PROJECT HISTORY   

The Gateway West Transmission Line project was initiated by Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power in fall 2007. This project proposes to build and operate approximately 1,000 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines between the Windstar substation near Glenrock, Wyoming and the Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho.

This project is currently engaged in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the lead federal agency. The BLM held a public comment period on the project draft environmental impact statement (EIS) from July 29, 2011 to October 28, 2011. This document analyzed and disclosed the effects of the proposed project and its alternatives. The BLM released the final EIS on April 26, 2013.

The BLM released a Record of Decision (ROD) for the project on November 14, 2013. The ROD identifies the BLM’s final decision on routing for segments 1 through 7 (Windstar to Populus, Populus to Midpoint and Populus to Cedar Hill) and segment 10 (Midpoint to Cedar Hill) of the project. The BLM deferred its decision on segments 8 (Midpoint to Hemingway) and 9 (Cedar Hill to Hemingway) to resolve routing in that area.

Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power submitted a revised application for segments 8 and 9 in August 2014. The BLM determined that new information included in this application would require additional analysis to supplement the analysis in the 2013 final EIS for the original, 10-segment project. A draft supplemental EIS for segments 8 and 9 was released March 11, 2016. A final supplemental EIS was released October 7, 2016. The BLM released its ROD for segments 8 and 9 on January 19, 2017. On April 17, 2017, the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) remanded the January ROD back to the BLM Idaho State Office for reconsideration of the route alternatives.

The BLM will complete an environmental assessment (EA) to reconsider the January 2017 decision. A 30-day scoping period for the EA began on August 28, 2017. The Fiscal Year 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed into law May 5, 2017, included provisions from House Resolution 2104 to route the Gateway West transmission line through the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA). As a result, the EA will address only those alternatives from the supplemental EIS that feasibly connect with the route specified in HR 2104.

For more information on the EA process, visit the BLM project website.

View the environmental review page to learn more about the NEPA process.

Line segments of the project are scheduled to be completed in phases between 2020 and 2024.

Next Steps
  • In light of the IBLA remanding the January 2017 ROD back to BLM in April 2017, Rocky Mountain Power and Idaho Power will continue to work with the BLM through the EA process in support of a new ROD and right of way grant for segments 8 and 9 in compliance with House Resolution 2104.
  • The companies continue to meet with elected officials, community leaders and stakeholders to resolve any remaining issues.
  • The companies will evaluate next steps for segments 1 through 7 and segment 10. The companies will also consider updated customer and system needs.
2017
  • August 28 - The BLM published a notice of intent to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) for segments 8 and 9 on August 28, 2017, beginning a 30-day scoping period.
  • May 5 – Fiscal Year 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act signed, including an agreement (House Resolution 2104) to route the project through the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area.
  • April 17 – IBLA remanded January 2017 ROD back to BLM Idaho State Office for further consideration.
  • April 4 – PacifiCorp’s 2017 Integrated Resource Plan announced plans to construct a portion of the project between the planned Aeolus and Jim Bridger substations in Wyoming.
  • January 19 – BLM released ROD for segments 8 and 9.
2016
  • October 7 – BLM published final supplemental EIS for segments 8 and 9.
  • April 18 – 21 – BLM hosted five public open houses on draft supplemental EIS for segments 8 and 9.
  • March 11 - BLM published draft supplemental EIS for segments 8 and 9, followed by a 90-day comment period.
2014
  • August – Companies submited revised right of way application and Plan of Development for segments 8 and 9
  • September 19 – October 24 – BLM conducted scoping period for segments 8 and 9 supplemental EIS
2013
  • November 14 - BLM announced the ROD for the project, which identifies the authorized route on public lands for segments 1 through 7 and segment 10.
  • April 26 - BLM published Federal Register Notice of Availability (NOA) announcing final EIS release, followed by a 60-day comment period.
  • May 6 - 16 - BLM hosted 13 public open houses on the final EIS throughout the project area.
2012
  • February - Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power announced changes to Segments 1, 2 and 4, including removing from the proposed project Segment 1E (between the Windstar substation near Glenrock, Wyoming to the Aeolus substation near Medicine Bow, Wyoming).
  • August – BLM identified preferred alternatives.
  • November - BLM revised preferred alternative in Segment 5.
2011
  • July 29 - BLM published Federal Register Notice of Availability (NOA) announcing draft EIS release, followed by a 90-day public comment period.
  • September/October 2011 - BLM hosted 17 public open houses on the draft EIS throughout the project area.
  • October 28 – Draft EIS public comment period closed at midnight.
2010
  • January 26 - BLM announced routes that will be studied in the draft EIS.
  • January 27 - Revised Plan of Development and revised SF 299 form submitted to BLM.
  • January 28 - BLM acceptance memo with changes for revised siting study sent to companies.
  • July - Environmental Assessment for Geotechnical Drilling released by BLM.
  • July 26 - Finding of No Significant Impact for Geotechnical Drilling released by BLM.
  • August 31 - Revised Plan of Development submitted.
  • September 9 - BLM approved right of way grant to allow for geotechnical studies to be conducted on BLM-managed land.
2009
  • January - SF 299 for geotechnical studies filed with BLM.
  • March and April - Companies held public landowner meetings in Idaho and Wyoming.
  • May 19 - Revised Plan of Development and revised SF 299 form submitted.
  • June 2 - July 22 - Companies held public landowner meetings in Idaho.
  • September 14 - 17 - Companies held public landowner meetings in Wyoming.
  • November 4 - December 15 - Companies held public landowner meetings in Idaho.
  • December 22 - Scoping report update published.
  • December 31 - Revised Siting Study released.
2008
  • May 12 - Companies filed Notice of Intent (NOI) to proceed with the project.
  • June 3 - 12 - Public scoping meetings held by the BLM. Companies participated in the scoping meetings.
  • August 23 - Companies filed comprehensive Plan of Development and revised SF 299 form.
  • August 25 –Revised Plan of Development filed with BLM.
  • August 29 - Scoping report containing summary of public comments released.
  • September 15 - Companies submitted Siting Study to BLM.
  • October 23 - Addendum to Siting Study released.
  • December 10 - 17 - Companies held project landowner meetings.
2007
  • May – Companies filed form SF 299, Application for Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands, with the BLM.
  • September - Companies submitted preliminary Plan of Development to BLM.
  • October – Revised SF 299 filed by companies.
  • Companies began collecting existing data for the preliminary routing process.
  • Companies met with elected officials, community leaders and other interested parties to brief them on the project.