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California Desert District
Release Date: 10/24/12
Contacts: David Briery , (951) 697-5220 or  
  Steve Razo , (951) 697-5217  
News Release No. CDD-13-7

BLM Initiates Environmental Review of Solar Project in California Desert

The Bureau of Land Management yesterday published a Notice of Intent to conduct an environmental review on the impacts of the proposed Soda Mountain Solar Project about six miles southwest of Baker in San Bernardino County, Calif.

Soda Mountain Solar, LLC has requested a right-of-way (ROW) authorization to construct, operate, maintain and decommission an up to 350 megawatt photovoltaic facility along with the necessary ancillary facilities including a project substation, access road, realignment of an existing route, operations and maintenance buildings, and lay-down areas. The project is proposed on 4,397 acres with the solar field occupying approximately 2,691 acres straddling both sides of Interstate 15.

BLM will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the site-specific impacts of the proposed grant of the ROW and a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.  San Bernardino County will analyze the project in support of required permits for water extraction. 

Publication of the NOI initiates a public-scoping period of 30 days, ending Nov. 22, 2012.  During the scoping period, BLM solicits public comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action.  Two joint BLM/County public scoping meetings will be held on Nov. 14 in the Jackrabbit 2 Meeting Room at the Hampton Inn & Suites Barstow, 2710 Lenwood Road, Barstow, CA 92311.  The first meeting will run from 2 to 5 p.m; the second, from 6 to 9 p.m. 

BLM will use the scoping comments received to prepare the draft environmental documents to be available for public review early in 2013.  The EIS will analyze the site-specific impacts on air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, water resources, geological resources and hazards, hazardous materials handling, land use, noise, visual resources, transmission-system engineering, and transmission line safety. 

Further details can be found at the BLM web page:  For information contact Jeffery Childers, Project Manager, (951) 697-5308, or e-mail


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

Last updated: 10-24-2012