January 26, 2015

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SunZia Southwest Transmission Project Receives Approval from the U.S. Department of Interior

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite congratulates our client, SunZia Transmission, LLC for receiving approval of its electric transmission project from the U.S. Department of Interior. On January 24, 2015, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the Department's approval to use the federal lands needed to build the 515-mile SunZia Southwest Transmission Project stretching from New Mexico to Arizona.

The SunZia Project was one of the seven job-creating, electric grid-modernizing projects the Obama Administration identified for inclusion in the pilot program to streamline and expedite the permitting of new transmission facilities. SunZia is the fourth of seven to successfully complete the NEPA process.

The signing of a Record of Decision authorizing the use of BLM lands needed for the SunZia transmission line was the successful conclusion of the NEPA process for the SunZia Project. Reaching this regulatory milestone is a testament to the dedication of SunZia's talented project development team and the hard work of the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona and New Mexico.

The 6-year environmental review process explored complicated issues involving wetlands, endangered species, migratory birds, land use, major river crossings, and historic and cultural resources. During the NEPA process, BLM conducted numerous stakeholder and public meetings, fielded and responded to thousands of comments, and prepared a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Assessment identifying, disclosing, and analyzing the potential impacts of the SunZia Project on the environment.

Jim Sanderson and Sam Lofland led the team of Ryley Carlock lawyers who served as SunZia's counsel in working through environmental and public lands issues. Ryley Carlock is proud to have played a role in this successful effort to add to critically needed electric transmission infrastructure in the Southwestern region.

SunZia's Official Announcement
Bureau of Land Management's Announcement
Sampling of News Coverage: ABC News | KRWG Public Radio | KOAT Albuquerque Law Week Colorado
If you have questions about the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, please contact one of the following attorneys:



Jim Sanderson

  Sam Lofland