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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
California Desert District
 
Release Date: 08/30/12
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220 or  
  Stephen Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CDD-12-69

BLM Sets Scoping Meetings for Rio Mesa Solar Project Transmission


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced two scoping meetings to initiate environmental review of the proposed generation-interconnection (gen-tie) transmission line for the Rio Mesa Solar Project in Riverside County, approximately 13 miles southwest of Blythe, Calif.  The meetings will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, in Palm Desert and Blythe, Calif.

The first meeting will be at the UCR Palm Desert Center Auditorium, 75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert, CA 92211, from noon until 2 p.m.  The second will be held at Palo Verde College, One College Drive,  Blythe, CA 92225, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The meetings are part of a 30-day public-scoping period ending Sept. 28, 2012.  During the scoping period, BLM will solicit scoping comments on Rio Mesa Solar Holdings, LLC’s request for a right-of-way (ROW) authorization to develop, construct, operate, maintain, and decommission the 10-mile gen-tie line, a three-mile service power line, and three miles of access roads on BLM-managed land.   Specifically, BLM is seeking issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action and will use them to prepare the draft environmental documents to be available for public review later this year.

The 500-megawatt solar-generation facility itself would be sited on nearby private land and requires approval by the California Energy Commission.  (See http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/riomesa/index.html for information on that process.)  BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the site-specific impacts of the proposed right-of-way (ROW) grant for the gen-tie, service power line, and access roads on public land.  The EIS also will analyze the generation facility as a connected action.  Concurrently, the ROW grant, if approved, would require an amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan. 

Further details can be found on the web at http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/Solar_Projects/Rio_Mesa.html or by contacting Cedric Perry, Project Manager, at (951) 697-5388, or e-mail CARioMesa@blm.gov.




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

Last updated: 08-30-2012