"Welcome to A Better Way for BPA!"
Working To Preserve Our Land And Our Landowner Rights
February 5, 2011
There is a map out there with a grey line drawn on an old BPA project map that someone has claimed the Cowlitz County Commissioner's are endorsing, supporting, or whatever other way they want to twist the story. Well...that's not the case and I made sure I got to the truth. Truth be known, the map the Cowlitz Commissioners are interested in is drawn by a citizen in Cowlitz County (Mr. Keatley named below). I asked Cowlitz County Commissioner Karpinsky to write something for me to show you the truth on our Web site. Below in italics is his message to me:
"Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2011 17:37:58 -0800
Cheryl, as we discussed this afternoon, the Cowlitz County Commissioners will send a letter to the BPA requesting they look at the information that Mr. Keatley provided them regarding a route passing through a corridor north of Castle Rock crossing over I-5 near the Toutle rest stop and also passing through a point near the intersection of Weyerhaeuser’s 1600 road and the Coweeman River. Mr. Keatley stated in his letter to the BPA that he believes a route passing through these points would impact less people, impact larger parcels, impact fewer parcels and impact less private land in the congested corridor near Castle Rock. You have a copy of both the letter and the map.
The Cowlitz County Commissioners have not supported any specific route. We will be requesting a meeting with Mr. Keatley to further discuss his information."
Applegate dam project now will include buried power lines
RUCH — A Utah-based company adding a hydroelectric retrofit to Applegate Dam now plans to bury 15 miles of transmission lines from the dam to Ruch, much to the delight of Applegate Valley residents concerned about the potential dangers and utility blight caused by overhead lines.
Symbiotics Inc. officials plan Monday to file an amendment to its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license, declaring it will drop the much-maligned plan to use overhead lines to deliver power from the 10 mega-watt retrofit the company plans to affix to the dam beginning next spring.
The new plan calls for burying the lines within Jackson County's right-of-way along Upper Applegate Road, a move Symbiotics said will add about 14 percent to the cost of the project, which was expected to run between $18 million and $19 million.
Erik Steimle, Symbiotics' director of environmental compliance in the company's Portland office, declined Friday to be more specific about the costs, which he categorized as "significant."
The extra money, however, would be recouped over time by reduced maintenance costs during the company's 50-year license period, Steimle said.
Despite support for "green" energy projects like the dam retrofit, Applegate Valley residents have long complained about overhead lines being used to deliver electricity to PacificCorp's substation near Cantrall-Buckley Park and, ultimately, into the power grid.
"When you amortize it over 50 years and you're a member of the public, it's worth it," Steimle said.
"We hope it's the first step, or at least a second or third step, by a good neighbor to the residents of the Applegate Valley," Steimle said.
Word of the change left Ruch-area resident Margaret Della Santina dumbfounded.
"Oh, my goodness. I just can't believe it," she said Friday. "It's not April Fools Day, right?"
Della Santina was one of several Applegate Valley residents who believed they were fighting a losing battle in September when they pleaded with state officials to require Symbiotics to bury the transmission lines.
A state administrative judge last month issued a tentative ruling that did not require Symbiotics to bury the line.
"We thought they'd never do it, but we thought we might get them to bury part of it," Della Santina said.
It took almost seven years for Symbiotics to land a FERC license for the project, which it received last year. The license requires Symbiotics to pay for measures to re-introduce steelhead and coho salmon to Applegate River spawning grounds blocked by the dam since its completion in 1980.
Plans are to capture adult steelhead at the dam's base in the current fish trap there, truck the adult fish upstream and release them into the reservoir to find spawning creeks that feed it.
The dam's water-release tunnels will be modified so out-migrating smolts can pass downstream through the dam without getting munched by the new turbine blades.
But most public interest was on the transmission lines, Steimle said. Amid the final design work this fall, Symbiotics took heed of the community concerns, then discussed the new proposal with Jackson County officials before company officials decided to seek the FERC amendment, Steimle said.
John Vial, the county's parks and roads department manager, said the county cannot by law charge Symbiotics or any other utility for adding lines to the right of way.
The county can, however, dictate how they install the lines and refurbish the right of way, Vial said.
click here to read
Saturday, January 29, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
AMBOY MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM
22115 Northeast Chelatchie Road
Amboy, WA 98601
Seattle Attorney David Bricklin, one of Washington and Oregon’s top Land Use and Environmental attorneys, will be speaking about our landowner rights and what we can do to prevent these towers and lines from being placed on, over, or near our properties and in our area.
David has fought battles like ours and won!
This is one meeting you DO NOT want to miss!
BPA already has a cost effective alternative
Taken from The Reflector
January 19 - 25, 2011
This letter is in response to BPA’s potentially devastating proposal to construct a 500-kv power line through the gorgeous rural countryside of two Washington counties in order to augment transmission capacity between Castle Rock, Washington and Troutdale, Oregon (the “I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project”).
BPA’s stated objectives are to provide a substantial, but necessary, increase in transmission capacity which will satisfy the foreseen growth in demand for decades into the future, while minimizing impacts on the natural and human environment, and minimizing costs whenever possible.
However the arguments which BPA has presented, the routes being considered and the decisions being made clearly demonstrate that other (unstated or misstated) criteria are having a huge influence on the project.
The routing alternative which has the lowest overall cost and which has dramatically less human, environmental and aesthetic impact is to use routes 9 and 25, where BPA easements, towers and lines already exist. The existing easements would be the best use of ratepayers’ money and taxpayers’ federal stimulus dollars loaned to BPA for this project, because (a) land acquisition costs would be negligible, (b) construction costs would be minimized, (c) litigation costs would be minimized and (d) the intangible cost of extensive public opposition would be mitigated.
Further, there would be minimal environmental and aesthetic impact from adding lines where towers and lines already exist, rescuing the environment from a new 70-mile scar spanning two counties. The existing lines are already in place. In view of the seven decade age of those easements, it is safe to say that most of the adjacent landowners bought those properties with complete awareness of the visual and environmental impacts of those lines, and likely benefited from reduced prices because of the lines’ existence.
Regarding collocation, in early public meetings about the project, BPA stated that paralleling existing transmission lines is unacceptable because of the inherent reduction in capacity caused by parallel, collocated lines. Even if that statement were correct, the net reduction of the increased capacity would be so small that the resulting 95 percent increase in capacity provided by a parallel, collocated second line is still a much better alternative to the much more expensive and disruptive new routing which might achieve the theoretical 100 percent increase.
Recently, BPA has discovered that 500-kv lines CAN be parallel and collocated without significant capacity reduction. I can cite numerous examples of 50+ mile runs of parallel 500-kv lines already in existence. How is it that BPA could be so unaware of a fact that other utilities have known for decades? This convenient “enlightenment” further supports our contention that BPA is not acting in good faith.
Now let’s take the “parallel-collocated” argument one step further. Underground lines along part of the existing easements would mitigate the visual impact of the new lines. Underground segments in the existing easements would amortize the greater short-term construction cost by means of several additional cost-saving factors, including: (a) the reduction of the liability exposure from injuries and deaths from downed power lines, (b) lower maintenance costs as a result of reduced mechanical and thermodynamic issues caused by the large differences in ambient air temperature (0° - 100° F) as compared to the nearly-isothermal (55° - 65°F) subterranean environment with its nearly-infinite-heat-sink properties, and (c) lower maintenance costs made possible by eliminating vulnerability to damage from:
(i) weather phenomena (ice storms, wind storms, severe heat, etc), (ii) aircraft strikes, (iii) seismic activity and (iv) risk of terrorist attack.
Any of the new routes that BPA has proposed would require extensive clear-cuts through the pristine rural countryside of two counties. All of these proposed rural routes would damage or destroy homes, farms, businesses and hard-earned retirement equity. Despite claims to the contrary, it is clear these new routes would harm rivers, streams, wetlands, fish and wildlife.
BPA has stated that the existing network contains adequate capacity to satisfy existing demand as well as projected growth in demand until the project is complete. BPA has also told us there is enough room on their existing easements for this project. That being the case, we say: Use those existing easements and get the project done quicker and cheaper.
Regarding security, it is clear that the 70-year security history of the existing transmission lines has been and will continue to be enhanced by virtue of the lines being located in urban and relatively urban environments, where any suspicious activity has a high probability of being reported.
By way of contrast, a highly unpopular, 70-mile run of new lines through isolated and rural areas would have a much greater exposure to undetected and / or unreported subversive activity and adversarial physical damage. In fact, based on the strong local opposition to this proposed land grab, it would not be surprising to discover that active resistance could be very energetic.
We implore BPA not to implement these massive clear-cuts with their hideously ugly towers that will damage our local environment forever. We ask BPA to be a good steward of the land and to use our ratepayer and taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by placing the new lines on a route where lines and towers already exist, where the visual scar has faded into the background and where the environmental damage has already been done.
January 2, 2011
Attached is a chart provided to us by BPA showing when the existing BPA right's of ways were built.
BPA tells us there's enough room on their existing easements for this project. We have been assured no homes will be taken using their existing easements.
We say BPA should use their existing easements. It just makes the most sense!
- The existing easements have 70 years of proven reliability, stability, and security.
- The existing easements would be the best use of Rate Payer's money and Federal Stimulus Money loaned to BPA for this project.
- The rural routes will impact the most people. Rural landowners have no property adjacent to BPA easements or in their land titles.
- The environment has already been impacted along the existing easement.
We ask BPA to not create a 70-mile clear-cut that will damage our sensitive waterways and ecosystem forever. We ask BPA to be a good shepherd of the land by using your existing easements for this project.
We ask BPA to be a good neighbor by respecting our land rights and by using their existing easements for this project.
We ask BPA to make the best use of our money (the ratepayer) and Federal Stimulus Money by using their existing easement.