Notice of Intent To Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Leasing of Geothermal Resources, 32679-32680 [07-2921]

Download as PDF sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 13, 2007 / Notices changes incorporated into the Final Bair Island Restoration and Management Plan and EIS and/or through responses to the comments, which are included in the Final EIS. The ROD for the Bair Island Restoration and Management Plan has been prepared by the Service in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. It documents the decision of the Service, based on the information contained in the Final Bair Island Restoration and Management Plan EIS and the entire Administrative Record. The Service adopted and plans to implement Alternative 1, Tidal Marsh Restoration with Moderate Public Access. This alternative has been identified by the Service as the alternative that would best achieve the goal of the restoration plan, the refuge purposes, and contribute toward the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, consistent with sound principles of fish and wildlife science, conservation, legal mandates, and Service policies. The selected alternative would restore Bair Island to a tidal salt marsh to provide habitat for endangered species and other native wildlife as well as to enhance the public’s appreciation and awareness of the unique resources at Bair Island. Once restored, the site will assist with the preservation and recovery of both the California clapper rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse. These two species were listed by the Fish and Wildlife Service as endangered species on October 13, 1970. The restoration of Bair Island would take place in phases. The first phase would be breaching of Outer Bair Island at two locations on Steinberger Slough near its entrance to San Francisco Bay. The second phase would be restoration of Inner and Middle Bair Island by breaching their former commercial salt pond levees after constructing a flow restrictor in Corkscrew Slough and reestablishing the historic meander of Smith Slough on Inner Bair Island. Dredge and/or fill material would raise the bottom elevation of Inner Bair Island to quicken the establishment of vegetated marsh. The third phase, which could take place during or after the first two phases, would be the construction of wildlife oriented public use facilities on Inner Bair Island and a portage with wildlife viewing platform on Outer Bair Island. Inner Bair Island improvements would include a new pedestrian bridge from the existing Refuge parking lot, a 1.8 mile public trail, and two wildlife viewing platforms with interpretive signage. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:30 Jun 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 The Service considered the environmental and relevant concerns presented by agencies, organizations, and individuals and believes that implementing Alternative 1 is the best way to achieve the vision and goals of the restoration project. The selected alternative is also the most consistent with the purposes of the Refuge, the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the recovery actions proposed for the federally listed species found in the area. This alternative recognizes the need to restore habitat essential to the recovery of listed species as well as other tidal wetland dependent native species. The selected alterative also includes appropriate types and levels of recreational access for the public to experience and enjoy the resources being protected. Dated: June 7, 2007. Ken McDermond, Deputy Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. E7–11392 Filed 6–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WO–300–9131–PP] Notice of Intent To Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Leasing of Geothermal Resources AGENCIES: Bureau of Land Management, Interior; and U.S. Forest Service, Agriculture. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Leasing of Geothermal Resources. SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) will prepare a joint Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the leasing of BLM- and USFS-administered lands with moderate to high potential for geothermal resources in eleven western states and Alaska. DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the PEIS. The BLM and the USFS will accept written comments on the scope of the PEIS postmarked by August 13, 2007, and electronic or faxed comments received by August 13, 2007. Public scoping meetings to obtain comments for the PEIS will be held in Anchorage, Alaska; PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32679 Boise, Idaho; Denver, Colorado; Missoula, Montana; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Reno, Nevada; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Times and locations of the scoping meetings will be announced at least 15 days prior to the meetings in the local news media and on the project Web site: http:// www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS. Public scoping will be open until August 13, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • E-mail: geothermal_EIS@blm.gov. • Fax: 1–866–625–0707. • U.S. Mail: Geothermal Programmatic EIS, c/o EMPS Inc., 182 Howard Street, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA 94105. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including information on how to comment, you may contact Jack G. Peterson, Bureau of Land Management at 208–373–4048, Jack_G_Peterson@blm.gov, or Tracy Parker, Forest Service at 703–605–4796, tparker03@fs.fed.us or visit the Programmatic EIS Web site at http:// www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM and the USFS will prepare a joint PEIS for geothermal leasing on BLM- and USFS-administered lands in the western United States (including Alaska) with moderate to high potential for geothermal resources. The U.S. Department of Energy plans to participate as a cooperating agency in view of its special expertise, and may adopt the PEIS to help it more efficiently meet its NEPA review obligations. The analysis area includes BLM- and USFS-administered lands in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This PEIS will not include congressionally withdrawn lands, Wilderness Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, or lands not administered by the BLM or the USFS. For more information related to areas in these states with potential for geothermal resources see the public Web site: http:// www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS. This Web site will include links to many source documents including United States Geological Survey Circular 790 and the Western Governor’s Association Geothermal Task Force Report. Source information will continue to be updated and expanded as a result of this scoping process. The PEIS will be prepared in accordance with applicable Council on Environmental Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1500–1508, and applicable BLM and USFS regulations. E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES 32680 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 113 / Wednesday, June 13, 2007 / Notices Geothermal resources are indirectly used to generate electric power and directly used for many things such as heating buildings and aquaculture. Energy markets are driving increased demand for renewable geothermal energy. Advances in the engineering, technology and economics of geothermal exploration and improvements in the design and development of energy generation facilities have resulted in increased interest in areas with geothermal potential. Several recent Federal and state actions also are driving the increase in renewable energy activity, including geothermal energy leasing, exploration and development activity. These actions include the President’s National Energy Policy; the Western Governors’ Association Geothermal Task Force Report; and the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The goal of the PEIS is to examine the potential impacts of geothermal leasing on certain lands administered by the BLM and the USFS. Completion of the PEIS will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the geothermal leasing and application process on Federal lands. The analysis in the PEIS will serve the following two purposes. (1) Analyze the impacts of leasing in areas that are determined through scoping to have reasonable near-term exploration/development potential for geothermal resources, including areas for which leasing applications have not yet been filed. The PEIS will thereby assist the BLM in determining how best to amend, as appropriate, its land use plans for these areas, by identifying the potential for geothermal development in the areas and determining the areas where geothermal development will be considered as an allowable use. The PEIS will similarly address USFSmanaged lands that have potential for geothermal resources and provide the basis for future geothermal leasing availability analysis and decisions. (2) Enable the BLM to reduce the backlog of lease applications that were pending on BLM- and USFSadministered lands as of January 1, 2005 by at least 90 percent as required by section 225(b)(3) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act gives the BLM until August 8, 2010, to achieve this goal. As of January 1, 2005, there were nearly 100 applications for geothermal leases pending on BLM and USFS lands. The PEIS will include the necessary site specific analysis to facilitate processing of these pending lease applications by deciding whether geothermal leasing is appropriate and under what stipulations they may be leased. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:30 Jun 12, 2007 Jkt 211001 Comments are being solicited so as to determine: (1) The scope of this analysis, (2) significant issues or concerns related to the proposed actions, and (3) alternatives to the proposed actions. The BLM will provide further information at the scoping meetings regarding the locations of, and the planning areas and forests that may be affected by, the actively pending applications. The purpose of the public scoping process is to identify issues that should be addressed in the environmental analysis and the scope of the alternatives. You may submit comments in writing at any public scoping meeting, or you may submit them using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section above. 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. Douglas Burger, Acting Assistant Director, Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection, Bureau of Land Management. Frederick Norbury, Associate Deputy Chief for National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service. [FR Doc. 07–2921 Filed 6–12–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [ID 100 1220MA 214A: DBG071008] Notice of Public Meeting: Joint Recreation Resource Advisory Council Subcommittee to the Boise and Twin Falls Districts, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise and Twin Falls District Recreation Resource Advisory Council (Rec-RAC) Subcommittee, will hold a meeting as indicated below. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The meeting will be held July 12, 2007, beginning at 9 a.m. and adjourning at 12 noon. The meeting will be held at the Oregon Trail Interpretative Center, West Madison Street, Glenns Ferry, Idaho. Public comment periods will be held before the conclusion of the meeting. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: MJ Byrne, Public Affairs Officer and RAC Coordinator, BLM Boise District, 3948 Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705, Telephone (208) 384–3393, or Heather Tiel, Public Affairs Officer, BLM Twin Falls District, 2536 Kimberly Rd., Twin Falls, ID 83301, (208) 735–2076. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with section 4 of the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2005, a Subcommittee has been established to provide advise to the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, in the form of recommendations that relate to public concerns regarding the implementation, elimination or expansion of an amenity recreation fee; or recreation fee program on public lands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service and the BLM in both the Boise and Twin Falls Districts located in southern Idaho. The Resource Advisory Councils in each District have formally approved the members of the new Joint Rec-RAC Subcommittee, including any non-RAC member. Items on the agenda include introductions; review and discussion of roles and responsibilities of the subcommittee members as well as the Coordinators from each of the two agencies. A draft charter will be presented for discussion review and for approval at the Joint RAC meeting of the Boise and Twin Falls RACs to be held in the fall of 2007. Information about the proposed fee changes at sites under the jurisdiction of the two agencies will be presented to enable subcommittee member’s time for review prior to the next meeting when they will be asked to approve fee changes. Agenda items and location may change due to changing circumstances, including wildfire emergencies. All meetings are open to the public. The public may present written comments to the Subcommittee. Each formal subcommittee meeting will also have time allocated for hearing public comments. Depending on the number of persons wishing to comment and time available, the time for individual oral comments may be limited. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation, tour transportation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the BLM Coordinators as provided above. Expedited publication DATES: E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 113 (Wednesday, June 13, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32679-32680]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-2921]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[WO-300-9131-PP]


Notice of Intent To Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement for Leasing of Geothermal Resources

AGENCIES: Bureau of Land Management, Interior; and U.S. Forest Service, 
Agriculture.

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact 
Statement for Leasing of Geothermal Resources.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 
the United States Forest Service (USFS) will prepare a joint 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to analyze the 
leasing of BLM- and USFS-administered lands with moderate to high 
potential for geothermal resources in eleven western states and Alaska.

DATES: This notice initiates the public scoping process for the PEIS. 
The BLM and the USFS will accept written comments on the scope of the 
PEIS postmarked by August 13, 2007, and electronic or faxed comments 
received by August 13, 2007. Public scoping meetings to obtain comments 
for the PEIS will be held in Anchorage, Alaska; Boise, Idaho; Denver, 
Colorado; Missoula, Montana; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Reno, 
Nevada; Sacramento, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Santa Fe, New 
Mexico. Times and locations of the scoping meetings will be announced 
at least 15 days prior to the meetings in the local news media and on 
the project Web site: http://www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS. Public 
scoping will be open until August 13, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: geothermal--EIS@blm.gov.
     Fax: 1-866-625-0707.
     U.S. Mail: Geothermal Programmatic EIS, c/o EMPS Inc., 182 
Howard Street, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA 94105.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including 
information on how to comment, you may contact Jack G. Peterson, Bureau 
of Land Management at 208-373-4048, Jack--G--Peterson@blm.gov, or Tracy 
Parker, Forest Service at 703-605-4796, tparker03@fs.fed.us or visit 
the Programmatic EIS Web site at http://www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM and the USFS will prepare a joint 
PEIS for geothermal leasing on BLM- and USFS-administered lands in the 
western United States (including Alaska) with moderate to high 
potential for geothermal resources. The U.S. Department of Energy plans 
to participate as a cooperating agency in view of its special 
expertise, and may adopt the PEIS to help it more efficiently meet its 
NEPA review obligations. The analysis area includes BLM- and USFS-
administered lands in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, 
Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 
This PEIS will not include congressionally withdrawn lands, Wilderness 
Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, or lands not administered by the BLM or 
the USFS. For more information related to areas in these states with 
potential for geothermal resources see the public Web site: http://
www.blm.gov/Geothermal_EIS. This Web site will include links to many 
source documents including United States Geological Survey Circular 790 
and the Western Governor's Association Geothermal Task Force Report. 
Source information will continue to be updated and expanded as a result 
of this scoping process. The PEIS will be prepared in accordance with 
applicable Council on Environmental Quality regulations at 40 CFR 1500-
1508, and applicable BLM and USFS regulations.

[[Page 32680]]

    Geothermal resources are indirectly used to generate electric power 
and directly used for many things such as heating buildings and 
aquaculture. Energy markets are driving increased demand for renewable 
geothermal energy. Advances in the engineering, technology and 
economics of geothermal exploration and improvements in the design and 
development of energy generation facilities have resulted in increased 
interest in areas with geothermal potential. Several recent Federal and 
state actions also are driving the increase in renewable energy 
activity, including geothermal energy leasing, exploration and 
development activity. These actions include the President's National 
Energy Policy; the Western Governors' Association Geothermal Task Force 
Report; and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
    The goal of the PEIS is to examine the potential impacts of 
geothermal leasing on certain lands administered by the BLM and the 
USFS. Completion of the PEIS will improve the efficiency and 
effectiveness of the geothermal leasing and application process on 
Federal lands. The analysis in the PEIS will serve the following two 
purposes.
    (1) Analyze the impacts of leasing in areas that are determined 
through scoping to have reasonable near-term exploration/development 
potential for geothermal resources, including areas for which leasing 
applications have not yet been filed. The PEIS will thereby assist the 
BLM in determining how best to amend, as appropriate, its land use 
plans for these areas, by identifying the potential for geothermal 
development in the areas and determining the areas where geothermal 
development will be considered as an allowable use. The PEIS will 
similarly address USFS-managed lands that have potential for geothermal 
resources and provide the basis for future geothermal leasing 
availability analysis and decisions.
    (2) Enable the BLM to reduce the backlog of lease applications that 
were pending on BLM- and USFS-administered lands as of January 1, 2005 
by at least 90 percent as required by section 225(b)(3) of the Energy 
Policy Act of 2005. This Act gives the BLM until August 8, 2010, to 
achieve this goal. As of January 1, 2005, there were nearly 100 
applications for geothermal leases pending on BLM and USFS lands. The 
PEIS will include the necessary site specific analysis to facilitate 
processing of these pending lease applications by deciding whether 
geothermal leasing is appropriate and under what stipulations they may 
be leased.
    Comments are being solicited so as to determine: (1) The scope of 
this analysis, (2) significant issues or concerns related to the 
proposed actions, and (3) alternatives to the proposed actions.
    The BLM will provide further information at the scoping meetings 
regarding the locations of, and the planning areas and forests that may 
be affected by, the actively pending applications. The purpose of the 
public scoping process is to identify issues that should be addressed 
in the environmental analysis and the scope of the alternatives. You 
may submit comments in writing at any public scoping meeting, or you 
may submit them using one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES 
section above. 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.

Douglas Burger,
Acting Assistant Director, Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection, 
Bureau of Land Management.
Frederick Norbury,
Associate Deputy Chief for National Forest System, U.S. Forest Service.
[FR Doc. 07-2921 Filed 6-12-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-84-P