News Release

For Release: June 20, 2008      
Contacts:  John Dearing (916) 978-4622; David Christy (916) 985-4474; or Steve Razo (951) 697-5217
CA-SO-08-04

Additional Public Scoping Meetings Planned in California for Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Department of Energy have added two additional public scoping meetings in San Luis Obispo and El Centro to seek public input on the Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

The two additional public meetings will begin at 6 p.m. at the following locations:

• Wednesday, July 9, 2008, San Luis Obispo at the Embassy Suites, 333 Madonna Road;

• Thursday, July 10, 2008, El Centro at the County Administration Center, 940 West Main Street, Suite 211.

The purpose of the PEIS is to analyze the potential impacts of solar energy development in a six-state area, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. 
 
The additional meetings were added because of the high public interest in alternative energy development.  Similar meetings began June 16 in Riverside and continued June 17 in Barstow and June 19 in Sacramento.  Other meetings are scheduled in Albuquerque, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, and Salt Lake City.
 
The scoping meetings begin with onsite registration at 6 p.m., followed by an introductory presentation at 6:30 p.m. on solar energy technologies and market prospects; the proposed actions and scope of the PEIS, including proposed alternatives and environmental issues and impacts to be analyzed; and the public participation process. Oral comments from the public will begin immediately after the presentation.
 
The public is invited to preregister for scoping meetings online at http://solareis.anl.gov/  (see “Getting Involved”) by following the "Register for Meeting" link under each meeting listing. The pre-registration period closes at 2 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the day of each public meeting.  The public can also register onsite.  At each meeting, federal, tribal, state and local elected officials will be allowed to speak first, if such a request is made. Other speakers will be provided the opportunity to present their comments in the order in which their speaker card or pre-registration request is received.
 
Speakers will be allocated approximately three minutes for oral statements. Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak, longer speaking times may be allowed. Meetings will begin at the time specified and will continue until all those present who wish to participate have had an opportunity to do so. Should any speaker wish to provide further information that cannot be presented within the designated time, information may be submitted in writing or electronically according to the commenting instructions at http://solareis.anl.gov/
 
More information on solar applications in California is available from BLM at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/alternative_energy/SolarEnergy.html.

-BLM-