Cameron to Milford-138kV Transmission Line

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: Cameron to Milford-138kV Transmission Line
EA

Cameron to Milford - 138kV Transmission Line Project

Proposed Action

The applicant is proposing to construct, operate, and maintain a 138 kilovolt (kV) overhead, single circuit, primary transmission line and expand the Cameron Substation on private land near Beaver, Utah. The requested right-of-way (ROW) would total 15.3 miles in length, of which 12.0 miles, covering 122.8 acres, would be on BLM administered land. The route would extend from the Cameron Substation near Beaver, Utah, in a northwesterly direction over the Mineral Mountains, terminating at PacifiCorp’s Milford Substation. The ROW would begin at PacifiCorp’s existing interconnected system, approximately 2.9 miles northwest of Adamsville, Utah. It would extend west, north of Pass Road, where it would intersect with Pass Road, near the base of the Mineral Mountains. Over the Mineral Mountains, the ROW would roughly follow Pass Road. On the west side of the Mineral Mountains, the majority of the ROW would be parallel to and south of Pass Road, and would intersect Pass Road near Milford. The transmission line would also parallel an existing power line along the majority of this portion of the route.

The route of the Proposed Action alignment would physically separate the proposed 138 kV transmission line from the existing 46 kV system such that simultaneous damage to both systems would be unlikely, resulting in redundancy in the system.

Conditions of Approval

The decision is conditioned on fulfilling applicable environmental commitments described in the Proposed Action of the EA and will be subject to the ROW Grant Terms and Conditions, Special Stipulations, and Plan of Development (POD).

Monitoring, as described in the POD pages 14-17, would be conducted to insure compliance with the Decision Record and attached supporting documents. The POD is included in the ROW Grant as Appendix B. Special Stipulations are included in the ROW Grant as Appendix C.

Data Completion Notes

For copies of the ROW Grant Terms and Conditions, Special Stipulations, and Plan of Development, contact the Cedar City Field Office at: 176 East DL Sargent Drive, Cedar City, Utah 84721 or call 435-865-3000.

Documents

EA/EIS Report:



 

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Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
Access and Transportation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseNew access created by the project would be reclaimed and would not be available to the public after project completion. When feasible, access roads that traverse crucial or substantial mule deer ranges would be gated or blocked to limit public access during the project. New access created by the project would be reclaimed and would not be available to the public after project completion. Methods for reclamation include obstructing the path with berms or boulders, revegetating the surface, or restoring the road to its natural contour and vegetation.
 
Air Quality
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseWhen needed, water would be applied to the ROW, temporary spur routes, and/or access routes throughout the construction period to control dust emission levels.
 
Cultural Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseBased on a project-specific Class III pedestrian cultural resource inventory and consultation with the BLM and Utah State Historic Preservation Department it was determined that the majority of National Register eligible sites would be avoided through project design, such as spanning sites and limiting construction equipment to existing roads. However, it was determined that two sites would be adversely effected by the Proposed Action ROW.

Because of this potential adverse effect, a historic properties treatment plan was prepared in consultation with the SHPO, the Hopi Tribe and the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah for these two sites (42BE874 and 42BE3662). Mitigation measures outlined in the Historic Properties Treatment Plan include archaeological methods such as artifact analysis and archaeological monitoring.

All other National Register eligible sites (11 total) would be flagged for avoidance, prior to construction, to ensure that they aren't adversely affected by any construction activities. Archaeological monitoring during construction will also take place at all National Register eligible sites.

If, during any project activities, cultural, historical, or prehistoric resources, including any potentially of Native American religious interest, are inadvertently discovered, the BLM Authorized Officer would be notified and all work in the area would cease. A professionally trained archeologist would work with the Utah State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and affiliated or interested Tribes to determine eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Construction personnel would be instructed to watch for cultural artifacts while working on the project. In the event vertebrate paleontological resources are discovered, including human remains, the BLM Authorized Officer would be notified.
 
Fire Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseAll construction personnel would have fire tools and extinguishers available at all times and would be trained in basic fire control procedures. Construction staff would adhere to all BLM-required Fire Prevention and Suppression Measures. During the operations and maintenance phase of the project, vegetation would be maintained clear of poles, and any or all trees within the ROW would be removed or maintained at a height that would not contact the conductors, or pose a fire hazard. All areas would be revegetated per the Stabilization and Rehabilitation section below. The spread of weeds, which tend to increase fire hazard, would be controlled per the Invasive, Non-native Species section below.
 
Invasive, Nonnative Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseAll equipment, including pickup trucks and passenger vehicles, would be cleaned of soils, seeds, vegetative matter, or other debris or matter that could contain or hold noxious seeds prior to entering the Project Area. The cleaning of equipment would also be done any time thereafter if the equipment leaves the Project Area, is used on another project, and reenters the Project Area. PacifiCorp would follow any regulations pertaining to control of noxious weeds on BLM land. Specifically, Scotch thistle will be controlled prior to construction using BLM approved methods or will be buffered by at least 100 feet and avoided by construction and maintenance personnel and equipment. PacifiCorp would be responsible for any future weed control work, if needed, as a result of the implementation of this project. Any proposed use of herbicides would comply with BLM requirements.
 
Migratory Birds
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseRaptors and Migratory Birds: In order to avoid or minimize impacts on the nesting success of raptors, activities would not occur within recommended spatial and seasonal buffers, and would follow Utah BLM Best Management Practices for Raptors and Their Associated Habitats in Utah (BLM 2006). Spatial buffers would be one half mile and seasonal buffers (BLM 2006) would be March 1 – August 31 for species observed in the Project Area (see Chapter 3).

If golden eagles are determined to be nesting in the area, spatial buffers would remain at one half mile but seasonal buffers could be extended to January 1 – August 31 (BLM 2006). If existing topography limits actual line-of-sight between an active nest (i.e., the nest has eggs or young) and construction activities, the spatial and seasonal buffers could be reduced if approved by the BLM based on site specific analysis. Raptor surveys would be completed during the spring/summer prior to construction.

When work would occur during the migratory bird nesting season (generally defined as April 1 – July 30 [BLM 2008] a migratory bird nesting survey would be completed 72 hours prior to construction in a particular area. If an active nest were discovered, the BLM biologist would be notified and a 100-foot buffer would be established around the nest to prevent nest abandonment until after the migratory bird nesting season or until the young have fledged.

Raptor electrocutions would be minimized by utilizing adequate spacing (60 inches or greater, see Appendix D) between conductors per APLIC recommendations (APLIC 2006). These design features, built in accordance with Rocky Mountain Power’s Utah Avian Protection Plan, would minimize the potential for avian electrocutions on the transmission line (RMP 2011). With the possible exception of emergency maintenance, the BLM would be contacted prior to any maintenance activities.
 
Public Health and Safety
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseThe contractor performing blasting, if necessary, would comply with applicable regulations and standards established by the regulatory agencies, codes, and professional societies, including the rules and regulations for storage, transportation, delivery, and use of explosives. Whenever blasting operations are in progress, explosives would be stored, handled, and used as provided by law, including safety and health regulations for construction. No explosives would be stored on the Project Area. Construction sites would be managed to prevent harm to any person and property. During construction, all employees, project managers, supervisors, inspectors, contractors, and subcontractors would be required to conform to contractor safety procedures. All personnel would be adequately trained to perform their tasks. Heavy equipment would be outfitted with Occupational Safety and Health Administration required safety devices such as backup warnings and seat belts. Hard hats, safety boots, ear and eye protection, and other personal safety equipment would be available to any personnel requesting it. All accidents and injuries would be reported to the appropriate contractor safety officer.
 
Range Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

ClosePacifiCorp would ensure that any livestock grazing facility improvements and pipelines would remain in a serviceable condition. If damage occurs to any pipelines, fences, or other improvements, PacifiCorp would be responsible for the immediate repair or replacement. PacifiCorp would coordinate with the BLM to avoid conflicts with grazing activities in specific areas, such as adjusting planned construction during times when cattle are being moved into or out of the area. Vehicles operating in the allotments would obey all posted speed limits and use caution to avoid collision with livestock.

Upon completion of the project, the objective of reclamation would be to restore temporarily disturbed areas impacted as part of this project to at least 50 percent of the range site potential within three years of completion of restoration efforts. If the rehabilitation objective is not achieved, PacifiCorp would be responsible for further restoration activities or shall provide monetary compensation to BLM to complete any additional restoration activities. Monitoring and final evaluation of the success of reclamation would be the responsibility of PacifiCorp in close coordination with the BLM.

During the operations and maintenance phase of the Project, maintenance or repairs requiring extensive work within an allotment would be coordinated with the permittee through the BLM to avoid conflicts.
 
Soils
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseStabilization and revegetation efforts would be especially focused in areas of soils that are farmlands of statewide importance or soils susceptible to wind and water erosion, in order to re-establish vegetation and prevent erosion or other deterioration of important farmlands. Tree cutting within the ROW would not occur in areas of soil units sensitive to wind or water erosion.
 
Vegetation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseVegetation removal would be kept to that necessary to install the line and for future safe operation in accordance with PacifiCorp’s Transmission and Distribution Vegetation Management Program (PacifiCorp 2008). Any brush or trees removed during construction would be used as mulch during reclamation activities.

All areas subject to short-term ground disturbance (e.g., pole areas, spur routes) would be restored to original contours. Disturbed areas around poles and on spur routes would be raked and seeded. All area within the ROW that would be clear cut of trees would be seeded as soon as practicable. A certified weed-free seed mix, approved by the BLM, would be used during reclamation activities, and would utilize native species found in or endemic to the area (see Appendix E). The objective of reclamation would be to restore temporarily disturbed areas impacted as part of this project to at least 50 percent of the range site potential within three years of completion of restoration efforts. If the rehabilitation objective is not achieved, PacifiCorp would be responsible for further restoration activities or shall provide monetary compensation to BLM to complete any additional restoration activities. Monitoring and final evaluation of the success of reclamation would be the responsibility of PacifiCorp in close coordination with the BLM.

Any trees felled as part of vegetation maintenance (following PacifiCorp 2008) would be lopped and scattered or bull hogged within the ROW, and outside of the wire zone. PacifiCorp would be responsible for further restoration activities or monetary compensation if rehabilitation objectives are not achieved.

Cutting of trees would be limited to areas of absolute necessity for safe construction, operations, and maintenance practices. Specifically, within the ROW cutting of trees would be limited to the wire zone and access routes. As described in Section 2.1.3 of the EA, an appraisal would be conducted prior to construction to establish the appraised value of any wood products that would be cleared from the ROW, and PacifiCorp would purchase those wood products through a contract with the BLM.
 
Visual Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseThe proposed transmission line would not be routed along ridgelines while traversing the Mineral Mountains, minimizing skylining from the perspective of viewers. The project would use dark wood poles and non-reflective wire that would blend and reduce contrast with the natural surroundings. Revegetation of disturbance areas both within and outside the ROW would help reduce the appearance of contrast in areas with grassland and shrub vegetation. Where trees would be cut within the ROW, the edges of the ROW would be feathered somewhat (in a manner, and to an extent determined by the BLM) to reduce the visual impression of a “crisp” line at the ROW margins.
 
Wastes Hazardous or Solid
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseHazardous Materials and Wastes: No vehicle refueling would occur within the ROW or along off-ROW access routes. Covered dumpsters located on the Project Area would contain all refuse. Refuse would be removed on a regular basis to an approved disposal facility. Portable toilets would be used on site, and would be maintained on a regular schedule. Upon project completion, all construction refuse, including, but not limited to, broken equipment parts, wrapping material, cords, cables, wire, rope, strapping, twine, buckets, metal or plastic containers, and boxes would be removed from the site and disposed of properly.

The only substantial sources of potential petroleum or other hazardous material spills would be from mobile equipment. No refueling of vehicles would occur within the ROW or along off-ROW access routes. If a fuel/oil or other hazardous material spill were to occur, the BLM and other required regulatory agencies would be contacted as soon as possible, actions would be taken immediately to minimize the amount and spread of the spill material, and cleanup would be conducted in accordance with a BLM-approved spill prevention, control, and countermeasures (SPCC) plan.

Such measures may include straw bale plugs, earthen berms, or use of other absorbent materials. If necessary, soil remediation would be conducted and would include the removal of contaminated soils to an approved facility and a soil sample(s) would be taken to verify the success of the site remediation. In addition, PacifiCorp would follow any other local, state, or federal regulations related to the use, handling, storing, transporting, and disposing of hazardous materials.
 
Water Quality
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseAll perennial and intermittent streams and dry washes would be spanned by the transmission line with a buffer of at least 10 feet between the stream bank and the nearest pole. To the extent practical, all disturbances associated with installation of poles would be on the upslope side of the pole. In areas where there is a perceptible slope, straw waddles would be placed or silt fence constructed downslope of disturbance to impede sediment from entering surface waters. Straw waddles or silt fence would be maintained until disturbance areas are successfully revegetated.

In order to minimize disturbance and protect water resources to the extent possible, poles would be placed as far away as possible from wetlands or riparian areas, as agreed upon with the BLM. Disturbance within 100 meters of riparian areas would be avoided, where possible, or minimized, in compliance with UT IM 2005-091. Poles would be located to achieve at least 100 meters of separation from riparian areas in compliance with UT IM 2005-091, where possible. In areas where at least 100 meters of separation from riparian areas could not be achieved, poles would generally be placed as far away as possible from riparian areas, on the opposite side of Pass Road from water resources to create a buffer between the disturbance and water resources, as agreed upon with the BLM. Poles to be installed on the Cherry Creek side of Pass Road would have straw waddles or silt fence installed on the downslope side of the disturbance area to prevent water erosion from reaching Cherry Creek or its associated riparian area. Cutting of trees within the ROW in areas within 100 meters of riparian areas would be minimized, and avoided where no barrier (such as Pass Road) exists.

In the process of managing vegetation within the ROW, machine work would not be within 50 feet of a live stream (PacifiCorp 2008).

BMPs would be used as needed to control stormwater discharges. These practices include material handling and temporary storage procedures that minimize the exposure of potential pollutants to stormwater, spill prevention and response, sediment and erosion controls, and physical stormwater controls. Site runoff would be controlled and managed in accordance with BLM BMPs.
 
Wildlife Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseGeneral Provisions: No firearms, air guns, or archery equipment would be allowed on the project sites to prevent shooting of any wildlife. No pets would be permitted on project sites, as they are prone to harassment (i.e., chasing) of wildlife that can lead to death or stress of wildlife individuals. To prevent entrapment of wildlife during construction, any open pits (pole holes) would be monitored throughout the construction day. Excavated pits more than two-feet deep would be covered at the close of each day. Alternatively, fencing may be erected around open pits or trenches. At the beginning of the construction day and before pits are filled, they would be inspected for trapped wildlife. If any wildlife are found, they would be moved out of harm’s way. No pesticides would be used on project sites. Encounters with a special status species would be reported to the BLM and/or the appropriate oversight agency (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS]). Any contractor or employee who inadvertently kills or injures a protected species would immediately report the incident to the BLM and/or the appropriate oversight agencies. Any required blasting would be scheduled outside fawning or other biologically sensitive times.

Greater Sage-grouse: No construction or maintenance activities would occur within Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) mapped occupied greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat between March 15 and June 15. Preconstruction greater sage-grouse (spring) surveys will be required prior to any ground disturbing activities. Other design/mitigation features include reclamation (see above) and avoidance if possible. If avoidance of habitat is not possible, disturbance and activity would be minimized and appropriate mitigation would be applied, in coordination with the BLM and UDWR, for such impacts (UDWR 2013). Construction monitoring in greater sage-grouse habitat could also minimize impacts by halting activities if greater sage-grouse are discovered near construction sites. PacifiCorp would install perch deterrents and guy wire flight deterrents in areas identified by the BLM and UDWR as having the potential for greater sage-grouse, depending on the pole design in those specific areas. Speeds for equipment utilizing temporary or permanent access routes in conjunction with the project would be limited to 20 miles per hour to reduce potential for collision with greater sage-grouse, as well as other wildlife.

Big Game: No construction or maintenance activities within mule deer summer range from May 1 to June 15 and crucial winter range from November 15 to April 30. When feasible, access roads that traverse mapped crucial or substantial mule deer habitat would be gated or blocked to limit public access during the project. New access created by the project would be reclaimed and would not be available to the public after project completion. Methods for reclamation include obstructing the path with berms or boulders, revegetating the surface, and restoring the road to its natural contour.

No construction or maintenance activities within pronghorn fawning range from April 15 to June 15.