BLM seeks public input on proposed south-central Idaho wind project
TWIN FALLS, Idaho–The Bureau of Land Management Shoshone Field Office is seeking public comment on the draft environmental impact statement for the Lava Ridge Wind Project, a commercial-scale wind energy facility of up to 400 turbines proposed to be constructed on approximately 84,000 acres of Federal, State and private land about 25 miles northeast of Twin Falls in south-central Idaho.
The public’s valuable input during development of the draft environmental impact statement helped the BLM identify two preferred alternatives that seek to balance clean energy production with a reduced potential for impacts to historic, cultural, Tribal and land-use values. In addition, BLM’s Idaho Resource Advisory Council formed a subcommittee consisting of a wide range of interests to research, gather information and listen to public input about the Lava Ridge Wind Project to ultimately form a recommendation to the BLM.
“We appreciate the feedback we have received as this environmental impact statement has taken shape and look forward to additional input from the public and our stakeholders,” said BLM Twin Falls District Manager Mike Courtney. “The public's input at this point in the environmental impact statement process is critical to a thorough analysis–particularly considering such important issues as impacts to Tribes, the Minidoka National Historic site, greater sage-grouse and livestock grazing.”
Magic Valley Energy, LLC, an affiliate of LS Power, is seeking authorization to construct the Lava Ridge Wind Project in Jerome, Lincoln and Minidoka counties. The BLM will publish a notice of availability in the Federal Register to initiate a 60-day public comment period on the range of alternatives and the impact analysis in the draft environmental impact statement.
The BLM intends to hold both in-person and virtual public meetings during the comment period to share information and help the public and stakeholders make informed comments. The locations, dates and times of these meetings will be announced on the project website at least 15 days prior to the first meeting.
The BLM will accept public comments through March 21, 2023. Substantive comments that identify factual errors, data gaps, relevant methods or scientific studies are the most helpful. Comments can be submitted the following ways:
- The preferred way to comment is through the BLM’s ePlanning project site at https://bit.ly/3uu3BuV. Click on the “Participate Now” button to the right of the document link. Enter your comment and information, then click “Submit.”
- Through e-mail to BLM_ID_LavaRidge@blm.gov.
- Delivered by hand or U.S. Mail enclosed in an envelope labeled “Lava Ridge Wind Project EIS,” to Kasey Prestwich, Project Manager, BLM Shoshone Field Office, 400 West F Street, Shoshone, ID 83352.
For more information on the draft environmental impact statement, contact Project Manager Kasey Prestwich, firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-732-7204.
Those who provide comments should be aware that the entire comment–including personal identifying information like their address, phone number or e-mail address–may be made publicly available at any time. While commenters may ask to have their personal identifying information withheld from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that they will be able to do so.
The BLM manages vast stretches of public lands that have the potential to make significant contributions to the nation’s renewable energy portfolio. To promote our clean energy goals, the BLM provides sites for environmentally sound development of renewable energy on public lands. These efforts to deploy renewable energy from our nation’s public lands support the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as Congress’ direction in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.