Idaho delegation urges public comment on Gateway West powerline

The first of nine Idaho hearings begins in Boise Monday on the environmental impact statement for the 1,100-mile, 150-180 foot high-foot-high, 500-kilovolt power line from Glenrock, Wyo., to Murphy to be built by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power.

Idaho’s four members of Congress — Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Reps. Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson — issued a joint news release publicizing the hearings to be conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

“A broad group of Idahoans – people most affected by the Gateway West power lines – worked in good faith and underwent a strenuous process to develop a route that everyone could agree on only to have their efforts disregarded by the BLM,” said the all-GOP quartet. “We encourage Idahoans to let the agency know how they feel about this new plan through the many public hearings scheduled throughout Idaho.”

Ordinarily, my expert colleague Rocky Barker would have picked up this release. But he’s off this week, so I stepped in.

The full news release follows, including information on the hearings:

Idaho Delegation Encourages Public Comment On Gateway West Project EIS

Says BLM must review the collaborative input regarding power line

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Idaho Congressional Delegation are calling for “strong public input” next week as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) opens the public comment period on the agency’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Gateway West Power Project. The project is the result of plans by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power to better ship power throughout the West via the Gateway West Transmission Line, which would run through Wyoming and all of southern Idaho. Following an initial review of the EIS released last week, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with Congressmen Mike Simpson and Raúl Labrador, released the following statement.

“A broad group of Idahoans – people most affected by the Gateway West power lines – worked in good faith and underwent a strenuous process to develop a route that everyone could agree on only to have their efforts disregarded by the BLM,” noted Crapo, Risch, Simpson and Labrador. “We encourage Idahoans to let the agency know how they feel about this new plan through the many public hearings scheduled throughout Idaho.”

A 60 day public comment period now begins with BLM expected to hold nine meetings throughout the state. For more information about the meetings in Idaho and Wyoming, please visit BLM’s website by clicking here.

Idaho meetings are planned as follows:

Boise, May 6,  4:00 to 7:00 PM, Boise Hotel and Conference Center

Kuna, May 7,  4:00 to 7:00 PM, Old Gym

Murphy, May 8,  4:00 to 7:00 PM, Owyhee County Museum

Melba, May 9,  4:00 to 7:00 PM, Melba High School

Twin Falls, May 13,  4:00 to 7:00 PM, Red Lion Canyon Springs Inn

Burley, May 14, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, Best Western Inn & Conference Center

American Falls, May 14, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, American Falls Intermediate School

Pocatello, May 15, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Ramada Inn

Montpelier, May 16, 4:00 to 7:00 PM, National OR/CA Trail Center

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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