Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
In accordance with DOE regulations for compliance with floodplain and wetland environmental review requirements, BPA will prepare a floodplain and wetland assessment as necessary to avoid or minimize potential harm to or within any affected floodplains and wetlands. The assessment will be included in the EIS being prepared for the proposed project in accordance with the NEPA.
On May 6, 2009, in Stevenson, Washington, a public meeting/scoping meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Rock Creek Center, 710 SW. Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson, Washington 98648. At this informal meeting, information, including maps, will be provided about the project, and members of the project team will be available to answer questions and accept oral and written comments.
WRE has proposed the 75-MW Whistling Ridge Energy Project on commercial forestland in an unincorporated area of Skamania County, Washington. The proposed wind energy generation facility, to be built and operated by WRE, would be located approximately 7 miles northwest of the City of White Salmon. The Project site is outside the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, and encompasses roughly 1,152 acres in Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, and 18 of Township 3 North, Range 10 East, and in Section 13 of Township 3 North, Range 9 East, Willamette Meridian.
The Project would consist of up to approximately 50, 1.2- to 2.5-MW wind turbines, as well as infrastructure such as newly-constructed and improved roads, transformers, underground collector lines, a substation, and an operations and maintenance (OM) facility. Each turbine would be up to 426 feet tall (measured from the ground to the turbine blade tip), and would be mounted on a concrete pad. Spaced from 350 to 800 feet apart, the turbines would be grouped in strings of 3 to 21 turbines and connected by an underground electrical collector system. The turbines would operate at wind speeds ranging from 9 to 56 miles per hour (mph).
The electrical output of each string of turbines would be connected to the Project substation by underground collector cables. The Project substation would be built directly adjacent to an existing BPA transmission line interconnecting to the FCRTS.
WRE proposes that construction of the Project would begin in 2010. Access to the Project site would likely require improving some existing private logging roads and constructing several miles of new gravel roads on private land. During construction, about 330 workers would be employed. During its year-round operation, there would be eight to nine permanent full-time and/or part-time employees on the Operations and Maintenance staff. The Project is expected to function for at least 30 years.
Washington EFSEC has siting jurisdiction over WRE's proposed project. EFSEC has determined that it will prepare an EIS to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project. This EIS will inform EFSEC's decision whether or not to grant the necessary permits and approvals for siting WRE's proposed project.
When completed, a Draft EIS will be circulated for review and comment, and BPA and EFSEC will hold at least one combined public comment meeting for the Draft EIS. BPA and EFSEC will consider and respond in the Final EIS to comments received on the Draft EIS. BPA's subsequent decision will be documented in a Record of Decision.