On Thursday, April 15, the Oregon Public Utility Commission will hold its final hearing on Idaho Power’s 2019 energy plan, which includes the Boardman to Hemingway transmission line. I’ve urged OPUC to acknowledge issues of environmental justice when considering approval for the B2H transmission line.

I believe Idaho Power is not shouldering the true environmental cost of the proposed B2H line, that Idaho Power is instead passing the cost of impacts to economically disadvantaged rural communities.

For instance, Idaho Power claims "no significant impact" for 150-foot transmission towers that would be built a few blocks from a beautiful mountain lake, the key feature of the cherished and historical city of La Grande Morgan Lake Park. If the B2H line impacted such a park in Portland, I do not believe it would be going forward.

Fire risks are another cost/hardship passed on to our fire-vulnerable rural communities. Rural citizens demand to be treated fairly and to have our environment considered and protected.

There are other options to building the B2H line, even if a transmission line is determined to be necessary. Concerned citizens with STOP B2H Coalition have outlined many such alternatives (see www.stopb2h.org). I’ve asked the commission to pursue these options, taking into account environmental justice issues and the true cost of the B2H transmission lines to economically disadvantaged rural communities.

Please consider doing the same before the 15th. Write: puc.publiccomments@state.or.us.

Kathryn Andrew

La Grande

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