The Woodward News

Local News

February 3, 2013

DOE discusses Clean Line impact

Woodward, Okla. — Representatives from the U. S. Department of Energy seemed pleased with the participation received in a recent scoping meeting held to gather public input on Clean Line Energy's proposed transmission line project.

The scoping meeting, which is part of a series of public meetings sponsored by the DOE, was held Thursday evening at the Woodward Conference Center.

The purpose of the scoping meetings is to gather information about potential environmental impacts of the Clean Line transmission project, which is also known as the Plains & Eastern project.

Through the Plains & Eastern project, the Houston-based Clean Line Energy is proposing to build high voltage direct current electric transmission lines with the capacity to deliver around 3,500 megawatts from wind farms and other power sources in the Oklahoma Panhandle to connect with the Tennessee Valley Authority near Memphis, Tenn.  The project will traverse approximately 700 miles across Oklahoma, Arkansas and western Tennessee as it seeks to help supply electricity to load-serving entities in the southeast United States.

Once the series of 12 public meetings and the 90-day public comment period are completed, DOE will compile all the comments it receives, analyze the potential environmental impacts and prepare a draft Economic Impact Statement (EIS) document.  The draft EIS will then go through its own period of public review to help ensure that no potential impact is overlooked before a final EIS will be published and presented to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

The Energy Secretary will then use the information in the EIS to decide whether the Department of Energy will participate in the transmission line project, and if so, to what extent.

The EIS is required as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which mandates that all federal agencies must consider the potential impacts that a project may have on the environment before the agency can proceed with the project.

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