BPA open house is Thursday in Camas

Verbal comments on draft EIS will be accepted

The Bonneville Power Administration has scheduled a public meeting Thursday at Liberty Middle School in Camas.

An open house focusing on the draft environmental impact statement will run from 5 to 9 p.m., with verbal comments accepted from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

During the open house, attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and ask questions of BPA staff. Oral testimony will be transcribed and included as formal comments within the draft EIS. According to a press release, BPA will respond to the comments in the final EIS, not during the public meetings.

In November 2012, the Bonneville Power Administration announced that it identified the “Central Alternative” using Central Option 1 as its preferred alternative for the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project.

According to a BPA press release, the current cost estimate for the preferred alternative is $459 million and avoids many small, rural parcels of private land by crossing significant lengths of land held by large public and private landowners, as well as avoiding the most environmentally, mission-sensitive and high impact lands these entities manage on the East Alternative.

Segment 52, which is included in the preferred alternative, is 3.6 miles long and travels through the Washougal Urban Growth Area, crosses the Washougal River and runs through Camas in the Goot Park area. In addition, a river crossing from Troutdale to Camas is the only Columbia River crossing that is being considered for the project.

According to the BPA, there are 327 homes within 500 feet of the preferred alternative, while there are 3,032 within 500 feet of the West Alternative.

Comparatively, there are slightly more homes within 500 feet of the preferred alternative than the East Alternative. The primary driver for the proposed 79-mile line that would connect a new substation north of Castle Rock, Wash., with another new substation in Troutdale, Ore., is to maintain system reliability in the area.

Public comment on the draft EIS will be accepted through March 1. The final EIS is expected in 2014, followed by a decision whether to build the project and what its route will be.

Liberty Middle School is located at 1612 N.E. Garfield St.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also wants BPA project feedback

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking comments on a permit application from the BPA for the lattice steel tower transmission line.

Under their preferred alternative, BPA proposes to fill up to 21 acres of wetlands, and clear trees and shrubs from up to 87 acres of wetlands. BPA would also install or reconstruct up to 401 permanent stream crossings, and 46 temporary stream crossings.

The Corps is reviewing the proposal as required in accordance with the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act.

The Corps is accepting comments on the proposal until March 1. Comments should reference “NWS-2011-346” and can be e-mailed to steven.w.manlow@usace.army.mil Comments can also be sent by U.S. mail tomay be sent to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch, Attention: Steve Manlow, Post Office Box 3755, Seattle, WA 98124-3755.

To view a map of the preferred alternatives being considered by the BPA and the draft environmental impact statement, visit www.bpa.gov/Projects/Projects/I-5/Pages/default.aspx.