PROJECT HISTORY

In 2007, Idaho Power initiated the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H Project) and began an extensive environmental review and permitting process with federal, state and local governments in Idaho and Oregon.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the lead federal agency conducting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process in conjunction with many cooperating agencies. Additionally, the Oregon energy facility siting process, conducted by Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) and Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC), includes a detailed analysis and permitting process in cooperation with Oregon counties and other state jurisdictional agencies.

2007:
  • Idaho Power initiated the B2H Project.
  • Idaho Power began collecting existing data for the preliminary routing process.
  • Idaho Power filed an Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands (Standard Form 299 or SF-299) with the BLM on December 19.
2008:
  • Idaho Power filed an SF-299 with the U.S. Forest Service on March 28.
  • Idaho Power met with county planning and zoning staff, community leaders and elected officials to brief them on the project.
  • Idaho Power met with BLM and ODOE staff to discuss the project and potential routes.
  • Idaho Power hosted the Baker Valley Stakeholder Meeting on July 22 with Baker Valley representatives to share information on how the preliminary routes are being developed, and to collect feedback on concerns and opportunities.
  • In August, Idaho Power presented a proposed route and alternate routes to the BLM and ODOE.
  • On August 28, Idaho Power submitted its Notice of Intent (NOI) to submit an Application for a Site Certificate to ODOE.
  • On September 12, the BLM published its Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register.
  • Public scoping meetings were jointly held by the BLM and ODOE from October 21-30. Idaho Power participated in the public scoping meetings.
  • Idaho Power met with interest groups, communities and elected officials.
2009:
  • The ODOE published its Project Order on January 26.
  • On March 9, Idaho Power announced its Community Advisory Process (CAP).
  • On April 3, Idaho Power removed the Northwest Source Station (formerly known as the Sand Hollow Substation) from the project proposal.
  • On April 10, the BLM published its Public Scoping Report.
  • On May 14, ODOE held a project informational meeting in Baker City, Oregon, and participated in a tour of Malheur County.
  • In May, BLM and ODOE jointly mailed the first issue of the B2H Newswire (project newsletter).
  • On May 21, May 27 and June 4, Idaho Power convened the first round of meetings with the South, Central and North Project Advisory Teams (PAT) as part of the CAP.
  • On July 28, 29 and 30, Idaho Power held the second round of PAT meetings for the North, Central and South PATs, focusing on the development of community siting criteria. Idaho Power announced public meetings as part of the CAP process in August.
  • From August 19 – 27, Idaho Power conducted its first series of public meetings as part of the CAP process.
  • In September, Idaho Power held the third round of PAT meetings for the North, Central and South PATs, focusing on preliminary mapping of routes based on resource and community criteria.
  • Idaho Power conducted CAP open houses in John Day and Burns, Oregon on October 21-22.
  • In November, Idaho Power held the first and second round of Grant and Harney County PAT meetings.
  • Idaho Power held a Project Order and Idaho Routing Meeting on November 30.
  • In December, Idaho Power held the fourth round of meetings for the North, Central and South PATs, which included a presentation on the status and analysis for each PAT-proposed route and the analysis methods used to evaluate the routes.
  • Idaho Power continued meeting with interest groups, communities and elected officials.
2010:
  • Idaho Power held the third round of meetings for the Grant and Harney County PATs on January 19 - 20.
  • Idaho Power continued meeting with interest groups, communities and elected officials.
  • In March, Idaho Power held the fifth round of meetings for the South, Central and North PATs and the fourth round of meetings for the Grant and Harney PATs to present analysis of revised routes and proposed alternative routes and requested comments on its three route alternatives.
  • On April 6, Idaho Power announced it will submit the eastern route alternative as its proposed route in its revised applications to the BLM and USFS and its notice of intent to ODOE.
  • In April and May, Idaho Power held the sixth round of meetings for the South, Central and North PATs and the fifth round of meetings for the Grant County PAT to discuss the proposed route and share information about future public participation opportunities.
  • On May 14 EFSC held a meeting in Baker City, listened to public comments on the B2H project, and toured Malheur County agricultural operations.
  • Idaho Power continued meeting with interest groups, communities and elected officials.
  • In June, Idaho Power submitted its revised Standard Form-299 Application (SF-299) and Preliminary Plan of Development to the BLM and USFS to reinitiate the federal review process.
  • In July, Idaho Power submitted a new Notice of Intent to Apply for a Site Certificate to the ODOE.
  • In July, Idaho Power hosted CAP open houses.
  • On July 16, ODOE, BLM and USFS reopened the public scoping and comment period and announced public meeting dates. The agencies requested comments from the public and other agencies on Idaho Power’s routes and related documents.
  • In August, ODOE, BLM and USFS hosted a series of public scoping and information meetings about the project.
  • On September 27, BLM, USFS and ODOE's public scoping period closed.
  • The state and federal agencies began their review of public comments for their separate processes.
  • Idaho Power met with individual landowners to discuss their routing concerns.
2011:
  • On January 24, Idaho Power hosted a landowner meeting in Ione, Oregon to discuss routing updates.
  • On March 22, Idaho Power hosted a landowner meeting in La Grande, Oregon to discuss routing alternatives near La Grande and Glass Hill.
  • On May 9, BLM and USFS published the revised scoping report. BLM reviewed all new comments and published a revised scoping report documenting comments from the 2008 and 2010 comment periods, as well as comments submitted to Idaho Power’s CAP.
  • In July, BLM developed a Spotlight on Historic Properties fact sheet describing the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) Section 106 consultation process.
  • On August 16, BLM hosted the first in a series of meetings for the NHPA Section 106 consultation process.
  • Throughout the summer Idaho Power field crews conducted field operations.
  • In October, B2H Project was named a pilot project for the federal Rapid Response Team for Transmission.
2012:
  • In January, Idaho Power, PacifiCorp and Bonneville Power Administration agreed to jointly fund the environmental review and permitting process for the B2H Project.
  • On March 22, ODOE reviewed public and agency comments and issues the Project Order, informing Idaho Power of the issues, regulations and impact analysis areas it must address in its ASC.
  • Throughout the spring and summer, Idaho Power field crews conducted field operations.
  • In July BLM staff met with landowners along several potential new alternatives.
  • On July 26, BLM, USFS, and ODOE distributed the Summer 2012 Newswire.
  • In August BLM, USFS, ODOE and Idaho Power staff hosted open houses along the B2H route to update the public on new alternatives being considered by BLM, next steps for the federal and state review processes, upcoming documents for public review and futures public comment opportunities.
  • On October 2, BPA identified the B2H Project as its preferred option and top priority for serving BPA customers in southeastern Idaho.
2013:
  • In February, Idaho Power submitted its preliminary Application for Site Certificate (pASC), which ODOE is currently reviewing for "completeness."
  • In April, BLM and USFS shared preliminary environmentally preferred alternatives with tribes and cooperating agencies and requested any new information that may not have been considered during the alternatives identification process.
  • In May, BLM and USFS shared preliminary environmentally preferred alternatives with the public noting the publication of the draft EIS will initiate an opportunity to comment on the analysis and the preferred alternatives.
  • On July 26, BLM, USFS, and ODOE distributed the Summer 2013 Newswire.
Looking Ahead:
  • Idaho Power and the agencies will continue to meet with interest groups, communities and elected officials.
  • In November 2014, BLM and USFS will issue the draft EIS. There will be a 90-day public review and comment period on the draft EIS, during which time the BLM and USFS will host public meetings.
  • Once the pASC is deemed complete, ODOE will initiate a public comment period and host public meetings.
  • Idaho Power will continue to conduct necessary fieldwork to inform the state and federal review processes.
  • BLM will continue NHPA Section 106 consultation to finalize a programmatic agreement.