Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mohave County Wind Farm Project, AZ, 29151-29153 [2013-11826]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 96 / Friday, May 17, 2013 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathy Konishi, Permit Coordinator, Ecological Services, (303) 236–4212 (phone); permitsR6ES@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) prohibits activities with endangered and threatened species unless a Federal permit allows such activity. Along with our implementing regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR part 17, the Act provides for permits, and requires that we invite public comment before issuing these permits. A permit granted by us under section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Act authorizes the permittee to conduct activities with United States endangered or threatened species for scientific purposes, enhancement of propagation or survival, or interstate commerce (the latter only in the event that it facilitates scientific purposes or enhancement of propagation or survival). Our regulations implementing section 10(a)(1)(A) for these permits are found at 50 CFR 17.22 for endangered wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.32 for threatened wildlife species, 50 CFR 17.62 for endangered plant species, and 50 CFR 17.72 for threatened plant species. Public Availability of Comments All comments and materials we receive in response to this request will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Before including your address, phone number, email 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 We provide this notice under section 10 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) Dated: May 13, 2013. Michael G. Thabault, Assistant Regional Director, Mountain-Prairie Region. [FR Doc. 2013–11778 Filed 5–16–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management Application Available for Review and Comment [LLAZC01000.L51010000.FX0000. LVRWA09A2310.241A; AZA 32315AA] We invite local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public to comment on the following application. Documents and other information the applicant has submitted are available for review, subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Mohave County Wind Farm Project, AZ Permit Application Number: TE–047252 Applicant: SWCA Environmental Consultants, 295 Interlocken Blvd., Suite 300, Broomfield, CO 80021. The applicant requests the amendment of an existing permit to take (capture, handle, and release) Least tern (Sterna antillarum) under permit TE– 047252 for the purpose of enhancing the species’ survival. wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES National Environmental Policy Act In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), we have made an initial determination that the proposed activities in this permit are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement (516 DM 6 Appendix 1, 1.4C(1)). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 May 16, 2013 Jkt 229001 Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Mohave County Wind Farm Project (Project) and by this notice is announcing its availability. DATES: The Final EIS will be available at the locations listed below for 30 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the Notice of Availability. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final EIS for the proposed Project have been mailed to cooperating agencies and other stakeholders. Copies are available at the BLM Kingman Field Office, 2755 Mission Boulevard, Kingman, AZ SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29151 86401, and at the BLM Arizona State Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004. The Final EIS is also available at the following public libraries: • Kingman Public Library, 3269 North Burbank Street, Kingman, AZ 86402– 7000 • Kingman Valle Vista Community Library, 7264 Concho Dr. Ste. B, Kingman, AZ 86401 • Hualapai Cultural Center, 800 W. Route 66, Peach Springs, AZ 86434 • Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd., Boulder City, NV 89005 • Dolan Springs Public Library, 16140 Pierce Ferry Road, Dolan Springs, AZ 86441–0427 The Final EIS may also be viewed at the following Web site: https://www.blm. gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/wind/mohave. html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jackie Neckels, Environmental Coordinator, telephone 602–417–9262; address BLM Arizona State Office, Renewable Energy Coordination Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004–4427; or email at KFO_WindEnergy@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 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 for the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM is the lead Federal agency under NEPA for the proposed Project. Cooperating agencies include the Western Area Power Administration (Western); Bureau of Reclamation—Lower Colorado Region (Reclamation); National Park Service—Lake Mead National Recreation Area; Mohave County; Arizona Game and Fish Department; and the Hualapai Tribe Department of Cultural Resources. The BLM’s purpose and need is to respond to BP Wind Energy North America’s application for a right-of-way (ROW) under FLPMA to construct, operate, and maintain a wind-farm project. In accordance with Section 1702(c) of FLPMA, public lands administered by the BLM are to be managed for multiple-use that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and nonrenewable resources. Approval of a ROW grant for the wind farm would assist the BLM in meeting the objectives of the Energy Policy Act and Secretarial Order 3287A1, that establishes E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 29152 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 96 / Friday, May 17, 2013 / Notices development of environmentally responsible renewable energy as a priority for the Department of the Interior. The BLM’s decision is to deny, approve, or approve with modifications the ROW for the proposed wind farm. The applicant, BP Wind Energy North America, applied for a ROW to construct, operate, maintain, and decommission a 500-megawatt (MW) wind farm, including turbine generators and associated infrastructure, on approximately 38,099 acres of public lands and approximately 8,960 acres of land managed by Reclamation, totaling approximately 47,059 acres of Federal land. The Project area is located in the White Hills area 40 miles northwest of Kingman, Arizona, 9 miles south of the Colorado River, and 20 miles southeast of Hoover Dam. A map of the proposed Project area and a legal description are available on the BLM Web site at https:// www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/ wind/mohave.html. The Project is proposed to consist of up to 283 turbines, access roads, and ancillary facilities. The turbine generators would be selected from those with a power output ranging from 1.5 to 3.0 MW each. To the extent possible, existing roads would be used to reduce potential impacts associated with the construction of new roads. Roads would be improved as needed, and the road network would be supplemented with internal access/service roads to each wind turbine. Proposed ancillary facilities include pad-mounted transformers, an underground 34.5-kilovolt (kV) electrical collection system between the turbines, and distribution connector lines (either underground or aboveground) tying the turbine strings to either a 345-kV or a 500-kV electrical substation. This would provide interconnection with the regional power grid through the substation to a new switchyard at one of two major electric transmission lines transecting the Project area. The lines, which are administered by Western, are the 345kV Liberty-Mead line and the 500-kV Mead-Phoenix line. Scoping was initiated with the publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on November 20, 2009 (74 FR 60289), and conducted from November 20, 2009, through January 8, 2010. Three public meetings and an agency meeting were held in Kingman, Dolan Springs, and White Hills, Arizona. A supplemental scoping period was initiated with the publication of a second NOI on July 26, 2010 (75 FR 43551) that concluded on September 9, 2010. Four public scoping meetings were held during the supplemental VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 May 16, 2013 Jkt 229001 scoping period: One at each of the three original scoping-meeting communities and an additional meeting in Peach Springs, Arizona, at the Hualapai Tribe Cultural Center. The BLM considered all input received from the start of the first scoping period (November 20, 2009) to the end of the second scoping period (September 9, 2010). Public and cooperating agency concerns/comments identified the following issues (percentage of comments for each issue in parentheses): Biological resources (23 percent); Project description (17 percent); socioeconomics (9 percent); land use, recreation, and transportation (8 percent); NEPA process (7 percent); visual resources (6 percent); Project alternatives (5 percent); cumulative effects (4 percent); noise (4 percent); Project need (3 percent); air quality (3 percent); geology and minerals (3 percent); water resources (3 percent); cultural resources (2 percent); and hazardous materials and safety (1 percent). These issues were addressed in the Draft EIS released for public comment on April 27, 2012. The 45-day comment period for the Draft EIS closed on June 11, 2012. The Final EIS considered the impacts of the proposed action, other action alternatives, and a no action alternative. The Alternative A (proposed action) wind-farm site would encompass approximately 38,099 acres of public lands and approximately 8,960 acres of land managed by Reclamation. As with all action alternatives, Project features within the wind-farm site would include turbines aligned within corridors, access roads, electrical collection system, an operations and maintenance building, two temporary laydown/staging areas (with temporary batch plant operations), two substations, and a switchyard. The number of turbines constructed would vary depending on the turbine type that is installed, but Alternative A proposes more turbines than the other alternatives. Alternative A could support development of a maximum of 283 turbines. Western’s Federal action would be to execute an interconnection agreement, and design, construct, own, operate, and maintain the Project switchyard and physical interconnection to the existing transmission line under all alternatives. The Alternative B wind-farm site would encompass approximately 30,872 acres of public lands and approximately 3,848 acres of land managed by Reclamation. Alternative B reduces the wind-farm site footprint and has fewer turbines than Alternative A, with the intent of reducing visual and noise PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 impacts on Lake Mead National Recreation Area primarily and secondarily on private property. The number of turbines constructed would vary depending on the turbine type that is installed, but Alternative B could support development of a maximum of 208 turbines. This alternative would have the fewest number of turbines on Reclamation land compared to Alternatives A and C. Turbine corridors on public lands would either be shortened or eliminated on the north, east, and south sides of the Project area to increase the distance of turbines from private land and National Park Service land. The Alternative C wind-farm site would encompass approximately 30,178 acres of public lands and approximately 5,124 acres of land managed by Reclamation. Alternative C also reduces the wind-farm site footprint and has fewer turbines than Alternative A, with the intent of reducing visual and noise impacts primarily on private property and secondarily on Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The number of turbines constructed would vary depending on the turbine type that is installed, but Alternative C could support development of a maximum of 208 turbines. Alternative C differs from Alternative B in that there would be one additional turbine corridor on Reclamation land, but the corridors on public lands on the eastern side of the wind-farm site would be shortened even further to increase the distance of turbines from private lands. Alternative D is the no action alternative, which provides a baseline against which action alternatives can be compared. Alternative D includes an analysis of effects from not developing the Project. Alternative D assumes that no actions associated with the Project would occur, and no ROWs or interconnections would be granted. The public lands would continue to be managed in accordance with the Kingman Field Office Resource Management Plan, and the Reclamationadministered lands would continue to be managed by Reclamation. Capacity on Western’s transmission lines would remain available for other projects. Alternative E, BLM’s preferred alternative, is a wind-farm site that represents a combination of the proposed action, Alternative A, and Alternative B. This alternative would consist of approximately 35,329 acres of public lands and approximately 2,781 acres of Reclamation-administered land. The preferred alternative is smaller than Alternative A but larger than Alternative B. The preferred alternative has 4,457 more acres of public lands and 1,067 E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 96 / Friday, May 17, 2013 / Notices fewer acres of Reclamation land than Alternative B. The preferred alternative considered factors to avoid, minimize, and mitigate identified impacts to resources such as visual, noise, and wildlife. The preferred alternative removed turbines in the northwest section of the Project site due to identified golden eagle nests. These removals also addressed noise and visual concerns from the National Park Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The preferred alternative also implements a minimum @-mile set back from private land and in some instances a larger distance due to visual and noise resource concerns. To further protect golden eagles, this alternative excludes turbines within a 1.25-mile area around golden eagle nests in the northwest portion of the proposed facility and provides an additional buffer that curtails turbine operation during nesting season and eagle activity, i.e., during daylight hours. The preferred alternative allows for flexibility on the size and number of turbines (1.5 MW to 3.0 MW) to allow the developer to meet Western’s 425 MW or 500 MW nameplate capacity. The generation size depends on the interconnection to either the 345-kV or 500-kV transmission line. The BLM has consulted, and will continue to consult, with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources were, and will continue to be, given due consideration. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 1506.10. Raymond Suazo, State Director. [FR Doc. 2013–11826 Filed 5–16–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–32–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Notice of Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area in Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:20 May 16, 2013 Jkt 229001 To ensure that comments will be considered, the BLM must receive written comments on the Draft RMP/ Draft EIS within 90 days following the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of the Draft RMP/Draft EIS in the Federal Register. The BLM will announce future meetings or hearings and any other public participation activities at least 15 days in advance through public notices, media releases, and/or mailings. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments related to the D–E NCA Draft RMP/Draft EIS by any of the following methods: • via the RMP Web site: https:// www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/denca/ denca_rmp.html. • email: dencarmp@blm.gov. • fax: 970–244–3083. • mail: BLM—D–E NCA RMP, 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, Colorado 81506. Copies of the D–E NCA Draft RMP/ Draft EIS are available in the BLM’s Grand Junction Field Office at 2815 H Road, Grand Junction, CO 81506; the BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office at 2465 South Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401; or on the Web site: https:// www.blm.gov/co/st/en/nca/denca/ denca_rmp.html. DATES: Ben Blom, Planning Team Lead; telephone: 970–244–3188; Grand Junction Field Office: see address above; email: bblom@blm.gov. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 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: The BLM prepared the D–E NCA Draft RMP/Draft FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [LLCON06000 L16100000.DP0000] SUMMARY: amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area (D–E NCA) and by this notice is announcing the opening of the public comment period. Congress designated the D–E NCA, as well as the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness (Wilderness), through the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 (Omnibus Act). The Omnibus Act also established the purpose of the D–E NCA to ‘‘conserve and protect for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations—the unique and important resources and values of the land and the water resources of area streams.’’ PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29153 EIS to evaluate and revise the current management decisions for public lands and resources within the D–E NCA planning area. A National Conservation Area, such as the D–E NCA, is an area designated by Congress, generally, to conserve, protect, enhance, and properly manage the resources and values for which it was designated for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The D–E NCA was established by the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. The D–E NCA is currently managed under the 1987 Grand Junction Record of Decision and Approved RMP, as amended; the 1989 Uncompahgre Basin Record of Decision and Approved RMP, as amended; and the BLM’s 2010 Interim Management Policy for the D–E NCA and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness. Decisions made through this planning process must also stay within the framework outlined in the enabling legislation which created this NCA. The D–E NCA planning area includes approximately 218,000 acres of State, private and BLM-managed public lands located in Delta, Mesa, and Montrose counties in western Colorado. Within the D–E NCA planning area, the BLM administers approximately 210,000 acres of federal surface and subsurface estate. Management decisions made as a result of the RMP will apply only to the BLM-administered public lands in the D–E NCA planning area. The formal public scoping process for the RMP/EIS began on August 3, 2010, with the publication of a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register, and ended on October 1, 2010. The Secretary of the Interior established an advisory council composed of ten residents representing various communities and interests throughout the surrounding three-county area to assist the BLM in developing and implementing this RMP/EIS. The council met 24 times in 2011 and 2012, with all meetings open to the public. The BLM held two public workshops for travel management data collection in fall 2010 to give the public an opportunity to review the route inventory for completeness and accuracy, as well as offer suggestions for changes to current routes or the addition of new routes that would complement the existing system. The BLM held two additional workshops regarding socioeconomics in fall 2011. Over the course of the planning process, the BLM maintained a Plan Web site, produced a series of monthly newsletters, distributed press releases, and conducted radio interviews. All materials will be available on the D–E E:\FR\FM\17MYN1.SGM 17MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 96 (Friday, May 17, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29151-29153]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11826]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLAZC01000.L51010000.FX0000.LVRWA09A2310.241A; AZA 32315AA]


Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Proposed Mohave County Wind Farm Project, AZ

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, as amended (FLPMA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 
prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed 
Mohave County Wind Farm Project (Project) and by this notice is 
announcing its availability.

DATES: The Final EIS will be available at the locations listed below 
for 30 days from the date the Environmental Protection Agency publishes 
the Notice of Availability.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final EIS for the proposed Project have been 
mailed to cooperating agencies and other stakeholders. Copies are 
available at the BLM Kingman Field Office, 2755 Mission Boulevard, 
Kingman, AZ 86401, and at the BLM Arizona State Office, One North 
Central Avenue, Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004. The Final EIS is also 
available at the following public libraries:

 Kingman Public Library, 3269 North Burbank Street, Kingman, AZ 
86402-7000
 Kingman Valle Vista Community Library, 7264 Concho Dr. Ste. B, 
Kingman, AZ 86401
 Hualapai Cultural Center, 800 W. Route 66, Peach Springs, AZ 
86434
 Boulder City Library, 701 Adams Blvd., Boulder City, NV 89005
 Dolan Springs Public Library, 16140 Pierce Ferry Road, Dolan 
Springs, AZ 86441-0427

    The Final EIS may also be viewed at the following Web site: https://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/wind/mohave.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jackie Neckels, Environmental 
Coordinator, telephone 602-417-9262; address BLM Arizona State Office, 
Renewable Energy Coordination Office, One North Central Avenue, Suite 
800, Phoenix, AZ 85004-4427; or email at KFO_WindEnergy@blm.gov. 
Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 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 
for the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal 
business hours.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The BLM is the lead Federal agency under 
NEPA for the proposed Project. Cooperating agencies include the Western 
Area Power Administration (Western); Bureau of Reclamation--Lower 
Colorado Region (Reclamation); National Park Service--Lake Mead 
National Recreation Area; Mohave County; Arizona Game and Fish 
Department; and the Hualapai Tribe Department of Cultural Resources.
    The BLM's purpose and need is to respond to BP Wind Energy North 
America's application for a right-of-way (ROW) under FLPMA to 
construct, operate, and maintain a wind-farm project. In accordance 
with Section 1702(c) of FLPMA, public lands administered by the BLM are 
to be managed for multiple-use that takes into account the long-term 
needs of future generations for renewable and non-renewable resources. 
Approval of a ROW grant for the wind farm would assist the BLM in 
meeting the objectives of the Energy Policy Act and Secretarial Order 
3287A1, that establishes

[[Page 29152]]

development of environmentally responsible renewable energy as a 
priority for the Department of the Interior. The BLM's decision is to 
deny, approve, or approve with modifications the ROW for the proposed 
wind farm.
    The applicant, BP Wind Energy North America, applied for a ROW to 
construct, operate, maintain, and decommission a 500-megawatt (MW) wind 
farm, including turbine generators and associated infrastructure, on 
approximately 38,099 acres of public lands and approximately 8,960 
acres of land managed by Reclamation, totaling approximately 47,059 
acres of Federal land. The Project area is located in the White Hills 
area 40 miles northwest of Kingman, Arizona, 9 miles south of the 
Colorado River, and 20 miles southeast of Hoover Dam. A map of the 
proposed Project area and a legal description are available on the BLM 
Web site at https://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/energy/wind/mohave.html.
    The Project is proposed to consist of up to 283 turbines, access 
roads, and ancillary facilities. The turbine generators would be 
selected from those with a power output ranging from 1.5 to 3.0 MW 
each. To the extent possible, existing roads would be used to reduce 
potential impacts associated with the construction of new roads. Roads 
would be improved as needed, and the road network would be supplemented 
with internal access/service roads to each wind turbine.
    Proposed ancillary facilities include pad-mounted transformers, an 
underground 34.5-kilovolt (kV) electrical collection system between the 
turbines, and distribution connector lines (either underground or 
above-ground) tying the turbine strings to either a 345-kV or a 500-kV 
electrical substation. This would provide interconnection with the 
regional power grid through the substation to a new switchyard at one 
of two major electric transmission lines transecting the Project area. 
The lines, which are administered by Western, are the 345-kV Liberty-
Mead line and the 500-kV Mead-Phoenix line. Scoping was initiated with 
the publication of a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on 
November 20, 2009 (74 FR 60289), and conducted from November 20, 2009, 
through January 8, 2010. Three public meetings and an agency meeting 
were held in Kingman, Dolan Springs, and White Hills, Arizona. A 
supplemental scoping period was initiated with the publication of a 
second NOI on July 26, 2010 (75 FR 43551) that concluded on September 
9, 2010. Four public scoping meetings were held during the supplemental 
scoping period: One at each of the three original scoping-meeting 
communities and an additional meeting in Peach Springs, Arizona, at the 
Hualapai Tribe Cultural Center. The BLM considered all input received 
from the start of the first scoping period (November 20, 2009) to the 
end of the second scoping period (September 9, 2010).
    Public and cooperating agency concerns/comments identified the 
following issues (percentage of comments for each issue in 
parentheses): Biological resources (23 percent); Project description 
(17 percent); socioeconomics (9 percent); land use, recreation, and 
transportation (8 percent); NEPA process (7 percent); visual resources 
(6 percent); Project alternatives (5 percent); cumulative effects (4 
percent); noise (4 percent); Project need (3 percent); air quality (3 
percent); geology and minerals (3 percent); water resources (3 
percent); cultural resources (2 percent); and hazardous materials and 
safety (1 percent). These issues were addressed in the Draft EIS 
released for public comment on April 27, 2012. The 45-day comment 
period for the Draft EIS closed on June 11, 2012.
    The Final EIS considered the impacts of the proposed action, other 
action alternatives, and a no action alternative. The Alternative A 
(proposed action) wind-farm site would encompass approximately 38,099 
acres of public lands and approximately 8,960 acres of land managed by 
Reclamation. As with all action alternatives, Project features within 
the wind-farm site would include turbines aligned within corridors, 
access roads, electrical collection system, an operations and 
maintenance building, two temporary laydown/staging areas (with 
temporary batch plant operations), two substations, and a switchyard. 
The number of turbines constructed would vary depending on the turbine 
type that is installed, but Alternative A proposes more turbines than 
the other alternatives. Alternative A could support development of a 
maximum of 283 turbines. Western's Federal action would be to execute 
an interconnection agreement, and design, construct, own, operate, and 
maintain the Project switchyard and physical interconnection to the 
existing transmission line under all alternatives.
    The Alternative B wind-farm site would encompass approximately 
30,872 acres of public lands and approximately 3,848 acres of land 
managed by Reclamation. Alternative B reduces the wind-farm site 
footprint and has fewer turbines than Alternative A, with the intent of 
reducing visual and noise impacts on Lake Mead National Recreation Area 
primarily and secondarily on private property. The number of turbines 
constructed would vary depending on the turbine type that is installed, 
but Alternative B could support development of a maximum of 208 
turbines. This alternative would have the fewest number of turbines on 
Reclamation land compared to Alternatives A and C. Turbine corridors on 
public lands would either be shortened or eliminated on the north, 
east, and south sides of the Project area to increase the distance of 
turbines from private land and National Park Service land.
    The Alternative C wind-farm site would encompass approximately 
30,178 acres of public lands and approximately 5,124 acres of land 
managed by Reclamation. Alternative C also reduces the wind-farm site 
footprint and has fewer turbines than Alternative A, with the intent of 
reducing visual and noise impacts primarily on private property and 
secondarily on Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The number of 
turbines constructed would vary depending on the turbine type that is 
installed, but Alternative C could support development of a maximum of 
208 turbines. Alternative C differs from Alternative B in that there 
would be one additional turbine corridor on Reclamation land, but the 
corridors on public lands on the eastern side of the wind-farm site 
would be shortened even further to increase the distance of turbines 
from private lands.
    Alternative D is the no action alternative, which provides a 
baseline against which action alternatives can be compared. Alternative 
D includes an analysis of effects from not developing the Project. 
Alternative D assumes that no actions associated with the Project would 
occur, and no ROWs or interconnections would be granted. The public 
lands would continue to be managed in accordance with the Kingman Field 
Office Resource Management Plan, and the Reclamation-administered lands 
would continue to be managed by Reclamation. Capacity on Western's 
transmission lines would remain available for other projects.
    Alternative E, BLM's preferred alternative, is a wind-farm site 
that represents a combination of the proposed action, Alternative A, 
and Alternative B. This alternative would consist of approximately 
35,329 acres of public lands and approximately 2,781 acres of 
Reclamation-administered land. The preferred alternative is smaller 
than Alternative A but larger than Alternative B. The preferred 
alternative has 4,457 more acres of public lands and 1,067

[[Page 29153]]

fewer acres of Reclamation land than Alternative B. The preferred 
alternative considered factors to avoid, minimize, and mitigate 
identified impacts to resources such as visual, noise, and wildlife. 
The preferred alternative removed turbines in the northwest section of 
the Project site due to identified golden eagle nests. These removals 
also addressed noise and visual concerns from the National Park 
Service, Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The preferred alternative 
also implements a minimum [frac14]-mile set back from private land and 
in some instances a larger distance due to visual and noise resource 
concerns. To further protect golden eagles, this alternative excludes 
turbines within a 1.25-mile area around golden eagle nests in the 
northwest portion of the proposed facility and provides an additional 
buffer that curtails turbine operation during nesting season and eagle 
activity, i.e., during daylight hours. The preferred alternative allows 
for flexibility on the size and number of turbines (1.5 MW to 3.0 MW) 
to allow the developer to meet Western's 425 MW or 500 MW nameplate 
capacity. The generation size depends on the interconnection to either 
the 345-kV or 500-kV transmission line.
    The BLM has consulted, and will continue to consult, with Indian 
tribes on a government-to-government basis in accordance with Executive 
Order 13175 and other policies. Tribal concerns, including impacts on 
Indian trust assets and potential impacts to cultural resources were, 
and will continue to be, given due consideration.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6 and 1506.10.

Raymond Suazo,
State Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-11826 Filed 5-16-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-32-P