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Marys Peak BPA Communications Site Project (DOE/EA-2050)
Benton, Linn, and Marion counties, Oregon

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) needs to maintain and upgrade the existing BPA communications site located at Marys Peak, approximately 15 miles southwest of Corvallis, in Benton County, Oregon. Some communications equipment at the site is outdated or unstable and needs to be replaced, and the site needs a more reliable back-up power source due to potential power outages. The existing Marys Peak BPA communications site provides voice communications between BPA’s dispatch and control centers and the BPA field crews working in the region.

The existing communications site is located on lands managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS). The site is located within the Marys Peak Scenic Botanical Special Interest Area, managed by the USFS.  Some portions of the project area are on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Northwest Oregon District. Some work could also be needed at the BPA Albany Substation in Linn County and the BPA Prospect Hill Communications Site in Marion County.
 
CURRENT STATUS
In 2016, BPA initiated environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Both the USFS and BLM elected to be cooperating agencies on the Project. Two scoping periods were held (see link to scoping comments below).  After reviewing scoping comments, BPA produced a draft environmental assessment (EA), available for public comment from October 13 to November 23, 2020.  The draft EA describes Project alternatives and the existing resources in the Project area. It also analyzes the potential impacts of each alternative to resources and identifies mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. BPA, USFS, and BLM will hold a virtual public meeting on October 28th to provide information on the Project and draft EA, and accept comments.
 
The USFS Responsible Official, District Ranger Michele Holman, identified BPA as the designee to receive comments on this Project on behalf of USFS. On March 27, 2013, a final rule revising 36 CFR Part 218 was published in the Federal Register Volume 78, No. 59. The new rule replaces the previous USFS appeal rules defined in 36 CFR 215, and expands the use of the pre-decisional objection process. The new rule provides the public an opportunity to comment and express concerns on projects before decisions are made, rather than after. The portion of this Project that would occur on USFS managed lands is subject to USFS specific pre-decisional objection regulations. Only those who submit timely and specific comments regarding the proposed project or activity during a formal public comment period, such as this one, established by the Responsible Official, are eligible to file an objection. For objection eligibility, each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity comments must either sign the comments or verify their identity upon request.
 
VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING
BPA, USFS, and BLM will hold a virtual public meeting on:
 
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm 
 
TO PARTICIPATE EFFECTIVELY, PLEASE READ INFORMATION ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE BEFORE THE PUBLIC MEETING, AVAILABLE HERE.  

HOW TO COMMENT
During the public comment period, comments may be submitted by:
 
                Mail:  Bonneville Power Administration                      Toll-free:  800-622-4519
                          Public Affairs - DKE-7                                     FAX:         503-230-4019
                          P.O. Box 14428                                             Online:     www.bpa.gov/comment 
                          Portland, OR 97291-4428

Please send your comments to BPA by November 23, 2020 and identify them as "Marys Peak BPA Communications Site Project." All comments will be posted in their entirety on the Project's comment website.

SCHEDULE
Initial scoping comment period
Initial public scoping meeting
Additional public scoping comment period
Additional public scoping meeting
Draft EA comment period
Draft EA virtual public meeting
Release Final EA to the public
NEPA Decisions
Construction start if an action alternative is selected
September 27 - December 2, 2016
November 9, 2016
January 8 - February 21, 2018
January 25, 2018
October 13 - November 23, 2020
October 28, 2020 6:30-8pm
Spring 2021
2021
Expected 2022
 
CONTACTS
​For project information, contact:
Benjamin Younce
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration - TEP-CSB-1
P.O. Box 61409
Vancouver, WA 98666-1409

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  360-619-6276      
Email:  bbyounce@bpa.gov


For environmental process information, contact:

Kimberly St.Hilaire
Environmental Protection Specialist
Bonneville Power Administration - ECT-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

OR

Becky Hill
Environmental Protection Specialist
Flux Resources
Bonneville Power Administration - ECT-4
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct line:  503-230-5361
Email:  krsthilaire@bpa.gov

 

 

 

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct Line:  503-230-7312
Emailrlhill@bpa.gov

  
DOCUMENTS
Fact Sheet - BPA Communications Site
2018 Vegetation Survey Report
2019 Vegetation Survey Report
Scenic Resources Assessment Report
 
DRAFT EA (comment period Oct. 13 to Nov. 23, 2020)
Draft EA comments received 
Draft EA                                                    (10/13/2020)
Public Letter (updated)                                (10/27/2020)
Public Letter                                              (10/13/2020)
Comment Form (updated)                           (10/27/2020)
Comment Form                                         (10/13/2020)
Updated Project Alternatives Map                  (10/13/2020)
 
SCOPING
Scoping Comment Summary

Additional Scoping Period (Jan. 8 to Feb. 21, 2018)
Additional Scoping comments received         
Additional Public Scoping Meeting Handout    (01/23/2018)  
Additional Public Scoping Letter                   (01/08/2018)
Alternatives Map                                        (01/08/2018)
Project Vicinity Map                                    (01/08/2018)
Alternatives Considered Map                       (01/08/2018)
Topography Map                                       (01/08/2018)
Comment Form                                        (01/08/2018)

Initial Scoping Period (Sept. 27 to Dec. 2, 2016)
Scoping comments received                     
Project Update Letter                                (05/23/2017)
Public Letter                                            (09/27/2016)
Project Map                                             (08/25/2016)
Comment Form                                       (09/27/2016)