U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Arizona State Office
|Release Date: 09/20/13|
COMMENTS FROM PUBLIC SOUGHT ON PROPOSED SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is evaluating an application to build the Maricopa Solar Park Project, a 205-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant west of the City of Maricopa, AZ.
Marisol Energy 2, LLC, is proposing construction of the project on about 1,730 acres of public land managed by the BLM. The project site is about 30 miles southwest of Phoenix and about 8 miles west of the City of Maricopa.
A Notice of Intent published today in the Federal Register signals the formal start of work on an environmental impact statement (EIS), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. Today’s notice begins a scoping period, during which the public can provide direction on what should be considered in preparing the EIS. The 45-day scoping period ends on November 4, 2013. Comments must be received by that date to ensure that they are included in the Draft EIS.
The following public scoping meetings are scheduled:
The public meetings are opportunities to learn more about the proposed project and offer comments related to potential environmental impacts, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts.
Information about the project is available at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/solar/maricopa-solar.html.
The BLM has identified solar energy zones (SEZ) in Arizona and other states. The SEZs have had a preliminary evaluation that shows they have limited resource conflicts and appear to be suitable for solar energy projects. In addition, the BLM Arizona has established renewable energy development areas (REDA) that have been identified as having few known natural resource conflicts and thus suitable for consideration for solar or wind energy development. The proposed site is within a REDA.
Because the proposed site for the Maricopa Solar Park Project is not within a SEZ, a variance was required to allow its application to be considered. Marisol Energy 2, LLC, applied for a variance from the BLM and it was approved by the BLM Washington Office in June 2013. The variance allows BLM Arizona to proceed with the EIS.
Those who desire to comment on the project can do so at a public meeting or by using one of the follow methods:
The public should be aware that addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other personal identifying information may be made public. While withholding personal identifying information can be requested, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the States where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.
|Last updated: 09-20-2013|
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