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Tue April 17, 2012
BLM To Hold Meetings On Power Line Project
The public will have a chance to chime in on a proposed high-voltage power line that would run through New Mexico and Arizona. The Bureau of Land Management has scheduled a series of open house meetings in both states on an electrical transmission line that could provide up to 2,500 megawatts of electricity.
Southline Transmission is proposing building the line in two segments. The first segment would stretch 225 miles from a substation in Afton, N.M.to one in Apache, Ariz. The second would be an upgrade of 130 miles of an existing line between Apache and a substation outside of Tucson.
The line would cross federal, state and private lands.
The first meeting is scheduled for May 8 in Las Cruces.
Each of the meetings will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The format will be open house with project specialists available for questions. A presentation on the project begins at 6 p.m. Here is the meeting schedule:
Mesilla Valley Days Inn & Suites
901 Avenida de Mesilla
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Mimbres ValleySpecial Events Center
2300 E. Pine Street
Deming, NM 88030
Dugan-Tarango Middle School
1352 Hardin Street
Lordsburg, NM 88045
Quality Inn Willcox
1100 W. Rex Allen Drive
Willcox, AZ 85643
Benson Unified High School
360 S. Patagonia Street
Benson, AZ 85602
PaloVerde Magnet High School
1302 S. Avenida Vega
Tucson, AZ 85710
The BLM published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on April 4, 2012. The NOI is an announcement that the BLM will prepare an EIS on the proposed electrical transmission line. The publication of the NOI starts a 60-day scoping period, which runs through June 4, 2012.
Southline Transmission, LLC, proposes constructing a high-voltage power line in two segments. The first segment would be a new double circuit 345-kilovolt line from a substation in Afton, New Mexico, (south of Las Cruces) to a substation in Apache, Arizona (south of Willcox). This 225-mile segment would provide up to 1,500 megawatts of capacity. The second segment would be an upgrading and rebuilding of about 130 miles of existing transmission lines between the Apache Substation and the Saguaro Substation northwest of Tucson. It would provide capacity for an additional 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
The line would cross Federal lands managed by the BLM and other agencies, and state, and private lands. BLM New Mexico is the lead agency in preparing the EIS and in considering potential amendments to Federal land use plans that the project may require. Western Area Power Administration, a power-marketing arm of the Department of Energy, is a co-lead with BLM New Mexico.
The NOI is available at the BLM’s project web site: http://www.blm.gov/nm/southline
Comments on the project can be made at the meetings.
The BLM will also accept comments by mail, e-mail or fax.
Mail comments can be sent by mail to:
Bureau of Land Management
Las Cruces District Office
Southline Transmission Project
Attention: Frances Martinez
1800 Marquess Street
Las Cruces, NM 88005
E-mail comments can be sent to:
Fax: (575) 525-4444
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.