Great Northern Transmission Line EIS
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Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Great Northern Transmission Line Project is now available for public review. Please see the Public Notice for information on public document viewing locations, upcoming public meetings, and how to submit your comments on the DEIS.

This joint federal/state EIS analyzes the environmental impacts of the proposed Project, a range of reasonable action alternatives, and the No Action alternative. The EIS is organized into the following 11 chapters, followed by appendices.

Table of Contents, Cover Sheet, Abstract, Summary (.PDF, 5.7 MB)

Summary (.PDF, 6.0 MB)

Chapter 1 – Regulatory Framework (PDF, 2.5 MB):Describes the regulatory framework associated with the proposed Project, including the purpose and need for agency action, major federal permits (including the U.S. DOE Presidential permit), federal consultation requirements, state permitting requirements (including the MN PUC Route Permit), other state and local permits, and a summary of agencies, tribes, and persons consulted.

Chapter 2 – Proposed Project (PDF, 2.8 MB): Describes the project as proposed by the Applicant including proposed routes, structures, objectives, route selection process, estimated costs, and proposed schedule. Chapter 2 also describes the Applicant’s engineering, design, and construction plans, land acquisition processes, and Applicant proposed measures to avoid and minimize environmental impacts.

Chapter 3 – No Action Alternative (PDF, 1.2 MB): Describes the "No Action alternative,” in which the DOE would not issue a Presidential permit and the proposed Project would not be built. The analysis of the No Action alternative summarizes the impacts of not constructing the project and provides a baseline for analyzing and comparing potential environmental impacts from DOE’s proposed action and alternatives.

Chapter 4 – Route and Alignment Alternatives Proposed during Scoping (PDF, 19 MB): Describes the four border crossing alternatives, 22 route variations, and nine alignment modifications that were proposed by agencies and the public during scoping. Chapter 4 also summarizes the process used by DOE in coordination with the DOC-EERA to jointly determine which border crossings and routes to include in the scope of this EIS. Chapter 4 also describes how the selected routes, route variations, and alignments are analyzed by dividing the 220-mile long project area into the three major sections: the West Section, the Central Section, and the East Section.

Chapter 5 – Affected Environment and Potential Impacts (PDF, 32 MB): Describes the affected environment for the proposed Project, including descriptions of each resource, the region of influence (ROI) of the proposed Project on the resource, and impacts expected from the construction, operation, maintenance, and connection of the proposed Project. Chapter 5.0 first describes the impacts of the proposed Project that are common to all geographic sections and do not vary by route or route variation. Chapter 5.0 then describes the resources that do vary by geographic section and for which impacts vary by route and route variation—the impacts and resources are carried forward for detailed analysis and comparison in Chapter 6.0.

Chapter 6 – Comparative Environmental Consequences (PDF, 65 MB): Presents detailed analysis and comparison of the potential human and environmental impacts of the proposed Project and alternative route variations, and describes mitigation measures by geographic section, route, and route variation.

Chapter 7 – Cumulative and Other Impacts (PDF, 4.8 MB): Describes reasonably foreseeable projects in the proposed Project area and assesses impacts of the proposed Project in the context of these reasonably foreseeable projects along with other past and present projects in the same area. Chapter 7 also describes unavoidable, irretrievable, and other impacts as required by federal and state regulations.

Chapter 8 – List of Preparers (PDF, 1.7 MB): Provides a list of the preparers of this EIS.

Chapter 9 – References (PDF, 1.8 MB): Provides references for resources used in development of this EIS.

Chapter 10 – Acronyms and Abbreviations (PDF, 1.7 MB): Lists of the acronyms and abbreviations used in this EIS.

Chapter 11 – Index (PDF, 1.4 MB): Provides an index of terms used in this EIS.

Appendices – Provides information to support the analysis in this EIS: