FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Camille Cox, President
Big Park Regional Coordinating Council
Big Park Council Opposes APS Above-Ground Powerline
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (5-23-2021) – Big Park Regional Coordinating Council (BPRCC or Council) formally registered its opposition to Arizona Public Service’s (APS) proposed above-ground powerline into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) at its May 13th public meeting. The two-part motion was approved 12-0 with two abstentions.
The first-part of the motion supports partial burial of a 10-15 mile 69-kV high-voltage line in VOC as well as adjacent areas of Coconino National Forest designated by the U.S. Forest Service as high-value scenic areas.
The second-part of the motion supports, as an alternative to burying the powerline, a feasibility study, including costs, of building a solar-powered community microgrid that would promote resilience and important backup in the event of power outages, and to support future power demand in the community.
Council President Camille Cox said she was pleased with the outcome, which was the result of extensive research on the issue and meetings with Forest Service and APS representatives over the past 18 months.
“This action, which received overwhelming support of Council representatives, confirms the results of our survey earlier this year in which respondents expressed strong reservations with the APS proposal,” Cox said. She noted that the top three concerns cited in the survey were the project’s negative impact on the iconic Red Rock views that attract millions of visitors to the Sedona area each year, increased wildland fire risk posed by an above-ground powerline atop 65-foot high poles, and property values.
“The position approved by the Council will be formally conveyed to the Forest Service when it publishes a draft environmental assessment of the project for public comment,” Cox added.
ABOUT Big Park Regional Coordinating Council
The BPRCC was created in 1996 and has since been representing the Big Park Region, including the Village of Oak Creek. The Council represents between 25-30 Residential, Business and Educational organizations who, in turn, represent more than 8,000 individuals. Where appropriate, the Council provides input to County, State and Federal agencies. For more information, visit bigparkcouncil.org.