4. Alternative 3: Single-Circuit Towers Between Haskell Canyon and the Pardee Substation
Alternative 3 is a minor variation of the proposed Project; between Mile 0.0 and Mile 20.3. From Mile 20.3 to Mile 25.6 (entirely on non-USFS lands), between Haskell Canyon and Pardee Substation, Alternative 3 includes the construction of 21 single-circuit 500 kV transmission towers, rather than removing the existing single-circuit 500 kV towers and replacing them with double-circuit 500 kV towers. The single-circuit towers would be built in the vacant position of the Pardee-Vincent 500-kV ROW, which is situated near the north edge of the ROW between Mile 20.3 and 22.3 (see, Figure B.4-10 in the Final EIR/EIS), and near the center of the ROW between Mile 22.3 and 25.6 (see, Figure B.4-11 in the Final EIR/EIS). Similar to the proposed project, the transmission line for Alternative 3 would traverse ANF lands for 12.6 miles, between Mile 5.7 and Mile 18.6 (this does not include the 0.3 miles of private in-holdings crossed at Bouquet Reservoir). This alternative would also include the removal of approximately 119 existing 66 kV towers (cut flush with the surface) from the Saugus-Del Sur utility corridor.
For Alternative 3, as with the proposed project, the USFS would issue a 50-year-term Special Use Easement authorizing the construction, use, and maintenance of the long-term transmission line and infrastructure, 12.6 miles long, within a 160-foot-wide ROW, on ANF lands. Any ground disturbing activities during construction on ANF lands and outside the proposed 160-foot-wide ROW easement would be authorized by one or more temporary Special Use Permits. Additional resource studies would be necessary to authorize the temporary Special Use Permit for work outside the proposed 160-foot-wide ROW (e.g., secondary marshalling yards, pulling and splicing set up sites, helicopter staging areas).
In addition, this alternative would require several amendments to the ANF Land Management Plan, including changing the Scenic Integrity Objectives along the proposed utility corridor (see Table A.5-3 in the Final EIR/EIS); and modifying the Forest Standard relating to the Pacific Crest Trail (S1) as regards this Project.
A detailed discussion of the facilities needed to construct the proposed Project under Alternative 3 is set forth at pages B-93 to B-96 of the Final EIR/EIS.