Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) are studying environmental impacts and proposed routes of a new 500-kilovolt electric transmission line project in portions of Colusa and Sutter counties. The Colusa-Sutter Transmission Line would provide SMUD with a new connection to the existing California-Oregon Transmission Project (COPT) line in Colusa County by linking it to a new substation near the existing O’Banion Substation in neighboring Sutter County, with potential modifications to SMUD’s existing Elverta Substation in Sacramento County.

How does this affect us directly?

There are a number of specific concerns that have been identified regarding the proposed CoSu Transmission Line Project. Agricultural operations are inextricably linked to the land and the continued viability of the overlying business, and the ground on which they operate is dependent upon careful used of the land. In many cases multiple generations of the same families have cared for the lands subject to the Project and have been able to keep farming because they are able to effectively adapt to changes affecting their operations. Large infrastructure through properties severely inhibit the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

Over 25% of farms in Colusa County are under 50 acres. Easement requirements and loss of production capacity as a result of the Project have the potential to impose devastating economic impacts to all farming operations and the families they all support, regardless of farm size. Smaller operations are particularly sensitive to economic impacts, making them more vulnerable to economic losses precipitated by the project. Significant loss of farmable acreage will result from the procurement of easements and access roads required for the project and on-going maintenance of transmission lines.

Impacts to private and public lands within Colusa and Sutter counties include:

  • Restrictions to current and future farming practices

  • Negative impacts to migratory and mon-migratory bird species

  • Lowering of land values

  • Loss of crop production capacity

  • Public safety concerns

  • Impacts to farming operations

  • Environmental concerns

  • Neither Colusa or Sutter counties will benefit from or receive power transmitted through his proposed new transmission line

  • All of these impacts encompass long-term concerns

It may not be possible to quantify the economic impacts to the local community, yet it is known that removal of agricultural land from active operations impacts all of the businesses supporting the operations such as equipment dealers, processing, facilities and labor.

CFBF members reflect multi-generational Ag operations, who have lived with utility infrastructure on their property for decades. Regulatory standards have grown increasingly restrictive for farming operations which coexist with utility infrastructure, our members recognize that the effects on the operations cannot be fully predicted and the Project will result in unanticipated consequence which will continue to compromise family farms regardless of crop type.