Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler Applauds Quick Installation of Marker Balls on Columbia Gorge Transmission Wire

Jaime brought together BPA, FAA to resolve safety issue of unmarked lines

f t # e
Washington, D.C. , December 5, 2016 | comments
Today, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the Bonneville Power Administration’s quick implementation of visibility markers on transition lines suspended over the Columbia River Gorge.
share: f t
Today, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler applauded the Bonneville Power Administration’s quick implementation of visibility markers on transition lines suspended over the Columbia River Gorge.

Community leaders asked Jaime to intervene because the new transmission wires were not marked and posed immediate danger in the navigable air space frequently used by military, training, firefighting, and personal aircraft. The wires were not marked because of an error where the vertical distance of the lines over the river was not taken into account.
Jaime called together the Federal Aviation Administration, Bonneville Power Administration and community leaders at a meeting on July 18. During the meeting, Jaime received a commitment from the FAA and BPA that they would resolve the issue in a timely manner and provide regular progress reports to the community and involved stakeholders.

“I applaud the BPA for making it safer to fly through the Columbia River Gorge – this measure should give pilots time to maneuver safely and make sure catastrophic incidents don’t happen,” said Jaime. “Unmarked wires are the most common fatal hazard for pilots, and we have aircraft constantly flying through the channel conducting military training, fighting forest fires and for other reasons. I appreciate the willingness of BPA to respond to my call to act quickly on behalf of our communities, and pilots who use this airspace.”
f t # e