BPA to host Thursday forum on transmission line project

By Eric Florip, Columbian transportation & environment reporter

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The Bonneville Power Administration on Thursday night will host a public forum in Battle Ground inviting citizens to weigh in on a proposed transmission line through Clark and Cowlitz counties.

The federal power marketing agency first floated the idea of building the 500-kilovolt line — held up by 150-foot towers — in 2009. The proposal has since drawn strong opposition from varying citizen groups with health and property concerns.

BPA has proposed four main route possibilities, plus several variations from them. The agency has said the project will cost anywhere from $317 million to $417 million, depending on which route is chosen. Some citizens have also pushed for a separate “Grey Line” that would put the line farther north and east than any of BPA’s proposed options. BPA hasn’t included the Grey Line in any formal plans, but agency officials have said they’re looking at it.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Battle Ground Community Center, 912 E. Main St.

Are you going to the forum? Do you live near one of the proposed routes for the transmission line? Leave a comment here, and look for updates later on www.columbian.com.