Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed K Road/Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Photovoltaic Solar Facility, Clark County, NV, 6493-6494 [2011-2554]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 24 / Friday, February 4, 2011 / Notices agency responsible for compliance under NEPA, we have prepared jointly with the Water Authority an EIR/EIS that analyzes three alternatives in addition to the proposed action (i.e., permit issuance based on the Water Authority NCCP/HCP) described above. The other alternatives include a noaction (i.e., no permit) alternative, a larger species list alternative, and a reduced plan area alternative. Two other alternatives were considered during the planning process but were not evaluated because neither met the purpose and need of both the Water Authority and the Service; these alternatives involved a no-take alternative and an alternative requiring the Water Authority to participate in other existing regional HCPs. The final EIR/EIS includes all comments we received on the draft EIR/ EIS and our responses to those comments. After the 30-day waiting period, we will complete a Record of Decision that announces our decision on what action will be implemented and discusses all factors leading to the decision. Public Involvement We published a notice of intent to prepare an EIS for this project in the Federal Register on November 26, 2003 (68 FR 66478). The Service and Water Authority held a public scoping meeting on December 11, 2003. On March 4, 2010, we published a notice of availability of the draft EIR/EIS, draft Water Authority NCCP/HCP, and draft IA in the Federal Register (75 FR 9921). Public meetings were held on March 17 and March 18, 2010. The draft documents were available for a 90-day public comment period ending on June 2, 2010. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Public Review Copies of the final EIR/EIS, Water Authority NCCP/HCP, and IA are available for review (see Availability of Documents). Any comments we receive will become part of the administrative record and may be available to the public. 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 may 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. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:05 Feb 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 Dated: January 20, 2011. Alexandra Pitts, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest Region, Sacramento, California. [FR Doc. 2011–2264 Filed 2–3–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed K Road/Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Photovoltaic Solar Facility, Clark County, NV Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), as lead agency, with the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians (Tribe), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as cooperating agencies, intend to gather information necessary for preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Solar Generation Facility on the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada. This notice also announces public scoping meetings to identify potential issues and content for inclusion in the EIS. DATES: Written comments on the scope and implementation of the proposal must arrive by March 7, 2011. Several public scoping meetings will be held and notices will be published in local newspapers announcing the dates and locations of the meetings. ADDRESSES: You may mail, e-mail, hand carry or fax written comments to either Ms. Amy Heuslein, Regional Environmental Protection Officer, BIA Western Regional Office Branch of Environmental Quality Services, 2600 North Central Avenue, 4th Floor Mail Room, Phoenix, AZ 85004–3008; telephone: (602) 379–6750; fax: (602) 379–3833; e-mail: amy.heuslein@bia.gov; or Mr. Paul Schlafly, Natural Resource Officer, BIA Southern Paiute Agency, 180 N. 200 E., Suite 111 or P.O. Box 720, St. George, UT 84771; telephone: (435) 674–9720; fax: (435) 674–9714; e-mail: paul.schlafly@bia.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Heuslein at (602) 379–6750 or amy.heuslein@bia.gov; or Mr. Paul Schlafy at (435) 674–9720 or paul.schlafly@bia.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Ms. 6493 The proposed Federal action, taken under 25 U.S.C. 415, is the BIA approval of a solar energy ground lease and associated agreements entered into by the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians with K Road Moapa Solar LLC (K Road), and associated approval of rights-of-way and easements, for K Road to construct and operate an up-to 350 MW solar photovoltaic electricity generating facility located entirely on Moapa tribal lands. The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians may use this EIS to make decisions under the Tribal Environmental Policy Ordinance. The BLM may use this EIS to support a decision for a proposed approximately 0.5 mile right-of-way across Federal public lands adjoining the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The right-of-way may be used to link the proposed solar generation facility to an existing substation on a transmission line with a rating up to 500 kilovolts. The USFWS may use this EIS to support its decisions under the Endangered Species Act. The purposes of the proposed action are to: (1) use the Tribe’s solar energy resources and complete a transmission line from the existing electrical grid to the Tribe-owned travel plaza on Interstate 15 (thereby reducing or eliminating the use of diesel-powered generation at the plaza, improving and diversifying the economy of the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, and providing other benefits to their members in an environmentally compatible manner); and (2) generate clean, renewable electricity that can be efficiently connected to existing transmission lines to help utilities in the region meet their renewable energy goals. The EIS will assess the alternatives to, and the environmental consequences of, BIA approval, under 25 U.S.C. 415, of a proposed solar energy ground lease and associated agreements between the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians as lessor and K Road as lessee. The ground lease will enable K Road to construct and operate an up-to 350 MW solar photovoltaic electricity generating facility on approximately 2,000 acres of tribal lands held in trust by the United States and located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada. The facility will utilize transformers to step up the voltage to interconnection voltage, which will facilitate a connection of the facility with one or more of the following: an existing transmission line on tribal lands (up to 500 kV); the existing 230 kV Crystal substation operated by NV Energy outside tribal lands; and/or the existing 500 kV Crystal substation operated by NV Energy outside tribal lands. The Crystal SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\04FEN1.SGM 04FEN1 srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES 6494 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 24 / Friday, February 4, 2011 / Notices substation complex is located on BLM land, approximately 0.5 mile from the southern border of the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The proposed BIA actions include approval of the solar energy ground lease and associated agreements, and approval of rights-ofway and easements on the Moapa River Indian Reservation for K Road to construct electric transmission lines and other supporting facilities for one or more interconnections. K Road has requested the BLM to approve a right-of-way across approximately a 0.5 mile of Federal public lands in Township 17 South, Range 64 East, Section 10, for purposes of constructing an electrical transmission line to connect the solar generating facility and electric transmission on the Moapa River Indian Reservation with the Crystal substation. K Road intends to construct and operate the solar facility for a period of 35 years, with an option to renew the lease for another 15 years, if mutually acceptable to the Moapa Tribe and K Road. This area is located in Clark County, Nevada, approximately one mile west of Interstate 15 and approximately 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The proposed solar facility will be built in phases of 50 to 100 MW each to meet the needs of offtakers or utilities, up to a total of 350 MW. During the construction of each phase, photovoltaic panels will be affixed to the earth using concrete posts, concrete ballast, or other suitable foundation design techniques appropriate to the topography and site conditions. Some or all of the panels may employ trackers to track the sun during the day. No water will be used in the production of electricity. Water will periodically be used for cleaning the photovoltaic panels during routine maintenance, administrative and sanitation uses at the site (e.g., water in a small office on site), and fugitive dust control. As lead agency, the BIA will have authority over decisions regarding the EIS and BIA’s approval of the solar energy ground lease and associated agreements. These decisions will be documented in a Record of Decision (ROD). BLM will have authority over approval of the off-reservation right-ofway, documented in its ROD. Cooperating agencies, including BLM, will provide expertise and data for their resources of interest and will aid in the development of alternatives and mitigation measures that will minimize or prevent significant adverse impacts. Significant issues to be covered during the scoping process may include, but would not be limited to: air quality, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:05 Feb 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 geology and soils, surface and groundwater resources, biological resources, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources, socioeconomic conditions, land use, aesthetics, environmental justice, and Indian trust resources. Directions for Submitting Public Comments Please include your name, return address, and the caption ‘‘EIS, K Road and Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Solar Facility’’ on the first page of any written comments you submit. You may also submit comments at the public scoping meetings. Public Availability of Comments Comments, including names and addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the BIA address shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, except holidays. 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 This notice is published in accordance with sections 1503.1 of the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) and Section 46.305 of the Department of Interior Regulations (43 CFR part 46), implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and is in the exercise of authority delegated to the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, by part 209 of the Departmental Manual. Dated: January 28, 2011. Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2011–2554 Filed 2–1–11; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4310–W7–P PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [WO–LL230 0000–L11100000–PH.0000] Notice of Availability of a Memorandum of Understanding Between the Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service To Promote Conservation of Migratory Birds Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: This notice announces the availability of the final signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to Promote Conservation of Migratory Birds. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Geoff Walsh, Wildlife Biologist, 202– 912–7271, geoffrey_walsh@blm.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice announces the availability of the MOU between the BLM and the FWS to Promote Conservation of Migratory Birds signed April 12, 2010. The MOU provides for strengthening migratory bird conservation by identifying and implementing strategies that promote conservation and reduce or eliminate adverse impacts on migratory birds through enhanced collaboration between the BLM and the FWS, in coordination with State, tribal, and local governments. This MOU identifies specific activities where cooperation between the BLM and the FWS will contribute to the conservation of migratory birds and their habitat. These activities are intended to complement and support existing partnerships and efforts, and to facilitate new collaborative conservation partnerships and comprehensive planning efforts for migratory birds. Pursuant to Executive Order 13186, [FR 66 3853] published on January 17, 2001, entitled ‘‘Responsibilities of Federal agencies to Protect Migratory Birds,’’ this MOU outlines a collaborative approach to promote the conservation of migratory bird populations. The Executive Order also directs agencies to take certain actions to further implement the migratory bird conventions, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) and other pertinent statutes. The implementation of the MOU will be coordinated through ongoing communication between the BLM Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation and the FWS Division of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04FEN1.SGM 04FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 24 (Friday, February 4, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6493-6494]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-2554]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs


Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed K Road/Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Photovoltaic Solar 
Facility, Clark County, NV

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: This notice advises the public that the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA), as lead agency, with the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians 
(Tribe), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA), and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), as 
cooperating agencies, intend to gather information necessary for 
preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the proposed 
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Solar Generation Facility on the Moapa 
River Indian Reservation, Nevada. This notice also announces public 
scoping meetings to identify potential issues and content for inclusion 
in the EIS.

DATES: Written comments on the scope and implementation of the proposal 
must arrive by March 7, 2011. Several public scoping meetings will be 
held and notices will be published in local newspapers announcing the 
dates and locations of the meetings.

ADDRESSES: You may mail, e-mail, hand carry or fax written comments to 
either Ms. Amy Heuslein, Regional Environmental Protection Officer, BIA 
Western Regional Office Branch of Environmental Quality Services, 2600 
North Central Avenue, 4th Floor Mail Room, Phoenix, AZ 85004-3008; 
telephone: (602) 379-6750; fax: (602) 379-3833; e-mail: 
amy.heuslein@bia.gov; or Mr. Paul Schlafly, Natural Resource Officer, 
BIA Southern Paiute Agency, 180 N. 200 E., Suite 111 or P.O. Box 720, 
St. George, UT 84771; telephone: (435) 674-9720; fax: (435) 674-9714; 
e-mail: paul.schlafly@bia.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Amy Heuslein at (602) 379-6750 or 
amy.heuslein@bia.gov; or Mr. Paul Schlafy at (435) 674-9720 or 
paul.schlafly@bia.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The proposed Federal action, taken under 25 
U.S.C. 415, is the BIA approval of a solar energy ground lease and 
associated agreements entered into by the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians 
with K Road Moapa Solar LLC (K Road), and associated approval of 
rights-of-way and easements, for K Road to construct and operate an up-
to 350 MW solar photovoltaic electricity generating facility located 
entirely on Moapa tribal lands. The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians may 
use this EIS to make decisions under the Tribal Environmental Policy 
Ordinance. The BLM may use this EIS to support a decision for a 
proposed approximately 0.5 mile right-of-way across Federal public 
lands adjoining the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The right-of-way 
may be used to link the proposed solar generation facility to an 
existing substation on a transmission line with a rating up to 500 
kilovolts. The USFWS may use this EIS to support its decisions under 
the Endangered Species Act.
    The purposes of the proposed action are to: (1) use the Tribe's 
solar energy resources and complete a transmission line from the 
existing electrical grid to the Tribe-owned travel plaza on Interstate 
15 (thereby reducing or eliminating the use of diesel-powered 
generation at the plaza, improving and diversifying the economy of the 
Moapa Band of Paiute Indians, and providing other benefits to their 
members in an environmentally compatible manner); and (2) generate 
clean, renewable electricity that can be efficiently connected to 
existing transmission lines to help utilities in the region meet their 
renewable energy goals.
    The EIS will assess the alternatives to, and the environmental 
consequences of, BIA approval, under 25 U.S.C. 415, of a proposed solar 
energy ground lease and associated agreements between the Moapa Band of 
Paiute Indians as lessor and K Road as lessee. The ground lease will 
enable K Road to construct and operate an up-to 350 MW solar 
photovoltaic electricity generating facility on approximately 2,000 
acres of tribal lands held in trust by the United States and located on 
the Moapa River Indian Reservation, Nevada. The facility will utilize 
transformers to step up the voltage to interconnection voltage, which 
will facilitate a connection of the facility with one or more of the 
following: an existing transmission line on tribal lands (up to 500 
kV); the existing 230 kV Crystal substation operated by NV Energy 
outside tribal lands; and/or the existing 500 kV Crystal substation 
operated by NV Energy outside tribal lands. The Crystal

[[Page 6494]]

substation complex is located on BLM land, approximately 0.5 mile from 
the southern border of the Moapa River Indian Reservation. The proposed 
BIA actions include approval of the solar energy ground lease and 
associated agreements, and approval of rights-of-way and easements on 
the Moapa River Indian Reservation for K Road to construct electric 
transmission lines and other supporting facilities for one or more 
interconnections.
    K Road has requested the BLM to approve a right-of-way across 
approximately a 0.5 mile of Federal public lands in Township 17 South, 
Range 64 East, Section 10, for purposes of constructing an electrical 
transmission line to connect the solar generating facility and electric 
transmission on the Moapa River Indian Reservation with the Crystal 
substation.
    K Road intends to construct and operate the solar facility for a 
period of 35 years, with an option to renew the lease for another 15 
years, if mutually acceptable to the Moapa Tribe and K Road. This area 
is located in Clark County, Nevada, approximately one mile west of 
Interstate 15 and approximately 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas, 
Nevada.
    The proposed solar facility will be built in phases of 50 to 100 MW 
each to meet the needs of offtakers or utilities, up to a total of 350 
MW. During the construction of each phase, photovoltaic panels will be 
affixed to the earth using concrete posts, concrete ballast, or other 
suitable foundation design techniques appropriate to the topography and 
site conditions. Some or all of the panels may employ trackers to track 
the sun during the day. No water will be used in the production of 
electricity. Water will periodically be used for cleaning the 
photovoltaic panels during routine maintenance, administrative and 
sanitation uses at the site (e.g., water in a small office on site), 
and fugitive dust control.
    As lead agency, the BIA will have authority over decisions 
regarding the EIS and BIA's approval of the solar energy ground lease 
and associated agreements. These decisions will be documented in a 
Record of Decision (ROD). BLM will have authority over approval of the 
off-reservation right-of-way, documented in its ROD. Cooperating 
agencies, including BLM, will provide expertise and data for their 
resources of interest and will aid in the development of alternatives 
and mitigation measures that will minimize or prevent significant 
adverse impacts.
    Significant issues to be covered during the scoping process may 
include, but would not be limited to: air quality, geology and soils, 
surface and groundwater resources, biological resources, threatened and 
endangered species, cultural resources, socioeconomic conditions, land 
use, aesthetics, environmental justice, and Indian trust resources.

Directions for Submitting Public Comments

    Please include your name, return address, and the caption ``EIS, K 
Road and Moapa Band of Paiute Indians Solar Facility'' on the first 
page of any written comments you submit. You may also submit comments 
at the public scoping meetings.

Public Availability of Comments

    Comments, including names and addresses of respondents, will be 
available for public review at the BIA address shown in the ADDRESSES 
section of this notice, during regular business hours, Monday through 
Friday, except holidays. 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

    This notice is published in accordance with sections 1503.1 of the 
Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 
1508) and Section 46.305 of the Department of Interior Regulations (43 
CFR part 46), implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and is in the exercise of authority 
delegated to the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, by part 209 of 
the Departmental Manual.

    Dated: January 28, 2011.
Larry Echo Hawk,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2011-2554 Filed 2-1-11; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4310-W7-P