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E-M:/ Powerline Corridor Hearings 6/17-19, Hiawatha National Forest in the UP

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

To: Multiple recipients of list <epa-impact@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov>
Subject: Proposed Perkins--Manistique 138 kV Transmission   
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas

[Federal Register: June 11, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 112)]
[Page 31785-31786]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Forest Service

Proposed Perkins--Manistique 138 kV Transmission Line Project

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice; intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.


SUMMARY: The USDA Forest Service will prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) to analyze and disclose the effects of a proposal by 
Wisconsin Electric Power Company WEPCO and Edison Sault Electric (ESE) 
to construct a 24 mile, 138 kV transmission line in Delta county, 
Michigan. The project area includes portions of the Hiawatha National 
Forest (HNF), Rapid River/Manistique Ranger Districts.

DATES: Written comments concerning the scope of the analysis (issues, 
preliminary alternatives, etc.) must be received in writing by July 11, 

ADDRESSES: Send written comments and suggestions to Mr. William F. 
Spinner, Forest Supervisor, Hiawatha National Forest, 2727 Lincoln 
Road, Escanaba, Michigan, 49829.

Technical questions regarding the proposed action and EIS should be 
directed to Ms. Patty Beyer, Project Coordinator, (906) 228-9681.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: WEPCO/ESE propose to construct, operate, and 
maintain a 138 kV double circuit transmission line from the existing 
Perkins Substation one mile west of Perkins, Michigan to the proposed 
Indian Lake Substation one mile northwest of Manistique, Michigan. The 
proposed 24 mile route lies adjacent to the Lakehead Oil Company 
pipeline right-of-way. The Substation locations are outside the 
boundaries of the Hiawatha National Forest. The Federal Land and Policy 
Act allows the use of national forest lands for electric transmission 
rights-of-way. The Hiawatha National Forest Land and Resource 
Management Plan allows for utility right-of-ways within management 
areas crossed by the proposed project.
    WEPCO/ESE have identified a lack of adequate electric transmission 
facilities serving Delta and Schoolcraft counties in the Upper 
Peninsula of Michigan,

[[Page 31786]]

presently an ESE service territory. The Michigan Public Service 
Commission has determined the existing service is inadequate in three 
areas, including load growth, reliability, and electrical transmission 
system reinforcement. WEPCO/ESE's load growth has nearly exceeded 
capacity and its need for reliable service and additional capacity to 
meet peak system demand is urgent. The purpose for constructing the 
project is to increase reliability of service and provide an additional 
source of power to the customers served within WEPCO/ESE service area.
    Permits or licenses required to implement the proposed action 
include: right-of-way easement from the Michigan Department of Natural 
Resources, wetland permits and erosion control standards from the 
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Section 404 determination 
and permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers, road crossing permits 
from Delta and Schoolcraft counties and the Michigan Department of 
Transportation, railroad crossing permits from the Wisconsin Central 
Railroad, approval of Interchange Agreement from the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity 
from the Public Service Commission, Act 69 approval from the Michigan 
Public Service Commission, Section 106 Review by the Michigan State 
Historic Preservation Office and a Wild and Scenic River Determination 
from the USDA Forest Service.
    The USDA Forest Service is serving as lead federal agency for the 
preparation of an EIS that will evaluate the purpose, need, and routing 
alternatives on the Hiawatha National Forest for the proposed project. 
The decision to be made is whether to allow the use of portions of the 
Hiawatha National Forest for siting a transmission line facility. The 
USDA Forest Service has invited other affected agencies to participate 
in the environmental process. Preliminary issues associated with this 
proposal include construction across two designated wild and scenic 
rivers, aesthetic effects, health and safety concerns from 
electromagnetic fields, impacts to wetlands from construction and 
effective wetland restoration, disturbances to threatened, endangered 
and sensitive plant and animal habitat, noxious weed control, 
recreation access to roads, rivers, and trails during construction and 
the commitment of forest resources over the long term.
    The public is invited to attend meetings to be held June 17, 18, 
and 19, 1997, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the township hall in 
Nahma, the Omni Center in Rapid River, and the township hall in Cooks, 
Michigan, respectively. In additional meeting will be held June 17 at 
the Nahma township hall from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The purpose of the 
workshop-style meetings, is to share project information and identify 
public issues and concerns. To assist the Forest Service in identifying 
and considering issues and concerns on the proposed action, written 
comments on the proposal should be as specific as possible. Please note 
that written comments made on the proposal will be regarded as public 
information. Anticipated publication date for the Draft EIS is November 
1997 and the Final EIS in early 1998.

    Dated: June 5, 1997.
William F. Spinner,
Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 97-15234 Filed 6-10-97; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
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(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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