BOISE - Federal officials have reopened public comments on proposed routes for two high-voltage transmission lines in southwestern Idaho intended to modernize the Pacific Northwest's energy grid.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Monday announced that it will take comments through Sept. 27 for two segments of the Gateway West project proposed by Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power.
The BLM in January approved routes for the two 500-kilovolt transmission lines, but legislation by Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson signed into law in May mandates segments not connected to that route.
The legislation removes 2,800 acres (1,133 hectares) from the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area so 74 miles (119 kilometers) of transmission lines can go through.
The BLM is now trying to connect the remaining 250 miles (400 kilometers) of transmission lines with those segments.
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