TGP Dixie Development Company, LLC, Coyote Canyon and Dixie Meadows Geothermal Exploration Environmental Assessment
This Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzes the potential impacts associated with the proposed construction and testing of geothermal exploration wells, access roads, and ancillary facilities in Dixie Valley, Churchill County, Nevada (see links in column to the right).
TGP Dixie Development Company (TGP) proposes to explore the geothermal resource potential of the Coyote Canyon (CC) and Dixie Meadows (DM) lease areas in Dixie Valley, which are located primarily on federal lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM is the lead agency for this EA in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (40 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] Parts 1500-1508). The purpose of the geothermal exploration is to confirm that sufficient reservoir capacity is available to allow long-term production. This EA analyzes potential impacts from the proposed exploration and testing activities at the CC and DM sites. Because both geothermal drilling projects have similar timing, geography, and types of actions, BLM has determined that the two proposals would be analyzed in one EA. The exploration activities are referred to as the Proposed Actions. The geothermal leases held by TGP for the CC exploration project contain 7,681 acres (CC lease area). The geothermal leases held by TGP for the DM exploration project contain 3,960 acres. The Proposed Action for DM also includes an area known as the Lamb Mineral Interests (760 acres). TGP owns the mineral rights for this land, along with the right to surface use in exercise of mineral rights. The U.S. Navy owns the land surface. Although the BLM does not have any jurisdiction to permit any surface activities, and no BLM action is required for exercise of these mineral rights, information on project activities there is included in this EA because they are part of the overall project described for Dixie Meadows.
TGP proposes to conduct geothermal exploration in a portion of each lease area called the project area. Figures 2 and 3 show the lease areas and project areas for each site. An Operations Plan to drill and test up to 15 explorations wells at the CC project area and to drill and test up to 15 exploration wells at the DM project area was submitted to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Stillwater Field Office (SFO) in September 2009. A revised Operations Plan was submitted in October 2009. In addition to the exploration drilling program, mineral material sales contracts would be required for aggregate material obtained from BLM-managed gravel pits. These contracts (one for CC and one for DM) would be for less than 50,000 cubic yards of aggregate and less than 5 acres of subsurface disturbance each.
Individual Geothermal Drilling Permits (GDPs) would be issued separately from this document.