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Spokane/East. Wash/North Idaho News Releases for Wed. Nov. 22 - 11:53 am
Fri. 11/17/17
DOI Announces Approval of Transmission Line Project in Oregon and Idaho
Bureau of Land Management Ore. & Wash. - 11/17/17 9:41 AM
Boardman to Hemingway Project will create jobs and provide infrastructure to develop America's energy resources

PORTLAND, Ore. -- In a move that will improve the nation's energy infrastructure, create nearly 500 jobs and boost local economies, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced today that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line Project (B2H Project). The B2H Project will provide additional electrical capacity between the Pacific Northwest and the Intermountain West regions.

The B2H Project, which will have a three-year development phase, will alleviate existing transmission constraints by providing sufficient electrical capacity to meet present and forecasted customer needs. The total capital expenditure for the B2H Project is approximately $1 billion to $1.2 billion.

"The Boardman to Hemingway Project is a Trump Administration priority focusing on infrastructure needs that support America's energy independence," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. "Today's decision is the result of extensive public involvement and will support the environmentally responsible development of resources to meet the needs of communities in Idaho, Oregon, and the surrounding region."

The ROD allows the BLM to grant a right-of-way to Idaho Power Company for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the B2H Project on BLM-administered land. Located in eastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho, the approved route will measure approximately 300 miles long when constructed. The overhead electrical line will be extra-high-voltage (500 kilovolts) and will include an alternating-current transmission system. Because the new line will have increased transmission capacity, it will allow greater use of intermittent sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar, to connect to the grid.

"This project will help stabilize the power grid in the Northwest while creating jobs and carrying low-cost energy to market," said Katherine MacGregor, acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. "It is a great example of the Administration's America First Energy Plan, which addresses all forms of domestic energy production."

"It's great to finally have an administration that recognizes the importance of working with states like Idaho to get important things done," said Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter. "I'm pleased that our federal partners are moving toward making this important infrastructure upgrade a reality. Meeting the electric transmission needs of our growing economy and population will require continued collaboration, and I'm confident that the BLM and Department of the Interior under President Trump will keep providing that kind of constructive leadership."

"BLM's approval of this interstate transmission line is a long overdue decision that will bolster our regional infrastructure and ensure that energy is delivered efficiently and reliably to customers," said Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. "This type of project is the result of a collaboration between multiple stakeholders to move to meet the energy demands of the region."

"The B2H Project will create jobs, provide for Idaho's energy needs and promote the region's energy infrastructure moving forward," said Senator James Risch. "I applaud the BLM for issuing their Record of Decision which is a critical step forward for the B2H Project."

"The Boardman to Hemingway project is critically important to Idaho," said Congressman Mike Simpson. "Providing the infrastructure to deliver affordable and reliable energy will benefit Idahoans and others in the West. I applaud BLM for prioritizing this important work."

The B2H Project will add approximately 1,000 megawatts of much needed bi-directional power capacity between the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West regions. The additional capacity will help improve the regions' ability to transmit low-cost energy from a variety of generation sources to serve residences, farms, businesses, and other customers throughout the region.

The 293.4-mile approved route will run across 100.3 miles of Federal land (managed by the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Department of Defense), 190.2 miles of private land, and 2.9 miles of state lands.

The B2H Project is a national-level priority and an important component of the President's all-of the-above-energy strategy that includes encouraging projects that help to strengthen America's energy infrastructure. The transmission line connects the northern terminus, the Longhorn Substation, a substation planned by Bonneville Power Administration about four miles east of the city of Boardman in Morrow County, Oregon, to the existing Hemingway Substation, near the city of Melba in Owyhee County, Idaho. Construction of the B2H Project is targeted to start in 2021 and will take approximately two to three years once all final permits are acquired. The B2H Project includes construction of the new transmission line, access roads and gates, and communication regeneration sites. The project also includes the removal or rerouting of about eight miles of older transmission lines.

The selected route approved by the ROD is the Agency Preferred Alternative identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land-use Plan Amendments, which published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2016. The ROD represents the culmination of a comprehensive planning process, including a Community Advisory Process conducted by the Idaho Power Company that further refined the routing options. Comments received after public scoping in 2010 further refined routing and added variations.

The final documents and maps showing the Agency Preferred Alternative are available at: http://bit.ly/2hRuQfS.

Thu. 11/16/17
Shaping Better Futures for Our Students (Photo)
ESD 123 - 11/16/17 7:00 AM
Students at a 21st Century Learning Site
Students at a 21st Century Learning Site
PASCO, WA -- Educational Service District 123 is the proud recipient of a new 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant awarded by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The newest 21st Century cohort, "Shaping the Future," is the 10th cohort established with ESD 123 and focuses on serving diverse communities with different challenges in three cities: Prosser, Benton City, and Kennewick.

Over the next five years, the grant will fund programs aimed at supporting students, connecting families with the schools, and narrowing the opportunity gap. The cohort sites will be located at Housel Middle School in Prosser, Kiona-Benton Primary and Intermediate Elementary Schools in Benton City, and the Apostolic Youth Center, serving Amistad and Eastgate Elementary Schools, in Kennewick. These areas have growing populations of minority families, many of whom are Hispanic migrant workers wishing to secure a better future for their children.

Margarita Alaman, 21st Century Program Director at ESD 123, says that the goal is to create connections between the families and the school, while aiding them in their pursuit of a better way of life.

"The families we will be serving chose to settle with dreams of securing a better future for their children," states Alaman. "Meanwhile, the concepts of 'school readiness' and 'parents as their child's first teacher' are unknown concepts for many. In collaboration with many other ESD Departments, we can collaboratively approach these needs."

The 21st Century sites will complement and support the schools' limited after-school programs by offering homework/tutoring help, snacks, academic and enrichment activities, career development, social emotional learning development, financial literacy, and more. Staff training in Adverse Childhood Experiences, resilience, youth mental health first aid, and curriculum for youth and families is also planned.

For more information, contact Molly Curtiss, Communication & Graphics Coordinator, at 509.544.5787 or mcurtiss@esd123.org.


Attached Media Files: Students at a 21st Century Learning Site , 21st Century students engage in hands-on learning