News Releases

BLM Says Supplemental Environmental Report Not Needed for Alturus Intertie Project

Jun 26, 1997

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist/Robert Sagan
Phone: (775)834-4345

For Immediate Release

Supplemental environmental studies will not be required for Sierra Pacific Power Company?s proposed Alturas Intertie power line, according to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

"The proposed new Highway 395 segment does not require the use of public lands managed by the BLM and, therefore does not require a decision by the BLM," stated Sylvia Baca, acting head of the BLM in Washington, D.C., in a letter to the Friends of Peavine, which had requested the additional studies.

"The new power line segment along Highway 395 was developed as an alternative, primarily in response to concerns raised by the Friends of Peavine, the U.S. Forest Service, and the same local and regional planning and zoning agencies that are now considering the new segment," Baca added.

She noted that the City of Reno, Washoe County and the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Commission have already approved the new segment along the freeway and found it to be in conformance with local and regional plans.

The Bureau of Land Management was the lead federal agency for the project during the environmental review process for the proposed 164-mile long electric transmission line.

"We did not expect a supplemental environmental impact statement to be required since the final few miles of the route in Washoe County are not on federal lands," said John Owens, project manager for the 345-kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line project.

This segment of the route was selected in order to avoid open space and utilize an existing transportation corridor. The new route parallels Highway 395 North for 10 miles, from approximately one mile east of the Cold Springs freeway exit to Parr Boulevard. From there, the route parallels an existing 345-kV power line south to a termination point at the North Valley Road electrical substation in Reno.

Approval of the power line is pending before the Public Service Commission of Nevada, the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Modoc National Forest. Sierra Pacific plans to start construction of the power line in the fall of 1997 and to have the project completed by late 1998. The Alturas Intertie will provide northern Nevada and northeastern California with an additional 300 megawatts of electricity from sources in the Pacific Northwest.