Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.: Bemidji to Grand Rapids 230 kV Transmission Line Project
The Rural Utilities Service, hereinafter referred to as RUS and/or the Agency, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Bemidji to Grand Rapids 230 kV Transmission Line Project (Project) in Beltrami, Hubbard, Itasca, and Cass counties, Minnesota. The Administrator of RUS has signed the ROD, which is effective upon signing. The RUS, U.S. Forest Service Chippewa National Forest (CNF), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Division of Resource Management (LLBO DRM) cooperated in the development of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (U.S.C. 4231 et seq.) and in accordance with the Council on Environmental Quality's (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508), and RUS's NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR Part 1794). RUS is the lead federal agency as defined at 40 CFR 1501.5, and CNF and USACE are cooperating agencies. LLBO DRM accepted an invitation to participate as a cooperating agency. As the lead federal agency, and as part of its broad environmental review process, RUS must take into account the effect of the proposal on historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C 470f) and its implementing regulation ``Protection of Historic Properties'' (36 CFR Part 800). The Final EIS evaluated the potential environmental impacts of and alternatives to the Project proposed by Minnkota Power Cooperative, Inc. (Minnkota) for RUS financing to construct the 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between the Wilton Substation near Bemidji, Minnesota and the Boswell Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The Project is being jointly developed by Minnkota, Otter Tail Power Company, and Minnesota Power (The Utilities).