1. Alternative 2 Versus Alternative 5
Based on the comparisons of alternatives for each issue area presented in Section D of the Final EIR/EIS, Alternative 2 is superior to Alternative 5 in certain issue areas, whereas Alternative 5 is superior to Alternative 2 in other issue areas. Thus, these two alternatives both have advantages and disadvantages relative to each other. In determining the superiority of one alternative to the other, other considerations have to be taken into account, including long-term versus short-term advantages and the relative importance of some issues compared to others.
Many of the project's impacts are associated only with construction and, therefore, are short term in nature, ranging in duration from a few days to the entire period of construction (14 to 16 months). These are impacts associated primarily with air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology/soils, water quality, noise, and traffic/transportation. While many of the short-term construction impacts are significant, it is usually the long-term impacts that are considered more important in determining the superiority of an alternative, since such impacts have a lasting effect on the environment and will make an ongoing contribution to cumulative impacts. Many of the short-term impacts are a consequence of land disturbance associated with construction and have little lasting effect after the land surface has been restored after construction. Other short-term impacts are associated with temporary construction effects on human beings and the built environment, which cease when construction is completed.
In the case of the proposed project, significant long-term effects are primarily associated with forest management activities (fire fighting), noise (corona noise from conductors), socioeconomics, and visual resources. A comparison of the key long-term effects of Alternative 2 versus Alternative 5 is summarized below.