BPA offers $25k reward in insulator shootings
Mar 21,2008 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources
PRINEVILLE, Ore. -- The Bonneville Power Administration is investigating and offering a reward for information in connection with an incident that occurred in Central Oregon.  Late last month, BPA officials discovered insulators damaged by firearms along a 230-kilovolt power line near Prineville. Insulators are a critical part of the high-voltage transmission system because they ensure that electricity stays in the power lines and does not enter steel lattice towers or poles along which the insulators are strung.
BPA is offering a $25,000 reward in connection with the shooting of insulators similar to the one shown above in the Central Oregon area.
"These insulators keep our linemen and anyone in the general area of these towers safe," said Bob Fouse, BPA regional manager in Redmond, Oregon. "When insulators are damaged, it creates an extreme and immediate danger. Anyone near the transmission towers is at risk of a strong electric shock, at the very least, and possibly even serious injury or death."

Because of this potential danger, Fouse said it's important that hunters and others using firearms in the vicinity of high-voltage power lines remember to always use caution when shooting. 

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of someone who purposefully shot the insulators could lead to a reward.  Under its Crime Witness program, BPA provides rewards up to $25,000. Anyone who has information about this incident should call BPA's Crime Witness hotline at (800) 437-2744.

BPA is a not-for-profit federal electric utility that markets more than a third of the electricity consumed in the Pacific Northwest. The power is produced at 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant in the Northwest and is sold to more than 140 Northwest utilities. BPA operates a high-voltage transmission grid comprising more than 15,000 miles of lines and associated substations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.