Construction of a new 24-mile transmission line is set to start next year just north of Soda Springs. But a Caribou County commissioner tells Local News 8 farmers are worried the line will encroach on prime farmland.
“The line goes through some of the best barley dry farm ground in the state of Idaho. It’s very productive ground, and farmers lose a lot of land when that goes through there for the poles,” said Caribou County Commissioner Phil Christensen.
The Oregon-based Bonneville Power Administration plans to build its Hooper Springs substation just north of the existing Pacificorp substation on Three Mile Knoll Road. The transmission line would then run north and east across miles of private farmland.
“It has to go through some farmland, but what we proposed was a lot less farmland,” said Christensen.
But the BPA said the $65 million transmission project would have cost $9 million more had it selected the route commissioners wanted.
Christensen said the county continues to oppose the project, but a BPA spokesman told Local News 8 its decision is final.
The BPA said it will spend the rest of the year working to acquire property rights along the transmission line route. It said it’s working with landowners to minimize any impacts.