WAPA, SMUD extend scoping period of California Transmission Project
Holding additional round of public scoping meetings in January, February
LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Western Area Power Administration and SMUD have extended the public comment period for scoping of the proposed Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line (CoSu Line) to include the review of an additional study area.
In response to public input during the initial scoping period, WAPA and SMUD are continuing scoping efforts for the environmental impact statement and environmental impact report (EIS/EIR) of the proposed CoSu Line project. It will include an additional study area located approximately 20 miles south of the study areas previously scoped and refining the previously scoped study areas. The public is encouraged to provide comments before March 7, as part of the additional scoping period.
"The public has played an important role in providing helpful information submitted through public comments last spring. Among the comments we received were suggestions about additional study areas that may be able to meet the proposed project's need," said Andrew M. Montaño, WAPA's National Environmental Policy Act document manager. "It is my hope that the additional public scoping meetings show the public that we value and consider their input."
"The additional study area is farther south and crosses directly into SMUD territory," said Kim Crawford, SMUD's California Environmental Quality Act project manager. "The new study area will help us make a more informed choice about how to best meet our future energy needs, while minimizing impacts on the environment and surrounding communities."
Scoping includes all study areas previously scoped, slight modifications to the previously identified study areas, and a new study area that would connect the California-Oregon Transmission Project line in Yolo County to the Elverta Substation in northwestern Sacramento County. WAPA is the lead agency for the EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act. For California Environmental Quality Act requirements, SMUD is the lead agency preparing the concurrent EIR.
Six public scoping meetings are planned for January 24, 26, 31 and February 2, 2017. At the meetings, the public, agencies and other stakeholders can learn about the proposal and inform WAPA and SMUD about their comments and concerns in the earliest stage of the environmental review.
After the scoping period ends, a scoping report will summarize the comments received during the initial scoping period in late 2015 and early 2016, and the current scoping period. All relevant substantive comments received during the public scoping period will be considered in the preparation of the Draft EIS/EIR. Comments provided previously, in response to the original notice about this project, will be considered in the Draft EIS/EIR and need not be repeated during this scoping period. No action will be taken on the project proposal until after the environmental review is completed in 2020.
Media: To cover the meetings, please call Jen Neville in WAPA's Public Affairs Office at 720-962-7411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 2 p.m. (PST), January 19.
About CoSu Line: The proposed 500-kilovolt CoSu Line is needed to enhance the reliability of the Northern California power grid and increase SMUD's ability to import clean power from, and export power to, other energy markets, particularly the Pacific Northwest. The project would provide additional bi-directional transmission capacity to enhance SMUD's ability to participate in the California Independent System Operator's Energy Imbalance Market. A recent California Energy Commission study makes the case for projects like this that enhance transmission capability to import valuable out-of-state renewable resources for California to meet its 50 percent renewable energy goals by 2030.
Visit www.cosuline.com for more information about the project and environmental processes. The website also features details about the public meetings and opportunities to provide comments.