After more than six years of analysis, the Bonneville Power Administration has released its final environmental impact statement on the high-voltage transmission line that could run from Castle Rock to Troutdale, Ore.
The more than 6,000-page final EIS is a major milestone in the BPA’s National Environmental Policy Act review for the siting of a potential 500-kilovolt line.
After reviewing potential impacts to humans and the environment, fielding more than 10,000 comments from officials and local landowners, BPA officials stuck with, but made adjustments to, a preferred route that was identified in 2012.
Initially BPA estimated the project to cost about $460 million. After a further analysis, officials put the cost at about $722 million. If approved, it could take close to six years to complete the 80-mile transmission line and the roughly 150 miles of access roads.
The proposed line under the preferred “Central Alternative” starts at Castle Rock and runs about seven miles east of I-5 before veering east and crossing the Clark-Cowlitz county line near Merwin Dam. It would then run between Camas and Washougal before crossing the Columbia River and end at Troutdale, Ore.