The DEIS analyzes the potential impacts of opening public lands to geothermal leasing and potential development of federally owned geothermal resources in the HGLA of southwestern Inyo County, California, east of the Inyo National Forest, west of the China Lake Naval Weapons Station, and south of the South Haiwee Reservoir. The HGLA consists of an estimated 22,060 acres of BLM-administered public lands that would be considered for competitive geothermal leasing under 43 CFR 3203.10(e). The proposed action is to amend the CDCA Plan to identify as suitable and allow project area lands to be leased under the authority of the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970, as amended (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). The need for federal action and the EIS arises from three non-competitive lease applications that are currently pending with BLM for approximately 4,500 acres of federal mineral estate within the proposed HGLA. The purpose of the proposed action is to additionally authorize the three pending non-competitive lease applications with modification.
The public lands being considered for geothermal leasing in the HGLA are located in sections 11-14, 23-26, 35, and 36 in Township 21 South, Range 37 East; sections 7-10, 15, 17-22, 27-34 in Township 21 South, Range 38 East; sections 1, 2, 11, and 12 in Township 22 South, Range 37 East; and sections 5-8 in Township 22 South, Range 38 East, all within the Mount Diablo Meridian.
Alternatives thus far identified for evaluation in the EIS include: (A) open the entire HGLA to geothermal exploration and development, with limited restrictions on water use and authorizing the pending leases, (B) close the HGLA to geothermal exploration and development and deny the pending leases, (C) open the HGLA to geothermal exploration and development with additional specific stipulations and restrictions regarding surface occupancy and water use and authorizing the pending leases, (D) selective closure of sensitive resource areas within the HGLA to geothermal exploration and development, opening those areas not closed, and authorizing the pending leases, and (E) the no action alternative, which would not identify the HGLA as suitable or unsuitable for geothermal exploration, development, and utilization, and denying the pending leases.
The BLM published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS on September 11, 2009, in the Federal Register, Volume 74, Number 175. Publication of the NOI initiated a public scoping period, which included four public scoping meetings. Throughout the public scoping process the BLM received 14 comment letters and numerous verbal comments. Comments received through the scoping process and consultation identified the following issues and concerns to be considered when developing the EIS: the BLM’s purpose and need, alternatives development, air quality, geothermal resources, hazardous materials, Native American concerns, potential land use conflicts with agriculture and recreation, public health and safety, social and economic issues, transportation, noise, cumulative impacts, cultural resources, wildlife, visual resources, and surface or groundwater resources.
The BLM, in compliance with FLPMA, NEPA, and all other relevant Federal law, Executive orders, and management policies of the BLM, is using an interdisciplinary approach in development of the plans, working collaboratively, in order to consider the variety of resource issues and concerns identified.
Public comments received will be used in the development of the Final EIS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. All written comments must be received by August 2, 2012, and should be submitted to the BLM's California Desert District Office, Attn: Peter Godfrey, HGLA Project Manager, 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.
updated August 10, 2012
Public Meetings and Hearings
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced public meetings in Lone Pine and Ridgecrest to assist the public in preparing comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Haiwee Geothermal Leasing Area (HGLA) and proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.
Public meetings have been scheduled for:
June 13, 2012
Boulder Creek RV Resort, 2550 S. Hwy 395, Lone Pine, CA from 6PM - 9PM
|June 14, 2012||SpringHill Suites, 113 E. Sydnor Ave, Ridgecrest, CA from 6PM - 9PM|
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Peter Godfrey, Project Manager, telephone (951) 697-5385; address: 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553; email: Peter_Godfrey@blm.gov.
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.