"Welcome to A Better Way for BPA!"
Working To Preserve Our Land And Our Landowner Rights
Remember to vote TOMORROW August 7th.
Attached are the results of our Candidate Survey on Private Landowner Rights for the Primary Election.
We contacted every candidate on the Clark and Cowlitz county ballots.
These are the candidates who cared enough about private landowner rights to respond to our survey. If a candidate's name is not listed, they made the decision to not respond to our multiple emails, phone calls, or one-on-one encounters.
As A Better Way for BPA members you've seen the survey. It contained four simple questions. We rated the candidates based on their answers to the first three questions, which asked the candidates if they would support BPA in choosing a route that would take hundreds more acres of private land, cost millions more dollars, and would be more damaging to the environment than the existing BPA-owned right-of-way (The fourth question asks if they own land on any of the proposed routes.)
Some candidates chose the "yes" and "no" answers. Others offered statements that answered in ways they could not be pinned down.
One candidate urged the project be placed on the "Pearl Route", while another said the project needs to be placed on only lands that are state and federally owned, and those lands opened up for public access.
While thoughtful, both of those options are not being considered by BPA.
Our board has chosen to face the reality of what routes are on BPA's map. We believe anything other than this reality is smoke and mirrors, essentially sidestepping the issue.
The rating number means the candidate answered the three questions, and selected "no" which is in agreement with the views of "A Better Way for BPA.” The number goes down from there, two questions, one question, and "zero", meaning the candidate either told us they refused to answer the survey, or they offered statements that were not in obvious support of private landowner rights.
We believe that your private landowner rights are important.
Please consider these candidates as you make your votes tomorrow in the primary August 7th and again in the General Election, November 2012.
June 29, 2012
Today, BPA announced they will again delay the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement to late fall, 2012. They tell us they will be announcing a "Preferred Alternative" (preferred route) at the same time. That's unless something changes. Another delay in this extended 3-year hurry-up-and-wait game BPA is playing with our lives.
BPA tells us this is the longest it has taken to decide a route for a project such as this.
June 21, 2012
Frustrating as this project is and the excessive length of time it's taking for BPA staff to make their decision on a "Preferred Alternative," now we have the "final" decision maker retiring. Since BPA has not been forthcoming in providing us with an updated schedule of the project, will the person who is supposed to make the "final" decision on a route and who has met with, and heard all sides of this issue be there to make that decision? Read the announcement of Stephen Wrights retirement HERE
June 11, 2012
“The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.”
–Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.
click HERE to read the article
May 12, 2012,
Below is some interesting information for you to read about the project (found on BPA's I-5 website)
BPA, as a federal agency, is subject to the regulations of the Clean Water Act, to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity. See CWA section 313, 33 USC 1323. Thus, in the case of the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project, since all action alternatives involve the discharge of dredge or fill material into a "water of the United States," we need to obtain a 404 permit, and the Corps will make the decision on which alignment meets their regulatory standards - i.e., receives their section 404 permit.
The complexity regarding the section 404 permit is that the Corps can only permit the "Least Environmentally Damaging Preferred Alternative" (LEDPA).
The Corps determines this through its 404(b)(1) alternatives analysis. The Corps first develops (in coordination with BPA) a "reasonable array" of project alternatives, and then undertakes a two step analysis. In the first step, the Corps determines which of the alternatives are technologically, economically, and logistically practical to carry out (relying heavily on information from BPA) and in the second step, the Corps takes those alternatives which have met the practicability test (step 1), and determines which of those is the least environmentally damaging to "aquatic resources." Again, the Corps can only issue a 404 permit for the LEDPA. While BPA can select any alternative for I-5, if the Corps cannot conclude the alternative is the LEDPA then the Corps cannot issue a 404 permit for that alternative, effectively precluding the project’s construction because to do otherwise would violate the CWA.
BPA generally doesn't experience such detailed review by the Corps of our 404 permits because the vast majority of our projects fit into what is called a "Nationwide Permit." Nationwide permits do not require application of the 404(b)(1) alternatives analysis. The I-5 Corridor project, however, does not qualify for a Nationwide Permit, and is instead being processed as an Individual Permit (which does require the 404(b)(1) alternatives analysis and a demonstration that the proposed project is the LEDPA.
Since both agencies are presumably going to rely on the same NEPA document (Corps is a cooperating agency on the EIS), the Corps will make its permit decision after the Final EIS has been issued. There is no rule as to whether the Corps must make its decision prior to or after BPA makes its decision, but it would be preferable for the Corps to make its permit decision prior to our ROD so we can cite that fact in our ROD (ROD = Record of Decision). It is possible that if the Corps is not satisfied with our Final EIS, they could decide to supplement the Final EIS with their own NEPA document, or even decide to deny the permit based on insufficient information. However, that scenario, while possible, is extremely unlikely. The working relation with the Corps is improving and we anticipate a permit decision will be
forthcoming in a timely manner.
Washington State Governors Office of Regulatory Assistance Environmental Permit Handbook
Discharge of Dredge or Fill Material Into Water (Section 404 Permit) http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/permithandbook/permitdetail.asp?id=37
We stand in agreement that BPA should choose the least environmentally damaging alternative, which would also be the least intrusive to private property and the least costly alternative--The West Alternative.
Environmental Protection Agency explanation of the Section 404 Permit HERE