The Millard County planning and zoning commission wants a temporary moratorium on zoning permits for utility service lines across the county so that impacts can be studied.
The Millard County commission will act on the request for the moratorium during Tuesday's commission meetings.Zoning officials want the moratorium so that it can be determined whether corridors should be designated for such projects as oil and gas lines and power transmission lines. There are no county ordinances relating to utility corridors although power lines extend from the Intermountain Power Plant near Delta.
A proposed natural gas line from the northern to southern borders of Millard County and power lines from Ely, Nev., to the IPP have increased concern among planning and zoning officials to protect the environment and better regulate locations of such projects in the future.
Easements have been obtained from property owners and certification approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for two competing companies to build gas pipelines. Kern River Gas Transmission and WyCal Pipeline have been pushing to get contracts and rights of way. The pipeline, or pipelines, would carry natural gas from southwestern Wyoming to Southern California.
The companies have met with strong opposition along the Wasatch Front, particularly in Bountiful where city officials have appealed to the regional forester of the U.S. Forest Service to reverse a decision made in October by Susan Giannettino, supervisor of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It allows pipelines to pass outside of an existing utility corridor and through more than five miles of forest lands east of Bountiful.
In south-central Utah, Fishlake National forest Supervisor J. Kent Taylor approved a pipeline through the Scipio Pass utility corridor in Millard County. That corridor is identified in the forest resource management plan.
Taylor said the basis for his decision was in adopting the final environmental impact statement for the Mojave-Kern River-Eldorado natural gas pipeline project and the final supplement to the environmental impact statement for the Wyoming-California pipeline project.
A proposed project by the Idaho Power Co. will also affect Millard county. The company has proposed building utility lines from Ely to Delta to connect with a 500 kilovolt transmission line it wants to construct from Southern Idaho to Las Vegas.
An environmental review is under way on that project. Members of the Millard County Planning and Zoning Commission have indicated they would prefer established corridors for all types of transmission lines rather than having them spread throughout the county without any control as to location.