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ALJ/SRT/rbg Date of Issuance 12/7/2007
Decision 07-12-018 December 6, 2007
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Application of PACIFICORP (U901E), an Oregon Corporation, for Permit to Construct the Line 75 115kV Conversion Project Pursuant to General Order 131-D.
(Filed December 13, 2005)
Application of PACIFICORP (U901E), an Oregon Corporation, for Permit to Construct the Weed Segment Project Pursuant to General Order 131-D.
(Filed January 26, 2007)
OPINION GRANTING PACIFICORP'S REQUEST FOR
A PERMIT TO CONSTRUCT SOUTHERN PORTION OF YREKA-WEED
TRANSMISSION LINE AND WEED SEGMENT PROJECT
AND CERTIFYING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
This decision completes approval of the application of PacifiCorp for a permit to construct a 115 kilovolt (kV) electric transmission line and associated substation modifications between the cities of Yreka and Weed in Northern California, as described in Application (A.) 05-12-011. We also approve PacifiCorp's application to construct the Weed Segment Project, consisting of upgrades of a transmission line and accompanying substation as requested in A.07-01-046. We also certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) prepared in connection with both the A.05-12-011 and A.07-01-046 projects in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
We partially approved construction of the Yreka-Weed transmission line (A.05-12-011) in October 2006 in Decision (D.) 06-10-047. At that time, we allowed PacifiCorp to construct the first 17 miles (of a total of 18.6 miles) of its transmission line, certified an accompanying Final Mitigated Negative Declaration (FMND) that studied that routing, and reserved judgment on the final 1.6 miles due to disputes in the Weed area regarding routing of that section. Thereafter, we held hearings and ordered preparation of the FEIR to consider the environmental impact of various route options.
We have now completed our analysis of both projects, and hereby allow PacifiCorp to finish the Yreka-Weed transmission line, and construct the Weed Segment Project along the environmentally superior route - identified as the "Mackintosh/ALJ Variation A" alternative route in the FEIR. The environmentally superior route avoids the adverse visual and hydrological impacts presented by PacifiCorp's preferred route, termed Option 3 by PacifiCorp and identified as the Proposed Project in the FEIR. Further, PacifiCorp has recently informed the Commission that it now supports the environmentally superior route, and is no longer proposing Option 3 as its primary route option.