NPPD is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. We are dedicated to protecting environmental quality while meeting the energy needs of Nebraska. We recognize that how we interact with the environment is of vital importance to you. It is to us, too. That’s why we continuously explore ways to minimize the environmental footprint in all aspects of NPPD’s activities.
The landscape of the Sandhills is truly unique, which is why NPPD’s engineering team and environmental experts work together to determine low-impact methods to construct the transmission line. We will employ modern construction techniques when building the line and take precautions around river crossings, creeks, and wetlands.
NPPD will use a combination of steel poles and lattice towers for the R-Project. The steel poles will typically be used on sections of the project that have relatively good access or are near established roads and cultivated fields.
Lattice towers will be installed on sections of the project that have limited access. Lattice towers minimize impacts to fragile soils due to construction options. For example, the main upper portion of a lattice tower can be erected with a helicopter, which means only a small crane will be needed for the legs, and helical pier foundations can be used instead of concrete foundations.
NPPD will use matting, minimize traffic, and use low-ground-pressure vehicles to minimize impact and will provide full, long-term restoration of access paths/overland travel routes. Annual inspection and maintenance are done by helicopter or ATV and light trucks.
RESTORATION IS A PRIORITY
One of NPPD’s goals for the entire R-Project is to minimize impacts to landowners’ property. We chose construction methods that are less invasive and are suitable for the particular terrain. Where disturbance occurs that needs to be restored, we will seek landowner input on their respective restoration experiences. We have consulted with a variety of agencies who have restoration experts on staff. After transmission line construction, it is one of our priorities to restore the property to as close to the original state as possible. To do so will require NPPD and landowners to work together closely. In addition, NPPD will have an individual on staff dedicated to right-of-way restoration.
APPROACH TO RESTORATION
NPPD has constructed, operated, and maintained approximately 500 miles of transmission lines in the Sandhills for many years. We have and will continue to work in partnership with landowners, local agencies, and restoration experts to ensure the landscape is returned to its natural beauty.
Agencies we have spoken with about restoration:
- University of Nebraska – Lincoln
- Natural Resources Districts
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Nebraska Department of Roads