The BLM has established three solar energy zones (SEZ) in Arizona. These SEZs (Agua Caliente, Brenda, and Gillespie) constitute more than 8,000 acres identified as sites for solar energy development. Along with the identification of SEZs, the BLM has committed to establishing SEZ regional mitigation strategies (SRMS) to identify potential impacts of solar development in SEZs and identify appropriate mitigation measures and processes to address these impacts. SRMS development will be a public, stakeholder driven process.
Elements of a SEZ Regional Mitigation Strategy
- Describe SEZ and regional baseline conditions against which unavoidable impacts are assessed;
- Assess unavoidable impacts and identify which of those warrant offsite mitigation;
- Identify regional mitigation goals;
- Identify a method for calculating recommended mitigation fees for unavoidable adverse impacts;
- Identify and recommend a management structure to hold and apply mitigation investment funds;
- Evaluate and recommend appropriate mitigation investment locations, objectives, and/or actions; and
- Plan to implement mitigation and develop long-term monitoring and adaptive management recommendations to evaluate and maximize the mitigation’s effectiveness.
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