The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and other Cmunicipalities through their organization TANC (Transmission Agency of Northern California) are proposing new powerlines between the Bay Area and the Sacramento region and northeastern California and Nevada. Information about TANC is available on its website, www.tanc.org.
Proposed powerline alignments include the Cosumnes River Preserve, the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, and the Capay Valley.
It is totally outrageous.
SMUD and TANC are not even considering, much less analyzing, locating these proposed new powerlines along existing powerline corridors. Across the country this has consistently been shown to be the preferred environmental alternative.
Tuleyome supports renewable energy generation. However, even environmentally positive ideas can have negative consequences, and Tuleyome does not support the proposed transmission line alignments because they clearly have negative environmental consequences and significant effects on places that people value for environmental reasons. A fair and open public process and a coordinated approach that considers other power generation and transmission proposals are needed to both minimize environmental impacts and meet our renewable energy needs.
SMUD and TANC have initiated a public scoping process on the proposals and comments are due April 30. Please Act Now.
Comment today. There are several key issues:
1. Request an extended public comment period and additional public scoping meetings: The process used to publish the Public Notice and inform the public about this project meets legal noticing requirements, but is patently not adequate for a project with the potential impacts that this one has.
Too few public meetings about the project, too few meeting locations, and inadequate opportunity for public engagement are also problems with this proposal. Many of our neighbors directly affected by these proposed powerline alignments were not notified and while there have been a few public scoping meetings, not one was held in Yolo County where three proposed powerline alignments affect the county’s environment.
2. Tell your personal story: How will this affect you and our local environment?
3. Tell TANC to analyze an alternative to site new powerlines along existing powerline corridors: This co-location alternate has consistently been shown to be the environmentally preferred alternative in other parts of the country. New powerlines cause ecological fragmentation in environmentally sensitive areas that extends far beyond the alignments themselves, represent sources of invasive species, and invariably lead to additional impacts because of the need to maintain the alignments free of vegetation.
4. Tell TANC to coordinate their actions with the California Energy Commission RETI process: We need to develop renewable energy generation and transmission, but this is not the Wild West. RETI is working to coordinate renewable energy development to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts. The EIS/EIR process must analyze how this project relates to all other proposed generation and transmission projects in northern California. The CEQA/NEPA process requires analysis of related projects. It is altogether possible that the proposed TANC project will not even be needed because other transmission alternatives included in the RETI process provide the capacity California needs. This fragmented approach is just wrong.
Submit comments to:
Mail to: Mr. David Young
NEPA Document Manager
Western Area Power Administration
Sierra Nevada Region
114 Parkshore Drive
Folsom, CA 95630
Fax: (916) 353-4772
Additional information can be found at www.tanc.org, or call 916-353-4777
We need new renewable energy projects, including necessary powerline transmission capacity. But, let’s have a fair and open public process, with adequate opportunity for affected citizens to participate, and let’s not put powerlines where they don’t make sense.