Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Public input sought on copper mine power line route

The public is invited to learn about and comment on plans for a high-voltage transmission line to serve the proposed Rosemont Copper Co. mine southeast of Tucson.

The 138,000-volt line would be carried on steel poles about 75 feet tall, said Joe Salkowski, Tucson Electric Power Co. spokesman.

The line, which would link an existing TEP substation to a substation to be located on the mine site, would be built on a 100-foot-wide right-of-way, leased or purchased, he said.

TEP will hold information and comment meetings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 24 and 25.

TEP employees will be on hand to answer questions about the project and the public is invited to fill out comment cards.

“We want to get the word out that this project is on the horizon and be sure people in the area have the opportunity to offer comments,” he said.

“We expect the location of the line will be of interest to people who live and do business in the area,” Salkowski said. “We also expect comments on environmental sensitivities that exist in the area we ought to pay attention to.”

The meetings are the first step of many to site and construct the power line, Salkowski said.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, a state agency that oversees regulated utilities, will have the final say on route selection for the project, he said.

TEP is working to meet Rosemont’s requested for electric service to the site by early 2011, Salkowski said.

The cost of the project cannot be determined until a final siting plan is in place.

“The route possibilities are too varied at this time. We really don’t have a solid idea of how long this line will extend,” he said. “We need to go through the process to gather feedback from residents so we can see the opportunities and what obstacles people see.”

Rosemont Copper would foot the bill for the project, Salkowski said.

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IF YOU GO

Two information and public comment meetings are planned on a proposed electric transmission line to serve the planned Rosemont Copper Co. mine southeast of Tucson.

The first meeting will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 24 at Acacia Middle School, 12955 E. Colossal Cave Road, in Vail.

The second will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 25 in the Palo Verde Room of the Canoa Hills Social Center, 3660 S. Camino del Sol in Green Valley.

Attendees will learn about the proposed power line and offer written comments on the project.

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ON THE WEB

U.S. Forest Service proposed Rosemont Copper project environmental impact statement site: www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/rosemont/index.shtml

Tucson Electric Power Co. Rosemont transmission line project site: www.tep.com/Company/News/Rosemont/index.asp

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