BPA responds to Herrera Beutler letter on power line

first_imgBonneville Power Administration head Stephen Wright last month reiterated his decision to focus on Washington — not Oregon — in routing a planned high-voltage transmission line to bolster the Northwest power grid.Wright wrote a letter again detailing his rationale in response to an inquiry in June from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas. The congresswoman had echoed the concerns of some Clark and Cowlitz county neighborhoods that find themselves in the path of one of four proposed routes between Castle Rock and Troutdale, Ore.“I will continue to urge you to build the line across as little private property as possible and as far east and away from population centers as possible,” Herrera Beutler wrote.Those questions have been hotly debated since 2009, when officials first started crafting plans for the 500-kilovolt transmission line. Wright said last year that a possible route through Oregon to a BPA substation in Wilsonville, Ore., was dropped because of too many logistical and environmental obstacles. Those include a much wider crossing of the Columbia River near Longview, compared with the proposed Washington routes that cross the river near Camas. Such a route would also require taller towers and the clearing of wildlife-designated land, according to Wright.In May, the BPA identified four routes that stretch through different parts of Clark and Cowlitz counties, ranging from a “west alternative” that comes near Vancouver to an “east alternative” that runs east of Yacolt and continues down the eastern edge of Clark County. Citizens opposed to those plans laid out a so-called “gray line” that would push the transmission line even farther north and east.last_img

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