Mesquite District Update for February 5, 2013
Your participation has gotten us to this point, now your written comments are the critical final step that will get us over the finish line.
Arizona Public Service (APS) has proposed building a 38-mile-long, overhead transmission line from the Morgan Substation near Peoria to the planned Sun Valley Substation near northern Buckeye.
For more than three years, we have painstakingly worked to keep the location of these lines out of the native desert north of Vistancia. Within this project, approximately 7 miles will traverse land owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along SR 74.
APS filed an application with the BLM for a right-of-way grant to construct the overhead transmission lines over BLM lands. As part of this process, BLM conducted an environmental study. They released a final Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and a Preferred Alternatives Statement in November 2012. The release of this document initiated a 90-day public comment period, which ends this Friday, February 8, 2013.
The good news is that the DEIS shows the Preferred Alternative location for the APS lines along the north side of SR 74, consistent with the City Council’s long-standing position, dating back to 2008.
Even so, we must make sure the voices of Mesquite residents are documented and that BLM understands our support is for the proposed alternative, which is on the north side of State Route 74. All personalized written comments will become part of the final permanent record, and will be used to complete the Final EIS and Record of decision, which is projected for completed around Summer/Fall 2013.
Following is a list of possible topics for residents to use while writing their letters and/or emails, and the contact information for BLM.
• Visual impacts. If they put the lines on the Carefree Highway alignment, they will be visible from Trilogy and many parts of Vistancia.
• State Route 74 is already designated as a transportation corridor. It makes sense to place power lines along an existing transportation corridor.
• SR 74 is scheduled by ADOT to be expanded into a 6 lane highway. It will have 1,000 feet on each side of the road scraped for right-of-way. The APS lines would be installed adjacent to that 1,000 foot right-of-way.
• The PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE is supported by our Federal delegation, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Maricopa County, City of Peoria and many other stakeholders.
• To build high-powered transmission lines through native desert is not environmentally reasonable.
• The route along the north side of SR 74 was proposed by the Arizona State Line Siting Committee and then approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
• The Environmental Impact Study is supposed to take into account other governmental entities and their general plans. Anything other than the proposed route is not compatible with the City of Peoria's General Plan and future developments along the south side of SR 74.
• Environmentalists can identify the north side of SR 74 as the southern boundary of BLM land, visually pronouncing that the BLM land to the north will be protected for generations to come.
• We as citizens have participated for the past 3 years in the public process and now BLM has identified and supports the proposed alternative route, the route we, the Red Shirt Brigade, support.
Following is a link to the DEIS and the Project Location Map followed by BLM contact information.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement
Project Location Map
||Joe Incardine, National Project Manager, @ 801-539-4118
BLM Phoenix District Office
Hassayampa Field Office
ATTN: Joe Incardine
APS Sun Valley to Morgan 500/230kV Transmission Line Project
21605 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85027
For additional information, please contact my office at Mesquite@peoriaaz.gov or 623-773-5133.