contact:
Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-TPP-1
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, WA 98666-1409
Public letter (04/20/2021)
Comment Form (04/20/2021)
Public Letter (9/13/2017)
FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan (9/5/2017)
USFS Final Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (September 2017)
Final EA (6/5/2017)
Public Letter (6/29/2017)
USFS Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact
USFS Legal Notice of Objection Period
Draft EA comments received
Public Letter (08/10/2016)
Draft EA (August 2016)
Comment Form (08/10/2016)
Scoping comments received
Public Letter (08/23/2013)
Project Map (07/26/2013)
Comment Form (08/23/2013)
EA Determination Memo (06/10/2013)