2. Pacific Crest Trail Association Alternative
The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) suggested an alternative under which the proposed transmission line, leaving from the Antelope substation, would start on the same path as Alternative 5. Approximately 2 miles north of the Sierra highway, the line would intersect with an existing utility corridor that could be used to span the remaining distance to the Pardee substation. This alternative would avoid the possibility of a 500-kV transmission line paralleling the future route of the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) under Alternative 5. More importantly, in the view of the PCTA, it would allow the PCT to cross the transmission line at a road crossing where urban impacts already exist.
The suggested alternative routing would avoid significant visual impacts to the PCT associated with Alternative 5. However, these same impacts are already avoided by the proposed project and other alternatives (Alternatives 1 through 4). The proposed project and other alternatives (except Alternative 2) would cross the PCT in the ANF at the same location as the existing Antelope-Pole Switch 74 sub-transmission line. Alternative 2 would cross the PCT in the ANF a little further east of the existing Antelope-Pole Switch line. The proposed Project and Alternatives 1 through 4 would all avoid paralleling the PCT.
Furthermore, an existing utility corridor designated in the Forest Plan already traverses the ANF in the vicinity of the proposed project and Alternatives 1 through 4. Neither NEPA nor CEQA requires a separate analysis of alternatives which are not significantly distinguishable from alternatives actually considered or which have substantially similar consequences.
A discussion of the PCTA's proposed alternative can be found at pages Ap.8B-151 to Ap.8B-154 of the Final EIR/EIS.