[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 133 (Friday, July 11, 2014)]
[Pages 40094-40095]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16243]



Bonneville Power Administration

Hot Springs to Anaconda Transmission Line Rebuild Project

AGENCY: Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Department of Energy 
(DOE). ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) and notice of floodplain and wetland assessment.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), BPA intends to prepare an EIS on its proposed rebuild of 
approximately 120 miles of existing 230-kiliovolt (kV) wood-pole 
transmission line that runs through Sanders, Lake, Missoula, Granite, 
Powell, and Deer Lodge counties, Montana. The deteriorated condition of 
the more than 60-year-old line compromises BPA's ability to maintain 
reliable electric service, and poses a safety risk to the public and 
maintenance crews.
    With this notice, BPA is initiating the public scoping process for 
the EIS and is requesting comments about the potential environmental 
impacts it should consider as it prepares the EIS for the proposed 
project. In accordance with DOE regulations for compliance with 
floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements, BPA will 
prepare a floodplain and wetlands assessment that identifies, 
evaluates, and as appropriate, implements actions to avoid or minimize 
potential harm to or within any affected floodplains and wetlands. The 
assessment will be included in the EIS.

DATES: Written comments are due to the address below by August 12, 
2014. Comments may also be made at three EIS scoping meetings to be 
held on the 29th, 30th, and 31st of July, 2014 at the addresses below.

ADDRESSES: Comments and suggestions on the proposed scope of the Draft 
EIS for this project and requests to be placed on the project mailing 
list may be mailed by letter to Bonneville Power Administration, Public 
Affairs--DKC-7, P.O. Box 14428, Portland, OR 97292-4428. Or you may FAX 
them to 503-230-3285; submit them on-line at www.bpa.gov/comment; or 
email them to [email protected]. Scoping meetings will be held in Montana 
from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the following locations: July 29, 2014 
at the Missoula Fire Department, Station 4, 3011 Latimor Street, 
Missoula; on July 30, 2014 at the Dixon Senior Citizens Center, 106 3rd 
Street, Dixon; and on July 31, 2014 at the William K. Kohrs Memorial 
Library, 501 Missouri Avenue, Deer Lodge. At these informal, open-house 
meetings, BPA will provide project information and maps. Members of the 
project team will be available to answer questions and accept verbal 
and written comments.

Coordinator, Bonneville Power Administration--KEC-4, P.O. Box 3621, 
Portland, Oregon, 97208-3621; toll-free telephone number 1-800-622-
4519; direct number 503-230-7646; fax number 503-230-5699; or email at 
[email protected]. You may also contact Chad Hamel, Project Manager, 
Bonneville Power Administration--TEP-TPP-1, P.O. Box 3621, Portland, 
Oregon, 97208-3621; toll-free telephone 1-800-622-4519; direct 
telephone 360-619-6557; or email [email protected]. Additional 
information can be found at the project Web site: www.bpa.gov/goto/HotSpringsAnaconda.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: BPA proposes to rebuild three existing wood-
pole transmission lines--the Hot Springs-Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake-
Garrison, and Garrison-Anaconda lines--that run consecutively from Hot 
Springs, Montana to Anaconda, Montana. No major work has been done on 
the lines since they were built in 1952. Many of the structures, the 
electric wire (conductor), and associated structural components (cross 
arms, insulators, and dampers) are physically worn and structurally 
unsound in places. The wood transmission poles have lasted beyond the 
expected 55 to 60 years and now need to be replaced due to age, rot, 
and deterioration. Rebuilding the deteriorated line would maintain 
reliable electrical service and avoid risks to the safety of the public 
and maintenance crews.
    The project would include removing and replacing existing wood-pole 
structures and components, as well as the conductor; improving access 
roads and establishing temporary access where needed; removing trees 
adjacent to the line that may cause a threat to reliability; developing 
temporary staging areas for storage of project materials; and 
revegetating areas disturbed by construction activities. The existing 
structures would be replaced with structures of similar design within 
or near to their existing locations. The line would continue to operate 
at 230 kV.
    Proposed activities would also include the installation of new line 
disconnect switches at the Hot Springs and Garrison substations, and 
upgrading the existing fiber optic line that is attached to the Hot 
Springs-Rattlesnake and Rattlesnake-Garrison transmission line 
    Alternatives Proposed for Consideration: In addition to the 
Proposed Action, BPA will evaluate the No Action Alternative as well as 
any additional viable alternatives brought forward during the scoping 
process. Under the No Action Alternative, BPA would not rebuild the 
line and would make repairs on an as-needed or emergency basis.
    Public Participation and Identification of Environmental Issues: 
The potential environmental issues identified for most transmission 
line projects include land use, cultural resources, visual impacts, 
sensitive plants and animals, erosion/soils, wetlands, floodplains, and 
fish and water resources. The existing lines cross about 50 miles of 
the Flathead Indian Reservation, small portions of the Lolo and 
Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forests, several miles of State land, as 
well as private land.
    BPA has established a 30-day scoping period during which affected 
landowners, concerned citizens, special interest groups, local 
governments, and any other interested parties are invited to comment on 
the scope of the proposed EIS. Scoping will help BPA ensure that a full 
range of issues related to this proposal is addressed in the EIS, and 
also help identify significant or potentially significant impacts that 
may result from the proposed project. When completed, the Draft EIS 
will be circulated for review and comment, and BPA will hold at least 
one public comment meeting for the Draft EIS. BPA will consider and 
respond in the Final EIS to comments received on the Draft EIS. BPA's 
subsequent decision will be documented in a Record of Decision.

[[Page 40095]]

    Issued in Portland, Oregon, on June 19, 2014.
Elliot Mainzer,
Administrator and Chief Executive Officer.
[FR Doc. 2014-16243 Filed 7-10-14; 8:45 am]