The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Western Area Power Administration (Western) have released a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Southline Transmission Project.

The DEIS publication represents a significant milestone for the project and provides an opportunity for the public to review the potential impacts of the proposed project and to submit comments to BLM and Western.

Southline Transmission parent company Hunt Power president Hunter Hunt said, "We are proud to put forward a project that will meet critical electric power needs for the region while respecting and preserving important local resources."

The Southline Transmission Project is a proposed 360m transmission line to deliver electricity across southern New Mexico and southern Arizona, relieving congestion, strengthening the current electrical system and improving transmission access for local renewable and other energy sources.

The project comprises two segments, of which the first is a new double-circuit 345kV transmission line that would link existing substations at Afton, New Mexico, and Apache, Arizona.

The second segment would involve an upgrade and rebuild of about 120m of existing transmission lines from 115kV to double-circuit 230kV in order to provide increased capacity to transmit electricity between Apache and the Saguaro Substation, Arizona.

Public hearings to provide information and to receive comments on the DEIS have been scheduled in May 2014.