More Than 300 Oregonians Attend Hearings For Proposed Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line

Siting Analyst Kellen Tardaewether presents at the Ontario public hearing on June 18.

Siting Analyst Kellen Tardaewether presents at the Ontario public hearing on June 18.

It’s always nice when we hear from fellow Oregonians – and see new corners of our beautiful state along the way. A handful of Oregon Department of Energy staff – along with the all-volunteer Energy Facility Siting Council – got to do just that in late June at public hearings on the draft proposed order of the planned Boardman to Hemingway Transmission Line.

The first of the five public hearings began on June 18 in Ontario. We set aside four hours for each hearing to enable those with different work schedules to give us their thoughts, orally and/or in writing. The next two nights we held hearings in Baker City and La Grande. The latter is where most of the public interest has come from, and close to 200 people packed a large room at the Blue Mountain Conference Center. That hearing went just over four hours.

The final week of June took us out to Pendleton and Boardman for the fourth and fifth hearings. There was plenty of passionate testimony given to the Council, and before the hearing concluded in Pendleton, the Council decided to extend the public comment period on the draft proposed order to Thursday, August 22 at 5 p.m.

In all, more than 300 people attended the five hearings. Most people just came to listen, but about 100 gave oral testimony and a few people handed in written testimony. We have posted the transcripts of the oral testimony, by location, here: OntarioBaker CityLa GrandePendleton and Boardman. You can learn more about the project, including options for commenting before the deadline, at the Boardman to Hemingway webpage.

NEXT STEPS

After the public comment period ends, the project applicant, Idaho Power, will have until September 23 to respond in writing to comments received. After the record closes on September 23, the Council will review the draft proposed order at a future Council meeting. The Department then issues a proposed order, which takes into consideration the comments from Council and comments received on the DPO. When the proposed order is issued, the Department will also issue a notice of contested case, which will have additional details about the contested case process.

You can also sign up to receive future notices about the Boardman to Hemingway Project.