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California Desert District
Release Date: 02/16/10
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220  
  Stephen Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CA-CDD-10-36

West Chocolate Mountains Renewable Energy Development Public Meeting Set

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold a public scoping open house regarding an environmental review of possible renewable energy development in the area of the West Chocolate Mountains near the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif.  The open house meeting will take place at Calipatria Inn and Suites, 700 N. Sorensen Ave., Calipatria, on March 4, 2010, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

During the open house, the BLM will solicit public comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the environmental analysis of the proposal to consider renewable energy development, including geothermal, solar, and wind, on approximately 21,300 acres of BLM-managed public lands bordered by the Imperial/Riverside County line on the north, the Chocolate Mountains Aerial Bombing and Gunnery Range on the east, the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area on the south and the Imperial Valley agricultural belt on the west.

In order to be considered in the draft environmental impact statement (EIS), all comments must be received by Friday, March 19, 2010.  Upon publication of the draft EIS, there will be additional opportunities for public participation.

The principal issues identified thus far include hydrology; Native American concerns; cumulative impacts of other existing or proposed energy projects in the area; and potential impacts on cultural resources, wildlife, recreation and visual resources.  The draft EIS will also address issues such as geology, geothermal resources, vegetation, threatened or endangered species, air quality, noise, transportation, human health and safety, and socioeconomics, as well as any additional issues raised by the public during the scoping process.

Public comments received will be used in the development of a draft EIS in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  Written comments should be submitted to the BLM's California Desert District Office, Attn: John Dalton, Chocolate Mountains Geothermal Leasing Coordinator, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553.

For more information contact John Dalton at (951) 697-5311 or e-mail, or Daniel Steward, BLM El Centro Field Office branch chief (760) 337-4400 or e-mail


California Desert District   22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553   

Last updated: 02-16-2010