North Steens 230kV Transmission

Jump to: navigation, search


NEPA Document Collection for: North Steens 230kV Transmission
EIS

North Steens 230-kV Transmission Project EIS

General NEPA Document Info
Energy Sector Transmission

Environmental
Analysis Type

EIS

Applicant

Echanis, LLC
Consultant Not identified

Geothermal Area

Project Location

Project Phase

Techniques

Time Frame (days)
NEPA Process Time 530
Participating Agencies

Lead Agency

BLM

Funding Agency

none provided

Managing District Office

BLM Burns District Office

Managing Field Office

none provided

Funding Agencies

none provided

Surface Manager

BLM

Mineral Manager

none provided
Selected Dates
Application
Document Type
NOI, ROW
Scoping Initiated Date July 16, 2010
Preliminary EA-EIS Date July 8, 2010
Final EA-EIS Date
/Public Comment Period
October 11, 2011
Decision Document Date December 28, 2011
Relevant Numbers
Lead Agency
Doc Number
DOI-BLM-OR-B060-2010-0035-EIS

Proposed Action

The North Steens 230-kV Transmission Line Project would transmit electrical power from the proposed Echanis Project (a 104-megawatt wind energy facility near Diamond, Oregon) to an existing 115-kV transmission line near Diamond Junction, Oregon operated by Harney Electric Cooperative (HEC). The North Steens Transmission Line would cross approximately 18.70 miles of private land, 8.85 miles of land administered by the BLM (Burns District Office), and 1.32 miles of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The new transmission line would be constructed on double-circuit steel-pole towers placed within a new 150-foot wide right-of-way (ROW).

Full build out of the Project would occur in phases. During Phase I, a single circuit (three conductors) would be installed on one side of each pole and operated at 115-kV. During Phase II, a second circuit (three conductors) would be installed on the other side of each pole and operated at 230-kV. During Phase III, the operational voltage of the Phase I transmission line would be increased to 230-kV. All of the Project components installed with the first circuit, including poles, conductors, insulators, ROW width, pole spacing, and so forth would meet 230-kV design standards. The second circuit would be added in the future, if needed, to serve other wind energy projects developed in the area.

Renewable energy generated at the Echanis Project would be transmitted and distributed to the regional power market via the North Steens Transmission Line and the regional electrical transmission grid. The Applicant anticipates that the new transmission line and ancillary facilities could be used to transmit electric power from other potential wind energy projects developed in the Harney County area.

Current Status

On March 16, 2012, the BLM issued a Right-of-Way (under Title V of the Federal Land Policy Management Act) to Echanis, LLC (the project proponent) for the North Steens Transmission Line Project. The BLM and Echanis, LLC then worked together to ensure the 10 plans necessary for the next step in the process - a Notice to Proceed authority given by the BLM - met the intent of the project's Record of Decision. On May 21, 2012 the BLM issued a limited Notice to Proceed that allows the project proponent to move forward with non-ground breaking activities in preparation for construction. On February 22, 2013, the BLM revoked the limited Notice to Proceed and refunded the bond to the project proponent. Due to litigation, the project has been on hold for nearly 2 years. As a result, the BLM will have to recalculate the bond and issue a new Notice to Proceed prior to construction. District Court Judge Mosman found for BLM on all counts in the District Court Decision issued September 11, 2013. The appellants appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Conditions of Approval

The decision is conditioned on implementation of best management practices (BMP)s and Project Design Features (PDF)s as provided in the applicant’s Plan of Development (POD) and mitigation measures applicable to the Transmission Project as described under Alternative C – North Route, as well as incorporation of applicable elements of the Echanis Wind Power Project: Principles and Standards for Development of a Habitat Mitigation Plan (HMP) (Mitigation Principles and Standards for MPS), Echanis’ HMP and Echanis’ Eagle Conservation Plan and Bird and Bat Conservation Strategies for the Echanis Wind Energy Facility and the North Transmission Route Alternative (more commonly referred to as an Avian and Bat Protection Plan/Eagle Conservation Plan or ABPP/ECP). These applicable measures have been developed into specific, enforceable terms, conditions, and stipulations will be incorporated into the authorized right-of-way ROW grants.

The grants will include a stipulation that Echanis implement a construction compliance and monitoring plan to ensure construction activities on BLM-administered lands satisfy the requirements of the ROW grants, PDFs, BMPs, as well as any conditions required through any of the Transmission Project’s Federal, state, or local permits for actions related to the Transmission Project. The grants will also require Echanis to retain copies of all applicable construction permits onsite and to educate construction personnel on avoidance of sensitive areas, compliance and monitoring requirements. Upon identification of a non-compliance issue on public land, or discovery of archaeological resources, Echanis will notify the BLM immediately and work with the responsible contractors or workers to correct the problem. Echanis will provide monthly written reports to the BLM documenting compliance reporting any environmental problems as well as corrective actions taken to resolve these problems. Several of the mitigation plans and agreements referenced in the FEIS have specific monitoring requirements and protocols which specify both construction and long-term monitoring. Plan provisions applicable to the Transmission Project including applicable monitoring requirements are being made a condition of the ROW grants. Mitigation plans and agreements which contain specific monitoring requirements include:

  • ABPP/ECP for the Echanis Wind Energy Facility and the Selected Alternative
  • Habitat Mitigation Plan
  • Weed Management and Control Plan
  • Revegetation Plan
  • Programmatic Agreement relative to Section 106 of the NHPA

BMPs, PDFs, applicable mitigation measures, monitoring provisions, and stipulations are included in the FEIS, ROD, and ROW grants.

Data Completion Notes

BLM Project Website: http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/plans/steen_trans/ Applicant Website: http://columbiaenergypartners.com/about/press/north-steens-transmission-line-eis-key-facts/

Documents

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
EA/EIS Report: 
 
 
 
 
 

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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
Noise
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
Special Status 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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed  
Wetlands and Riparian Zones
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

proposed  
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.

 

proposed