Sierra Pacific Communications receives permits for fiber optic network

Sept. 13, 2001--ENSR International, an environmental and energy development services firm, has completed environmental permitting of Sierra Pacific Communications' Silver State East Fiber Optic Project.

ENSR International, an environmental and energy development services firm, has completed the $1.5 million environmental permitting of Sierra Pacific Communications' Silver State East Fiber Optic Project. Created in partnership with Touch America, the proposed 600-mile fiber optic network will enable communications for data, voice, and image transmission to the public, businesses, cities, and towns between Reno, Nevada and Spanish Fork, Utah, primarily along U.S. Highways 50 and 6.

To facilitate the permitting process, ENSR worked closely with Sierra Pacific, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Nevada and Utah state agencies. ENSR prepared Sierra Pacific's plan of development, collected environmental and cultural resource data, obtained federal and state permits, and completed an environmental assessment and biological assessment/evaluation.

Valerie Randall, ENSR's project manager, stated that, "Data collected during the cultural resources survey identified four major historic transportation routes that would be affected by the proposed project. Sierra Pacific Communications will mitigate impacts to these historic transportation routes, by establishing a public interpretation program, including a booklet and historical markers, to educate the public and increase public awareness and appreciation."

The broadband network will complete a fiber optic link between Sacramento, Reno, and Salt Lake City, and will provide a back-up system to ensure the reliability of the existing fiber optic network along Interstate 80.

ENSR has also begun the environmental permitting of Sierra Pacific's proposed Silver State South Fiber Optic Project, which will provide fiber optic cable service between Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, ENSR and Sierra Pacific are identifying potential environmental concerns associated with alternate routes between these two cities.

About Sierra Pacific Communications:

Sierra Pacific Communications provides data and communications services to wholesale carriers, large businesses, and ultimately the small office/home office.

About ENSR:

ENSR International is a provider of environmental and energy development services. For more information, visit www.ensr.com.

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