- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Federal officials say the impacts of a proposed transmission line between New Mexico and Arizona would be minimized under an alternative supported by agencies in both states.

The Bureau of Land Management released its environmental impact statement for the Southline Transmission Line Project on Monday.

Officials say the preferred alternative would avoid negative effects on grape growers and national defense operations near Wilcox, Arizona. The route near Tucson also was moved to avoid residential and economic developments.

In southern New Mexico, the route near Lordsburg now more closely follows existing infrastructure.

The BLM still needs to make a final decision on the project. That could happen early next year.

Developers say the 360-mile-long line would improve reliability of the electrical grid and help bring more electricity generated with renewable resources to regional markets.

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