(Jan 3, 2010) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the proposed and alternate routes which will be analyzed in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Gateway West Transmission Line Project. The BLM identified these routes using information from the scoping period in the summer 2008, comments received, cooperating agency input, and by applying evaluation criteria which examined opportunities and constraints of various routes.   Cooperating agencies participated in an additional alternative formulation period this past July and August.

The next opportunity for formal public comment will be the 90-day public comment period following the release of the draft EIS in the summer of 2010. The BLM will hold public meetings during the draft EIS comment period across Idaho and Wyoming.

The BLM Wyoming is preparing the draft EIS. The BLM is the lead federal agency in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this project, and is working with cooperating agencies including the U.S. Forest Service (USFS); National Park Service; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Wyoming; State of Idaho; Cassia, Twin Falls and Power Counties, Idaho; the City of Kuna, Idaho; Carbon, Lincoln and Sweetwater Counties, Wyoming; and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District and Medicine Bow Conservation District in Wyoming. In addition, tribal consultation is ongoing.

“The BLM listened to public comments and cooperating agencies to ensure that communities and groups shared their ideas to help us make better decisions,” said Don Simpson, Wyoming State Director and the BLM’s decision maker for the project. “This effort is consistent with BLM’s responsibility under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to coordinate with state and local governments.”