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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southwest  |  Topic: NOI to prepare EIS for Proposed Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium Palen « previous next »
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« on: November 22, 2009, 11:43:38 am »

[Federal Register: November 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 224)]
[Notices]               
[Page 61169-61171]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23no09-83]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[CACA 048810 and CACA 048811, LLCAD06000 L5101 ER0000 LVRBW09B26000]

 
Notice of Intent To Prepare Two Environmental Impact Statements/
Staff Assessments for the Proposed Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar
Millennium Palen and Blythe Solar Power Plants, Riverside County, CA
and Possible Land Use Plan Amendments

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act
of 1976, as amended, and the California Environmental Quality Act
(CEQA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Palm Springs South Coast
Field Office, Palm Springs, California, together with the California
Energy Commission (CEC), intend to prepare two Environmental Impact

[[Page 61170]]

Statements (EIS)/Staff Assessments (SAs), which may include an
amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan (1980,
as amended) and by this notice are announcing the beginning of the
scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the Draft
EIS/SAs and possible plan amendment. Comments on issues may be
submitted in writing until December 23, 2009. The dates and locations
of scoping meetings, information hearings, and site visits will be
announced at least 15 days in advance through local media and the BLM
Web site at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings.html and the
CEC Web sites at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/solar_
millennium_palen/index.html and http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/
solar_millennium_blythe/index.html. To be considered in the Draft
EIS/SAs, all comments must be received prior to the close of the
scoping period or 15 days after the last public meeting, whichever is
later. We will provide additional opportunities for public
participation upon publication of the Draft EIS/SAs.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on issues and planning criteria
related to the Proposed Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium Palen
and Blythe Solar Power Plants EIS/SAs and CDCA Plan amendment by any of
the following methods:
     E-mail: asolomon@energy.state.ca.us,
CAPSSolarPalen@blm.gov, or CAPSSolarBlythe@blm.gov.
     Fax: (760) 833-7199.
     Mail or hand delivery: Alan Solomon, Project Manager,
Siting, Transmission and Environmental Protection Division, CEC, 1516
Ninth Street, MS-15, Sacramento, California 95814 or Holly L. Roberts,
Project Manager, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, BLM, 1201 Bird
Center Drive, Palm Springs, California 92262.
    The administrative record of this proposal may be examined at the
Palm Springs South Coast Field Office during normal business hours.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or to have
your name added to our mailing list, contact Alan Solomon, CEC project
manager at telephone (916) 653-8236, or address 1516 Ninth Street, MS-
15, Sacramento, CA 95814, or e-mail asolomon@energy.state.ca.us; or
Allison Shaffer, BLM project manager at telephone (760) 833-7100, or
address Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office, BLM, 1201 Bird Center
Drive, Palm Springs, California 92262, or e-mail CAPSSolarPalen@blm.gov
or CAPSSolarBlythe@blm.gov. Information on participating in the CEC's
review of the project may also be obtained through the CEC's Public
Advisor's Office at (916) 654-8236 or toll free in California, (800)
822-6228, or by e-mail: publicadviser@energy.state.ca.us. News media
inquiries should be directed to the CEC's media office at (916) 654-
4989, or mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us. You can also subscribe to an
email notification list of all notices at: http://www.energy.ca.gov/
listservers.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Chevron Energy Solutions/Solar Millennium
(CESSM) has applied for two separate right-of-way (ROW) authorizations
to construct and operate the Palen and Blythe solar thermal power
plants in eastern Riverside County, California with an expected
combined capacity of 1,452 megawatts (MW) using solar parabolic trough
generating stations. Approximately 10,100 acres of BLM-administered
public land are needed to develop the two projects.
    Pursuant to the BLM's CDCA Plan, sites associated with power
generation or transmission not identified in the CDCA Plan will be
considered through the plan amendment process. Under Federal law, the
BLM is responsible for processing requests for ROWs to authorize solar
projects and associated transmission lines and other associated
facilities on the land it manages. Under California law, the CEC is
responsible for reviewing applications for certification (AFC) filed
for thermal power plants over 50 MW. The CEC also serves as lead agency
for the environmental review of such projects under CEQA. On August 24,
2009, CESSM submitted to the CEC AFCs for the Palen and Blythe
projects.
    The Palen site is 10 miles east of Desert Center, California and a
half mile north of Interstate 10; the Blythe site is eight miles west
of Blythe, California and three miles north of Interstate 10. The Palen
facility will be constructed in two phases, while the Blythe facility
will be constructed in four phases.
    The proposed Palen Solar Power Project would consist of two
parabolic trough solar thermal power plants, each of which would have a
solar field comprised of rows of parabolic mirrors focusing solar
energy on collector tubes. The tubes would carry heated oil to a
boiler, which would then send steam to a turbine. The two phases would
generate approximately 484 MW of electricity. The two power plants
would share administrative buildings, parking areas, maintenance
buildings, switch yards, bioremediation areas, wastewater treatment
facilities, access and maintenance roads, and perimeter fencing. The
project would also include a natural gas pipeline, communication lines,
and a 230 kV transmission line. The total expected project footprint
would be approximately 3,800 acres. During construction, the project
would require approximately 1,100 acre-feet of water for dust control
and soil compaction. During operation, the project would require
approximately 300 acre-feet of water per year. CESSM proposes to use
water from new wells.
    The proposed Blythe Solar Power Project would consist of four
parabolic trough solar thermal power plants similar to the Palen
project. The four power plants would generate approximately 968 MW of
electricity. All four plants would share administrative buildings,
parking areas, maintenance buildings, switch yards, bioremediation
areas, wastewater treatment facilities, access and maintenance roads,
and perimeter fencing. The project would also include a natural gas
pipeline, communication lines, and a 500 kV transmission line. The
total expected project footprint would be approximately 6,300 acres.
During construction, the project would require approximately 3, 100
acre feet of water for dust control and soil compaction. During
operation, the project would require approximately 600 acre-feet of
water per year. CESSM proposes to use water from new wells. If
approved, both projects would begin construction in late 2010. The
purpose of the public scoping process is to determine relevant issues
that will influence the scope of the environmental analysis, including
alternatives, and guide the process for developing the EISs. The BLM
has identified the following preliminary issues: special area
designations, air quality, biological resources, hazardous materials,
recreation, cultural resources, water resources, geological resources,
land use, noise, paleontological resources, public health,
socioeconomics, soils, traffic and transportation, and visual
resources.
    Authorization of these proposals may require amendment of the CDCA
Plan. By this notice, the BLM is complying with requirements in 43 CFR
1610.2(c) to notify the public of potential amendments to land use
plans, subject to the findings of the EISs. If a land use plan
amendment is necessary, the BLM will integrate the land use planning
process with the NEPA process for these projects.
    The BLM will use the NEPA commenting process to satisfy the

[[Page 61171]]

public involvement process for Section 106 of the National Historic
Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f) as provided for in 36 CFR
800.2(d)(3). Native American Tribal consultations will be conducted and
Tribal concerns will be given due consideration, including impacts on
Indian trust assets. Federal, State, and local agencies, along with
Tribes and other stakeholders that may be interested or affected by the
BLM's decision on this project, are invited to participate in the
scoping process and, if eligible, may request or be requested by the
BLM to participate as a cooperating agency.
    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be
able to do so.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1501.7 and 43 CFR 1610.2.

Tom Pogacnik,
Deputy State Director for Natural Resources, BLM California State
Office.
[FR Doc. E9-27961 Filed 11-20-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-40-P

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