BPA’s I-5 transmission project faces additional delays

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announced another delay in its I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project.

In a project update issued June 7, the agency announced that the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) would not be ready to publish this spring, as it had previously expected.

“Over the last few months we have been completing the analysis and making sure that we consider public input we received,” the agency said in its update. “We have also been working with federal and state agencies to further assess environmental issues and ensure the most thorough environmental analysis possible. This review helps us make a well informed decision about whether, and where, to build a new line and substations.”

In addition, BPA is taking public comment and evaluating routes for the line. The agency said it would announce a new project schedule “once we know more.”

In the meantime, the agency continues to accept public comment on the proposed project. This year, representatives will attend nine summer events in the area to continue to take public comment, which will be considered in the DEIS. During last year’s summer fair and festival season, representatives talked to more than 400 people about the project, BPA said in its update.

The project calls for a new 500-kV line between potential new substations at Castle Rock, Wash., and Troutdale, Ore., a distance of approximately 70 miles.

The agency has identified a large number of route segments that can be combined in various ways to form different possible routes between the two substations. They vary in length and include both existing and new rights-of-way.

“The last high voltage transmission line along this section of the I-5 Corridor was built over 40 years ago. Meanwhile the population in the area has doubled,” BPA said on its project web page.