Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2012
CONTACT: Jen Neville or Randy Wilkerson, corpcomm@wapa.gov, 720-962-7050

ESTES-FLATIRON TRANSMISSION PROJECT SCOPING REPORTS AVAILABLE

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Western Area Power Administration posted Scoping Reports for the Estes-to-Flatiron Transmission Lines Rebuild Project today, which contains a summary of comments received during the environmental assessment and environmental impact statement scoping periods.

The reports, located at http://go.usa.gov/rvtP, represents a major milestone in the EIS process required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

"The scoping reports provide a quick breakdown of the types of comments we received and helps outline key issues raised during the scoping period," said Tim Snowden, NEPA project manager.

The reports summarize more than a year's worth of comments and thoughts from the public. Many comments came from the project inbox at RMR_estesflatironeis@wapa.gov, but a considerable amount of important comments and alternative routes were generated at the local workshops held Oct. 2-4.

During the workshops, the residents of Estes and Loveland talked about how different paths for the power line could impact the environment, their neighbors and the scenic views of their town and surrounding national forests. Participants also shared input by drawing alternative routes on maps provided at the workshops.

"It is important for people to realize that we are still early in the NEPA process and that more details about the project alternatives and potential impacts will be published in the draft EIS next summer. Scoping is just the beginning of the public involvement process and is designed to get input and ideas from the public. It was an educational experience in the complexity of differing views and issues that came up regarding their ideas," said Snowden.

The collective comments will help Western determine the alternatives to review in a draft environmental impact statement expected to be available in Summer 2013.

"We appreciate all the participation from the communities in Loveland and Estes Park during the public meetings and workshops," said Snowden. "The comments and input we received will help guide the alternative transmission line routes as we draft the EIS."

About the project
Western proposes to upgrade and co-locate two aging transmission lines in the area onto one right of way. Upgrading these lines is necessary to comply with safety standards; ensure reliable and cost effective electricity in Estes Park, Loveland and along the Front Range; and provide accessibility for maintenance and emergencies. The lines in question are essential for the delivery of power to the Town of Estes Park from a variety of generation sources along the Front Range.

See the fact sheet on the website at http://go.usa.gov/rvtP to learn more about the Estes-to-Flatiron project.

For additional information on the proposed project, the EIS process or to receive a copy of the draft EIS when it is published, contact Tim Snowden, Western Area Power Administration, 5555 E. Crossroads Blvd., P.O. Box 3700, Loveland, CO 80539-3003, fax (970) 461-7213; or e-mail RMR_estesflatironeis@wapa.gov.

For more information on the project, visit http://go.usa.gov/rvtP. To learn more about NEPA's environmental processes, visit http://energy.gov/nepa/office-nepa-policy-and-compliance.

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