EnergÍa Sierra JuÁrez Transmission Line EIS
Photograph is illustrative - does not depict the proposed ESJ transmission line. Courtesy of Cardno ENTRIX

About the Project

Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. Transmission, LLC (ESJ), a subsidiary of Sempra U.S. Gas and Power, has applied to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a Presidential permit to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a 1.7-mile transmission line (0.65 miles in the U.S.) across the international border between the U.S. and Mexico, near the town of Jacumba, California. A DOE Presidential permit is required before anyone can construct, operate, maintain, and connect an electric transmission line across the U.S. border. DOE must decide whether to issue a Presidential permit for the project.

DOE published a Federal Register “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment and to Conduct Public Scoping Meetings; Baja Wind U.S. Transmission, LLC” on August 4, 2008 (73 FR 45218), held public scoping meetings in Jacumba, California, on August 28, 2008, and solicited written and electronic comments on the scope of the Environmental Assessment. Based on the comments received, DOE determined that an EIS would be the appropriate NEPA document for the proposed Presidential permit. Accordingly, on February 25, 2009, DOE issued in the Federal Register a “Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. Transmission, LLC” (74 FR 8517), but did not open an additional scoping period; however, it did indicate that any additional comments received would be considered to the extent practicable.

On September 17, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS in the Federal Register. Simultaneously, DOE published its Notice of Availability and Public Hearings (75 FR 57005). The Federal Register notice for the Draft EIS is available in the Document Library section of this website.

On May 29, 2012 the DOE distributed the Final EIS in advance of the publication of the U.S. EPA Notice of Availability. The Final EIS is available in the Document Library section of this website.

On June 8, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the Notice of Availability of the Final EIS in the Federal Register (77 FR 34041). The Federal Register notice for the Final EIS is available in the Document Library section of this website.

In preparing the Final EIS, DOE considered comments received during the scoping period (August 2, 2008, through September 3, 2008) and public comment period on the Draft EIS (September 17, 2010, through November 1, 2010). Comments on the Draft EIS were accepted during the 45-day period following publication of (EPA’s) Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on September 17, 2010; DOE continued to accept late comments to the extent practicable, i.e., until September 2011. During the comment period, public hearings were held in Jacumba, California (October 5, 2010); Boulevard, California (October 6, 2010); and San Diego, California (October 7, 2010). All comments, including the late comments, were considered during preparation of the Final EIS. Volume 3 contains the comments received during the public comment period on the Draft EIS and DOE’s responses to these comments.

The Final EIS addressed the environmental impacts of the proposed transmission line and the range of reasonable alternatives. Six alternatives were identified in the EIS, five of which were carried forward for detailed analysis (the No Action Alternative, a Double-Circuit 230-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line, a Single-Circuit 500-kV Transmission Line, and a revised route for the Double-Circuit 230-kV or Single-Circuit 500-kV Transmission Line). DOE identified the revised Double-Circuit 230-kV route (Alternative 4A) as its preferred alternative. DOE used the Final EIS to ensure that it had the information it needed for informed decision-making. Copies of the Final EIS are available for public review at the Jacumba and Campo-Moreno Village Branch libraries or may be obtained from Mr. Brian Mills. The Final EIS also is available via this website at the FEIS page.

On August 17, 2012, DOE announced its decision to issue a Presidential permit to Energia Sierra Juarez U.S. Transmission, LLC (ESJ), to construct, operate, maintain, and connect a double-circuit, 230,000-volt (230-kV) electric transmission line across the U.S.-Mexico border in eastern San Diego County, California. The U.S. EPA published the Record of Decision (ROD) in the Federal Register (77 FR 49789). The Federal Register notice for the ROD is available in the Document Library section of this website.

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