Yellowstone Seeks Comment On Energy Company Proposal To Upgrade Substations and Land Mobile Radio System
National Park Service
Yellowstone National Park
Al Nash or Dan Hottle
The NPS is planning to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to analyze impacts associated with a proposal by NorthWestern Energy to construct seven new 60-foot towers, small equipment buildings, back-up power generators, and propane fuel tanks at seven existing substation sites inside the park.
These infrastructure improvements are being proposed to provide remote computer monitoring and control of the electrical distribution system and to replace an obsolete radio communications system utility crews need when working inside Yellowstone. These improvements are intended to reduce the number and duration of power outages in the park, which impact the visitor experience, park operations, and visitor and employee safety, and to improve safe communications for utility crews during repair operations.
The first step in preparing an environmental assessment is to ask the public to help identify issues or concerns that park staff should consider. This process, known as public scoping, is now open and runs through June 13, 2013.
The public is encouraged to attend one of the following public meetings to learn more about the proposal:
- Tuesday, May 21 in Cody, Wyo.: Park County Library Grizzly Hall, 1500 Heart Mountain Street
Both open house-style meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and are scheduled to conclude by 7:45 p.m.
Additional information on the proposal along with instructions on how to submit comments online at the National Park Service's Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NWEPlan.
Respondents are encouraged to submit their comments through the PEPC website. Comments may also be mailed to the National Park Service, Compliance Office, Attn: NorthWestern Energy Communication and Automation Plan, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Comments may also be hand-delivered during normal business hours to the Mailroom in the park's Administration Building in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming.
This project will be developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and other applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other way than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. Comments must be received by midnight MDT, June 13, 2013.
- www.nps.gov/yell -
Did You Know?
The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.