Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to completely rebuild its existing 60-mile-long Shelton-Fairmount No. 1 115-kilovolt (kV) wood pole transmission line from BPA’s Shelton Substation in Mason County, Washington to BPA’s Fairmount Substation in Jefferson County, Washington. The line was built in 1949 and is nearing the end of its service life. It is experiencing performance issues due to its age, its poor grounding, and its overall condition. The line needs to be rebuilt to ensure reliable electric service and the safety of the public and transmission workers.

The proposed rebuild project would include rebuilding nearly all of the existing wood pole structures along the line and replacing conductors (the transmission wires), overhead ground-wire and all associated hardware, as well as disconnect switching facilities. New structures would also be added at some locations along the line, and access roads along the line would be upgraded or repaired where needed to accommodate construction vehicles.

The project would include the replacement of the fiber optic cable along 107 continuous miles of BPA transmission lines. In addition to replacing the fiber optic cable on the Shelton-Fairmount No. 1 line, fiber optic cable on BPA transmission lines would be replaced from BPA’s Olympia Substation in Thurston County, Washington to the Shelton Substation, and from the Fairmount Substation to BPA’s Port Angeles Substation in Clallam County, Washington. Access roads associated with the fiber optic cable replacement in the Olympia-to-Shelton and the Fairmount-to-Port Angeles sections would be upgraded or repaired where needed to accommodate replacement activities.

Finally, under the Clean Water Act, BPA would be required to mitigate the project’s estimated effects to wetlands and streams.


To understand the potential environmental impacts of this proposal, BPA has prepared an environmental assessment (EA) following the procedures of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The EA analyzes the Shelton-Fairmount Transmission Line Rebuild and Fiber Optic System Replacement Project, as well as a No Action Alternative. Under the No Action Alternative, the transmission line would not be rebuilt and the fiber optic cable would not be replaced; both would continue to be repaired as needed. The EA describes anticipated impacts to natural and human resources and identifies mitigation measures to help avoid or minimize impacts.

The proposed schedule for the environmental review is as follows:

Scoping comment period                                           March 23, 2022 – April 22, 2022
Draft EA comment period                                           August 9, 2023 - September 8, 2023
Final EA                                                        Winter 2023 - 2024
Finding of No Significant Impact (if warranted)     Winter 2023 - 2024
If decision to build, construction start                     Spring 2025


BPA made a draft EA available for public comment on August 9, 2023. The comment period closed on September 8, 2023. Comments received will be considered as BPA drafts the Final EA. 


For environmental information, contact: 
Mike O’Connell         Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Environmental Protection Specialist Direct line: 503-230-7692
Bonneville Power Administration – ECT-4    Email: 
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621

For project information, contact:
Scott Lissit        Toll-free: 800-622-4519
Project Manager        Direct line: 503-230-5057
Actalent                 Email: 
Bonneville Power Administration – TEPF-3
PO Box 3621
Portland, Oregon 97208-3621


Comments received 
Public Letter (08/09/2023)
Comment Form (08/09/2023)
Draft EA (August 2023)

Comments received 
Public Letter  (03/23/2022)
Project Map  (02/09/2022)
Comment Form  (03/23/2022)

EA Determination (06/15/2023)