BPA kicks off series of public meetings

first_imgCASTLE ROCK — The so-called Pearl route through Oregon won’t be resurrected as a possible alternative route for a proposed new high-voltage transmission line along Interstate 5, Bonneville Power Administration officials said in Castle Rock on Monday night.The overhead towers would need to be at least 400 feet high and a hazard to aircraft to cross the Columbia River west of Longview. A new line would be too close to an existing BPA line, making both lines vulnerable to outages. Also, the towers would be located near sensitive wildlife habitats and be visible to more people, BPA officials said.“Adding another option, such as a route to Pearl … would only delay the project and add to the number of people that are in limbo,” project manager Mark Korsness told a group of about 200 people at Castle Rock Elementary School.The BPA held the first of four public meetings Monday night about its proposal to build a new 500-kilovolt line from Castle Rock to Troutdale, Ore. BPA, the Pacific Northwest’s largest power marketer, plans to build two new substations at both ends of the line, which would run almost exclusively through Cowlitz and Clark counties.BPA officials dropped the Pearl route in 2009 and never introduced it as an alternative. Now, Cowlitz and Clark county commissioners are urging the federal agency to reconsider the western route, or at least hold a public meeting devoted to the reasons why not.last_img

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