Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on November 9, 2018, approving the issuance of a special-use authorization to Idaho Power Company for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H Project). Once Oregon and Idaho state and federal permitting requirements are completed, IPC will be authorized to construct, operate, and maintain a 500-kilovolt overhead electric transmission line and ancillary facilities.
Montoya’s decision is specific to the 6.8 miles of the 294-mile-long corridor that crosses National Forest System lands administered by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The selected route is located south of Interstate 84, extending from near Kamela on the north end to Hilgard State Park on the south.
Key considerations in Montoya’s decision for the selected route include:
- Maximizes use of an existing designated utility corridor
- Parallels an existing transmission line, which allows for some ancillary facilities and access road to be effectively co-located
- Avoids or minimizes impacts on federally protected fish, as well as historical and cultural resources
- Meets the needs of IPC to meet energy demands in the greater Northwest and improve overall system reliability
The decision considered analyses documented in the “Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Amendments for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project” (Final EIS). The ROD, Final EIS and other documents are available on the USFS project website.