Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project and the Yuma Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment, 76477-76479 [2012-31171]

Download as PDF tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 249 / Friday, December 28, 2012 / Notices Description: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 35.15: Notice of Cancellation-First Revised SA Nos. 3156 & 3157 in Dkt No. ER12–835– 000 to be effective 12/5/2012. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5086. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER13–584–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. submits tariff filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii: First Revised Service Agreement No. 3279; Queue No. X1–046 to be effective 12/3/2012. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5094. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER13–585–000. Applicants: New England Power Pool Participants Committee, ISO New England Inc. Description: New England Power Pool Participants Committee submits tariff filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii: Rev to FCM Rules Rel to Cap Supply Obl Bil and Rec Auc 1 of 2 to be effective 4/1/2013. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5095. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER13–585–001. Applicants: New England Power Pool Participants Committee, ISO New England Inc. Description: New England Power Pool Participants Committee submits tariff filing per 35.17(b): Rev. to FCM Rules Rel to Cap Sup Obl Bil and Rec Auc 2 of 2 to be effective 4/19/2013. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5105. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER12–1932–003. Applicants: Franklin County Wind, LLC. Description: Franklin County Wind, LLC submits tariff filing per 35: FCW Market Based Rate Tariff—Compliance Filing to be effective 8/1/2012. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5064. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER12–1933–004. Applicants: Interstate Power and Light Company. Description: Interstate Power and Light Company submits tariff filing per 35: IPL Market Based Rate Tariff— Compliance Filing to be effective 8/1/2012. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5065. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER12–1934–003. Applicants: Wisconsin Power and Light Company. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:15 Dec 27, 2012 Jkt 229001 Description: Wisconsin Power and Light Company submits tariff filing per 35: WPL Market Based Rate Tariff— Compliance Filing to be effective 8/1/2012. Filed Date: 12/19/12. Accession Number: 20121219–5067. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/9/13. Docket Numbers: ER12–2302–001. Applicants: Midwest Independent Transmission System. Description: 12–18–12 SSR Compliance Filing to be effective 9/24/2012. Filed Date: 12/18/12. Accession Number: 20121218–5147. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/8/13. Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings: Docket Numbers: ES13–11–000. Applicants: Monongahela Power Company. Description: Application for Authorization under Section 204(a) of the Federal Power Act to Issue Securities and Assume $73.5 Million Promissory Note of FirstEnergy Service Company on behalf of Monongahela Power Company. Filed Date: 12/18/12. Accession Number: 20121218–5175. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/8/13. The filings are accessible in the Commission’s eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number. Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding. eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/ docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Dated: December 19, 2012. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–31143 Filed 12–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76477 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration [DOE/EIS–0440] Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project and the Yuma Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Quartzsite Solar Energy (QSE) has requested to interconnect the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project (Project), a proposed 100-megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power plant, to Western Area Power Administration’s (Western) Bouse-Kofa 161-kilovolt (kV) transmission line. QSE has submitted a right-of-way (ROW) application to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the Project facility to be constructed on a total of approximately 1,675 acres of land managed by the BLM. The Project area is in an undeveloped area of the Sonoran Desert in La Paz County, Arizona. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, Western and the BLM prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement 1 (EIS) and Yuma Field Office (Yuma) Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment (PRMPA) for the Project, and by this Notice Western and the BLM are announcing the availability of the Final EIS/PRMPA. Western is the lead Federal agency for purposes of satisfying the NEPA requirements with the BLM acting as a cooperating agency. DATES: The Final EIS/PRMPA will be available for a 30-day period prior to the agencies making decisions on the Project and issuing separate Records of Decision. The BLM planning regulations state that any person who meets the conditions as described in the regulations may protest the BLM’s Yuma PRMPA. A person who meets the conditions and files a protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in the Federal Register. The protest procedures are described in an appendix of the Final EIS/PRMPA. 1 On November 16, 2011, DOE’s Acting General Counsel delegated to Western’s Administrator all the authorities of the General Counsel respecting environmental impact statements. E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 76478 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 249 / Friday, December 28, 2012 / Notices Copies of the Final EIS/ PRMPA have been sent to affected Federal, State, and local government agencies and to other stakeholders. Copies are available for public inspection at the BLM Yuma Field Office, 2555 East Gila Ridge Road, Yuma, AZ 85365 and the BLM Arizona State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Interested persons may also review the document on the following Web site: http://ww2.wapa.gov/sites/Western/ transmission/interconn/Pages/ QuartzsiteSolar.aspx. All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following addresses: Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda HudgensWilliams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024–1383. Overnight Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, 20 M Street SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed Project, the EIS and general information about Western’s transmission system, contact Ms. Liana Reilly, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228–8213, telephone (720) 962–7253 or by email QuartzsiteSolarEIS@wapa.gov.. For general information on the DOE NEPA process, please contact Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC–54), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, telephone (202) 586–4600 or (800) 472–2756. For information on the BLM’s role with the Project or the Yuma PRMPA, contact Mr. Eddie Arreola, Supervisory Project Manager, telephone (602) 417– 9505, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800 Phoenix, AZ 85004. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-voltage transmission system across 15 western states. Western’s Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides non-discriminatory access to Western’s electric transmission system. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with ADDRESSES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:15 Dec 27, 2012 Jkt 229001 Western provides transmission services if there is available capacity and the reliability of the transmission system is maintained. Interested parties were notified of the proposed Project and the public comment opportunity through a Notice of Intent published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2010 (75 FR 2133). On March 30, 2011, the BLM issued a separate Notice of Intent for the Yuma PRMPA (76 FR 17668). A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS/ PRMPA for the proposed Project in La Paz County was published in the Federal Register on November 10, 2011 (76 FR 70125). Western and the BLM held public hearings on the Draft EIS/ PRMPA in Yuma, Arizona, on December 13, 2011, and in Quartzsite, Arizona, on December 14, 2011. The formal comment period closed on February 8, 2012. Comments received during the comment period were considered in preparing the Final EIS/PRMPA. Proposed Project The proposed Project is a 100-MW solar electric power plant that would use concentrating solar power technology to capture the sun’s heat to make steam, which would power traditional steam turbine generators. The Project would contain the central receiver or tower, a solar field consisting of mirrors or heliostats to reflect the sun’s energy to the central tower, a conventional steam turbine generator, insulated storage tanks for hot and cold liquid salt, ancillary tanks, evaporation ponds, a temporary construction laydown area, technical and nontechnical buildings, transformers and a 161/230-kV electrical substation, roads, and water wells. All Project components would be located on BLM-managed land. QSE has requested to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s transmission system. A new 1.5-mile long 161/230-kV generator tie-line would extend from the southern boundary of the solar facility boundary to a new switchyard to be constructed adjacent to Western’s existing BouseKofa 161-kV transmission line. The switchyard would be on BLM-managed land and would be owned and operated by Western. QSE has submitted a ROW application to the BLM for the Project. The ROW application is for a total of 26,273 acres, of which 1,675 acres would be utilized for the final Project ROW if approved. The Project site is in an undeveloped area in La Paz County, Arizona, east of State Route (SR) 95, approximately 10 miles north of Quartzsite, Arizona, on lands managed by the BLM. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Agency Purpose and Need Western’s purpose and need for the action is to respond to QSE’s interconnection request in accordance with Western’s Tariff. The BLM’s purpose and need for the action is to respond to QSE’s application for a ROW under FLPMA to construct, operate, and decommission the solar facility, 161/ 230-kV generation tie-line and access road. The BLM also needs to respond to Western’s application for a switchyard, and fiber optic line on public lands the BLM administers. The BLM will decide whether to approve, approve with modification, or deny the ROW applications for the proposed Project. Proposed Agency Actions Western’s proposed action is to interconnect the proposed Project to Western’s existing Bouse-Kofa 161-kV transmission line. As part of Western’s proposed action, Western would also construct, operate, and maintain a new switchyard and would establish a fiber optic and/or microwave telecommunications pathway. The BLM, in addition to responding to the project ROW applications analyzed in the EIS, is also considering approving the Yuma PRMPA. The Yuma PRMPA recognizes the compatibility of solar generation facilities on public lands, but requires that such activities conform to designated visual resource management (VRM) classes. If the BLM decides to grant a ROW for the project the BLM would also approve the Yuma PRMPA as required. Alternatives Three alternatives were analyzed in the FEIS including the QSE’s proposed Project with dry-cooling technology, Alternative 1 with hybrid cooling technology, and the No Action alternative. Also analyzed were three alternatives related to the Yuma PRMPA including approving the PRMPA to change approximately 6,800 acres of VRM Class III to VRM Class IV along with Project approval, approving the PRMPA to change approximately 6,800 acres of VRM Class III to VRM Class IV without Project approval, and the No Action alternative of not approving the PRMPA and leaving the current VRM Class III designation in place. Western’s preferred alternative is to grant the interconnection request for the proposed Project to Western’s existing Bouse-Kofa 161-kV transmission line and to construct, operate, and maintain a new switchyard. The BLM’s preferred alternative is to approve the ROW for the Project which consists of a 100-MW solar thermal generation power plant E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 249 / Friday, December 28, 2012 / Notices using dry-cooling technology and a new 1.5 mile long 161/230-kV generator tieline, switchyard, and access road along with approval of the PRMPA to change the Project area to VRM Class IV. Protest Information Instructions for filing a protest with the BLM Director regarding the Yuma PRMPA may also be found at 43 CFR 1610.5–2. Email and faxed protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting party also provides the original letter by either regular or overnight mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these conditions, the BLM will consider the email or faxed protest as an advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct faxed protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator at (202)-912–7212, and emails to Brenda_hudgens-williams@ blm.gov. All protests, including the follow-up letter to emails or faxes, must be in writing and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES section above. Before including your phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be aware that your entire protest, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the BLM in your protest to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so. Dated: December 14, 2012. Anita J. Decker, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–31171 Filed 12–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–9765–4] Clean Air Act Operating Permit Program: Order Responding to Petition for Objection to State Operating Permit for U.S. Steel—Granite City Works, Granite City, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of final order on petition to object to Clean Air Act (Act) operating permit. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with AGENCY: SUMMARY: This document announces that the EPA Administrator has partially granted and partially denied a petition from the Interdisciplinary VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:15 Dec 27, 2012 Jkt 229001 Environmental Clinic at the Washington University School of Law, submitted to EPA on behalf of the American Bottom Conservancy (Petitioner). The Petitioner objected to the operating permit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for the U.S. Steel— Granite City Works (USGW) facility, located in Granite City, Illinois. Sections 307(b) and 505(b)(2) of the Act provide that a petitioner may ask for judicial review of those portions of the petition which EPA denies in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit. Any petition for review shall be filed within 60 days from the date this notice appears in the Federal Register, pursuant to section 307 of the Act. ADDRESSES: You may review copies of the final order, the petition, and other supporting information at the EPA Region 5 Office, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. If you wish to examine these documents, you should make an appointment at least 24 hours before visiting day. Additionally, the final order for the USGW petition is available electronically at: http://www.epa.gov/ region07/air/title5/petitiondb/petitions/ uss_2nd_response2009.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Ogulei, Environmental Engineer, Air Permits Section, Air Programs Branch, Air and Radiation Division, EPA, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, telephone (312) 353–0987. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Act affords EPA a 45-day period to review and object, as appropriate, to Title V operating permits proposed by state permitting authorities. Section 505(b)(2) of the Act authorizes any person to petition the EPA Administrator within 60 days after the expiration of the EPA review period to object to a Title V operating permit if EPA has not done so. A petition must be based only on objections to the permit that were raised with reasonable specificity during the public comment period provided by the state, unless the petitioner demonstrates that it was impracticable to raise issues during the comment period, or the grounds for the issues arose after this period. On August 16, 2011, the Petitioner filed a petition requesting that EPA object to issuance of the USGW Title V permit pursuant to section 505(b)(2) of the Act and 40 C.F.R. § 70.8(d). The Petitioner alleges that (1) the permit’s use of emission factors fails to provide periodic monitoring designed to ensure compliance with permit limits and lacks practical enforceability; (2) several PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76479 permit limits lack adequate periodic monitoring requirements to ensure compliance with the limits; (3) the permit fails to respond to EPA’s Order dated January 21, 2011, with respect to excess emissions associated with startup, breakdown, and malfunctions; and (4) the permit fails to respond to EPA’s Order to include applicable requirements from the related construction permit for a new Gateway Energy & Coke Company coke plant that IEPA considers to be part of the USGW facility. On December 3, 2012, the Administrator issued an order partially granting and partially denying the petition. The order explains the reasons behind EPA’s conclusion. Date: December 14, 2012. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5. [FR Doc. 2012–31315 Filed 12–27–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OPP–2012–0574; FRL–9356–8] FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: There will be a 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review Scientific Issues Concerning the Draft Product Performance Data Needs Assessment for Products Claiming Efficacy Against Invertebrate Pests. DATES: The meeting will be held on March 19–21, 2013, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Comments. The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted by March 5, 2013, and requests for oral comments be submitted by March 12, 2013. However, written comments and requests to make oral comments may be submitted until the date of the meeting, but anyone submitting written comments after March 5, 2013, should contact the Designated Federal Official (DFO) listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. For additional instructions, see Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Nominations. Nominations of candidates to serve as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP for this meeting should be provided on or before January 14, 2013. E:\FR\FM\28DEN1.SGM 28DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 249 (Friday, December 28, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76477-76479]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31171]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Western Area Power Administration

[DOE/EIS-0440]


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project and the Yuma Field 
Office Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment

AGENCY: Western Area Power Administration, DOE.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: Quartzsite Solar Energy (QSE) has requested to interconnect 
the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project (Project), a proposed 100-megawatt 
(MW) concentrating solar power plant, to Western Area Power 
Administration's (Western) Bouse-Kofa 161-kilovolt (kV) transmission 
line. QSE has submitted a right-of-way (ROW) application to the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) for the Project facility to be constructed on 
a total of approximately 1,675 acres of land managed by the BLM. The 
Project area is in an undeveloped area of the Sonoran Desert in La Paz 
County, Arizona.
    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 
1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA) of 1976, as amended, Western and the BLM prepared a Final 
Environmental Impact Statement \1\ (EIS) and Yuma Field Office (Yuma) 
Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment (PRMPA) for the Project, 
and by this Notice Western and the BLM are announcing the availability 
of the Final EIS/PRMPA. Western is the lead Federal agency for purposes 
of satisfying the NEPA requirements with the BLM acting as a 
cooperating agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ On November 16, 2011, DOE's Acting General Counsel delegated 
to Western's Administrator all the authorities of the General 
Counsel respecting environmental impact statements.

DATES: The Final EIS/PRMPA will be available for a 30-day period prior 
to the agencies making decisions on the Project and issuing separate 
Records of Decision. The BLM planning regulations state that any person 
who meets the conditions as described in the regulations may protest 
the BLM's Yuma PRMPA. A person who meets the conditions and files a 
protest must file the protest within 30 days of the date that the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes its notice of availability in 
the Federal Register. The protest procedures are described in an 
appendix of the Final EIS/PRMPA.

[[Page 76478]]


ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final EIS/PRMPA have been sent to affected 
Federal, State, and local government agencies and to other 
stakeholders. Copies are available for public inspection at the BLM 
Yuma Field Office, 2555 East Gila Ridge Road, Yuma, AZ 85365 and the 
BLM Arizona State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, 
AZ 85004. Interested persons may also review the document on the 
following Web site: http://ww2.wapa.gov/sites/Western/transmission/interconn/Pages/QuartzsiteSolar.aspx.
    All protests must be in writing and mailed to one of the following 
addresses: Regular Mail: BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-
Williams, P.O. Box 71383, Washington, DC 20024-1383. Overnight Mail: 
BLM Director (210), Attention: Brenda Hudgens-Williams, 20 M Street 
SE., Room 2134LM, Washington, DC 20003.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the proposed 
Project, the EIS and general information about Western's transmission 
system, contact Ms. Liana Reilly, NEPA Document Manager, Western Area 
Power Administration, P.O. Box 281213, Lakewood, CO 80228-8213, 
telephone (720) 962-7253 or by email QuartzsiteSolarEIS@wapa.gov.. For 
general information on the DOE NEPA process, please contact Ms. Carol 
M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC-54), 
U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20585, telephone (202) 586-4600 or (800) 472-2756.
    For information on the BLM's role with the Project or the Yuma 
PRMPA, contact Mr. Eddie Arreola, Supervisory Project Manager, 
telephone (602) 417-9505, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800 Phoenix, 
AZ 85004. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to 
contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is 
available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question 
with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal 
business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Western is a Federal agency under the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) that markets and transmits wholesale 
electrical power through an integrated 17,000-circuit mile, high-
voltage transmission system across 15 western states. Western's Open 
Access Transmission Service Tariff (Tariff) provides non-discriminatory 
access to Western's electric transmission system. Western provides 
transmission services if there is available capacity and the 
reliability of the transmission system is maintained.
    Interested parties were notified of the proposed Project and the 
public comment opportunity through a Notice of Intent published in the 
Federal Register on January 14, 2010 (75 FR 2133). On March 30, 2011, 
the BLM issued a separate Notice of Intent for the Yuma PRMPA (76 FR 
17668). A Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS/PRMPA for the 
proposed Project in La Paz County was published in the Federal Register 
on November 10, 2011 (76 FR 70125). Western and the BLM held public 
hearings on the Draft EIS/PRMPA in Yuma, Arizona, on December 13, 2011, 
and in Quartzsite, Arizona, on December 14, 2011. The formal comment 
period closed on February 8, 2012. Comments received during the comment 
period were considered in preparing the Final EIS/PRMPA.

Proposed Project

    The proposed Project is a 100-MW solar electric power plant that 
would use concentrating solar power technology to capture the sun's 
heat to make steam, which would power traditional steam turbine 
generators. The Project would contain the central receiver or tower, a 
solar field consisting of mirrors or heliostats to reflect the sun's 
energy to the central tower, a conventional steam turbine generator, 
insulated storage tanks for hot and cold liquid salt, ancillary tanks, 
evaporation ponds, a temporary construction laydown area, technical and 
non-technical buildings, transformers and a 161/230-kV electrical 
substation, roads, and water wells. All Project components would be 
located on BLM-managed land. QSE has requested to interconnect the 
proposed Project to Western's transmission system. A new 1.5-mile long 
161/230-kV generator tie-line would extend from the southern boundary 
of the solar facility boundary to a new switchyard to be constructed 
adjacent to Western's existing Bouse-Kofa 161-kV transmission line. The 
switchyard would be on BLM-managed land and would be owned and operated 
by Western.
    QSE has submitted a ROW application to the BLM for the Project. The 
ROW application is for a total of 26,273 acres, of which 1,675 acres 
would be utilized for the final Project ROW if approved. The Project 
site is in an undeveloped area in La Paz County, Arizona, east of State 
Route (SR) 95, approximately 10 miles north of Quartzsite, Arizona, on 
lands managed by the BLM.

Agency Purpose and Need

    Western's purpose and need for the action is to respond to QSE's 
interconnection request in accordance with Western's Tariff. The BLM's 
purpose and need for the action is to respond to QSE's application for 
a ROW under FLPMA to construct, operate, and decommission the solar 
facility, 161/230-kV generation tie-line and access road. The BLM also 
needs to respond to Western's application for a switchyard, and fiber 
optic line on public lands the BLM administers. The BLM will decide 
whether to approve, approve with modification, or deny the ROW 
applications for the proposed Project.

Proposed Agency Actions

    Western's proposed action is to interconnect the proposed Project 
to Western's existing Bouse-Kofa 161-kV transmission line. As part of 
Western's proposed action, Western would also construct, operate, and 
maintain a new switchyard and would establish a fiber optic and/or 
microwave telecommunications pathway. The BLM, in addition to 
responding to the project ROW applications analyzed in the EIS, is also 
considering approving the Yuma PRMPA. The Yuma PRMPA recognizes the 
compatibility of solar generation facilities on public lands, but 
requires that such activities conform to designated visual resource 
management (VRM) classes. If the BLM decides to grant a ROW for the 
project the BLM would also approve the Yuma PRMPA as required.

Alternatives

    Three alternatives were analyzed in the FEIS including the QSE's 
proposed Project with dry-cooling technology, Alternative 1 with hybrid 
cooling technology, and the No Action alternative. Also analyzed were 
three alternatives related to the Yuma PRMPA including approving the 
PRMPA to change approximately 6,800 acres of VRM Class III to VRM Class 
IV along with Project approval, approving the PRMPA to change 
approximately 6,800 acres of VRM Class III to VRM Class IV without 
Project approval, and the No Action alternative of not approving the 
PRMPA and leaving the current VRM Class III designation in place.
    Western's preferred alternative is to grant the interconnection 
request for the proposed Project to Western's existing Bouse-Kofa 161-
kV transmission line and to construct, operate, and maintain a new 
switchyard. The BLM's preferred alternative is to approve the ROW for 
the Project which consists of a 100-MW solar thermal generation power 
plant

[[Page 76479]]

using dry-cooling technology and a new 1.5 mile long 161/230-kV 
generator tie-line, switchyard, and access road along with approval of 
the PRMPA to change the Project area to VRM Class IV.

Protest Information

    Instructions for filing a protest with the BLM Director regarding 
the Yuma PRMPA may also be found at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. Email and faxed 
protests will not be accepted as valid protests unless the protesting 
party also provides the original letter by either regular or overnight 
mail postmarked by the close of the protest period. Under these 
conditions, the BLM will consider the email or faxed protest as an 
advance copy and it will receive full consideration. If you wish to 
provide the BLM with such advance notification, please direct faxed 
protests to the attention of the BLM protest coordinator at (202)-912-
7212, and emails to Brenda_hudgens-williams@blm.gov. All protests, 
including the follow-up letter to emails or faxes, must be in writing 
and mailed to the appropriate address, as set forth in the ADDRESSES 
section above. Before including your phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your protest, you should be 
aware that your entire protest, including your personal identifying 
information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask the BLM in your protest to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will 
be able to do so.

    Dated: December 14, 2012.
Anita J. Decker,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-31171 Filed 12-27-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P