/ Modified jan 27, 2015 9:38 a.m.

Power Line Project Gets Final Federal Permit

Environmental groups plan challenge

Listen:

LISTEN
Power Line Power lines

The SunZia project, an extra-high voltage power line proposed to run 515 miles from Southern Arizona to New Mexico, has received a permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The BLM permit was the final hurdle from the federal government that SunZia had to clear, and the company now forecasts construction to start in early 2016.

“The next step is to seek approval from the regulatory bodies in Arizona and New Mexico,” said SunZia's Ian Calkins.

The project would build 135-foot towers through parts of Graham, Cochise, Pima and Pinal counties.

Find a proposed project map here.

That includes a planned stretch traveling alongside, and ultimately crossing the San Pedro River, which is the part of the plan that environmental groups and local property owners are fighting.

The Sierra Club is working with the Cascabel Working Group, a collective of homeowners who live near the planned SunZia line, close to the San Pedro, and those groups say they are not alone.

“All of the environmental organizations here in Southern Arizona are working on this," said Cascabel Working Group's Mick Meader, "and are working on a challenge to the [Environmental Impact Statement].”

A challenge to the validity or thoroughness of the EIS could hold up SunZia's timeline for beginning construction.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona