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BLM seeks comment on proposed electrical transmission line

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz., 9:35 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 2012 - The Bureau of Land Managementreleased a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA) for the proposed Sun Valley to Morgan 500/230-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project on public lands it manages in Maricopa County, Arizona.

A 90-day comment period began Nov. 9, with a formal notice of the Draft EIS/RMPA by the Environmental Protection Agency in the Federal Register. The comment period ends Feb. 8, 2013.

Public hearings on the Draft EIS and the plan amendment will be in December.

Public Hearing Locations and Dates

Centennial High School — 14388 N. 79th Ave., Peoria, Arizona - Dec. 11

Nadaburg Elementary School — 21419 W. Dove Valley Road, Wittmann - Dec. 12

BLM National Training Center — 9828 N. 31st Ave., Phoenix - Dec. 13

All public hearings begin with an open house at 5:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 6 p.m.

Arizona Public Service (APS) proposes building a 38-mile-long overhead transmission line from the Morgan Substation near Peoria to the planned Sun Valley Substation near northern Buckeye.

APS’s proposal would require using private, State Trust lands, and about 9 miles of public land managed by the BLM.

The BLM is required by the National Environmental Policy Act to assess the impacts when its lands would be affected. The Draft EIS/Draft RMPA is a key step in that process.

The Federal public land that would be affected by the proposed route is in two separate areas:

About 2 miles near the Sun Valley Substation, north of the Central Arizona Project canal and northwest of the White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Buckeye.

About 7 miles parallel to State Route (SR) 74 starting south of Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Peoria and unincorporated Maricopa County.

The Bradshaw-Harquahala Resource Management Plan, adopted in 2010, governs the use of the BLM land in the area. The proposed 7-mile stretch of BLM land along SR 74 is not designated in the plan as a utility corridor. The management plan would have to be amended to establish the utility corridor and change the visual resource management class.

The Draft EIS/Draft RMPA analyzes APS’s Proposed Action, three alternative routes, and the results of taking no action. The route proposed by APS has been selected as BLM’s Preferred Action, with some modifications.

Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Mail: Use first-class postage and include your name, any organization you represent, and a return address to: Sun Valley to Morgan Transmission Project, Attention: Joe Incardine, National Project Manager, BLM Phoenix District Office, Hassayampa Field Office, 21605 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85027

Fax: 623-580-5580, c/o Kathleen Depukat, BLM Phoenix District

Electronic Mail: Include your name, any organization you represent, and return address in the e-mail message to SunValley-Morgan@blm.gov.

Submittal of comments is voluntary and any identifying information provided will become part of the public record, and as such, must be released to any individual upon request. Requests to withhold comments and associated personal identifying information from public review cannot be guaranteed.

For further information, contact Joe Incardine, National Project Manager for the Sun Valley to Morgan 500/230 kV Transmission Line Project, at 801-539-4118, or email jincardi@blm.gov.

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