Groups review options for controversial power line route

A high-voltage power line proposed to run through southwest Montana should be built as close as possible to existing roads or power lines.

At least that’s the best way for the Mountain States Transmission Intertie, or MSTI, to have a light footprint on people and wildlife, a collaboration of nonprofit groups found after months of studying the proposal. The groups gave a presentation on their initial findings Friday at Montana Tech.

“All of these models think it’s good to put your new infrastructure next to your old infrastructure,” said Cameron Ellis, with the Sonoran Institute.

The institute is one of five groups and three counties that worked together on the MSTI Review Project. Beaverhead, Madison and Jefferson county commissioners, NorthWestern Energy and the state of Montana funded the study that looked at the impacts of the 500 kilovolt line.

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