Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment for Borderlands Wind Project in Catron County, New Mexico, 49676-49677 [2020-17431]

Download as PDF 49676 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 158 / Friday, August 14, 2020 / Notices The authority for this action is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Faith M. Bremner, Senior Regulatory Analyst. [FR Doc. 2020–17794 Filed 8–13–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–84–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNMA02000.L51010000.ER0000.19X LVRWG19G1360; NMNM 136976] Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment for Borderlands Wind Project in Catron County, New Mexico 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 Record of Decision (ROD) to authorize a right-of-way (ROW) and amend the 2010 Socorro Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Borderlands Wind Project (Project) and by this notice, is announcing the availability of the ROD. DATES: The Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior signed the ROD on August 3, 2020. ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection at the Socorro Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 901 S Hwy. 85, Socorro, New Mexico 87801 or, via the internet at the project’s ePlanning page at https://www.blm.gov/programs/ planning-and-nepa/plans-indevelopment/new-mexico/proposedborderlands-wind-project. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia Alguire, BLM Socorro Field Office, 901 S Hwy. 85, Socorro, New Mexico 87801; phone (575) 838–1290, or email to valguire@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 Ms. Alguire 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. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Aug 13, 2020 Jkt 250001 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Borderlands Wind, LLC submitted an application to the BLM requesting authorization to construct, operate, maintain, and terminate an up-to-100 megawatt commercial wind energy generation facility—Borderlands Wind Project (NMNM136976), in Catron County, New Mexico, within a boundary that encompasses land managed by the BLM, the New Mexico State Land Office (NMSLO), and private landowners. The project would be located south of U.S. Route 60 in Catron County near Quemado, New Mexico, and the Arizona-New Mexico border. Authorization of this proposal requires amendments to the 2010 Socorro Field Office RMP to modify the visual resource management class in the project area and to modify a ROW avoidance area. The Final EIS analyzed the direct, indirect and cumulative environmental impacts of the Proposed Action, Alternative 1 (optimize the proposed wind facility components in order to minimize potential environmental impacts), Alternative 2 (change in the turbine generation types), and the No Action Alternative. Alternatives 1 and 2 would be constructed and operating and maintained with the same project area. The Proposed Action and Alternative 1 would construct 40 turbines. However, because of the difference in the types of turbines, Alternative 2, the BLM Preferred Alternative would only construct 36 turbines instead of 40 turbines within the same area as Alternative 1. The No Action Alternative would be a continuation of existing conditions. On May 27, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2020–41, providing an extension of the timeframe to claim tax credits for the development of renewable energy projects, which includes wind generating facilities. On June 22, 2020, the Proponent informed the BLM it must use GE 2.3 MW turbines instead of the GE 2.5 MW turbines for the Project to obtain the full tax incentive. As a result of these new circumstances, Alternative 2A is a modified version of Alternative 2 to include the construction of 30 GE 3.0 MW and 4 GE 2.3 MW turbines instead of the 4 GE 2.5 MW turbines. Alternative 2A would not result in significant effects outside the range of effects already analyzed in the EIS because use of the 4 GE 2.3 MW turbines was already evaluated in both the Proposed Action and Alternative 1. The difference in potential impacts between Alternative 2 and Alternative 2A would not be discernable because PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the turbine generator model characteristics are technically similar with the exception of one physical aspect, which is the hub height on the GE 2.3 MW is 33 feet shorter than the GE 2.5 MW turbine model. The difference between the GE 2.3 MW and GE 2.5 MW turbine models are shown on Table 2–1 of the Final EIS. The environmental consequences of using the GE 2.3 MW turbines were discussed as part of the Proposed Action and Alternative 1. There are no other modifications or changes in the construction, maintenance, operation, or decommissioning activities associated with the modified Alternative 2 (known as Alternative 2A). The difference in potential impacts between the Alternative 2 and Alternative 2A are not substantial when taking two of the key resources into consideration—risks to eagles and visual resource impacts with the 33 feet hub height reduction for four turbines. Therefore, supplementation is not necessary because Alternative 2A is within the range of alternatives evaluated in the EIS and will not significantly alter the impacts from Alternative 2 as analyzed. A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the proposed Project was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2018 (83 FR 56097). The public scoping period closed on December 10, 2018. The BLM held one public scoping meeting on November 14, 2018. The BLM received 51 public scoping comments during the 45-day scoping period. The scoping comments focused on wildlife; visual and cultural resources; light pollution, human health, local economic benefits; and property values. A Notice of Availability (NOA) to publish the Draft EIS and RMP Amendment for the proposed Project was published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2019 (84 FR 39366). The BLM held one public comment meeting. The public comment period closed November 7, 2019. The BLM received 39 letters/comment forms/emails and 247 individual comments during the 90day public comment period. The comments focused on effects to sensitive wildlife species specifically avian and bats, change to Visual Resource Management Class as a result of the impacts to visual resources and change to the existing rural landscape character; groundwater level changes during construction, lack of benefit to the local area, and decreased property value concerns. Comments on the Draft EIS and RMP Amendment EIS were considered and incorporated, as appropriate, into the Final EIS and Proposed RMP Amendment. Public E:\FR\FM\14AUN1.SGM 14AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 158 / Friday, August 14, 2020 / Notices comments did not result in the addition of substantive revisions to the Draft EIS and RMP Amendment that was published in August 2019. Responses to all comments are in Appendix H of the Final EIS. On April 10, 2020, an NOA of the Final EIS and Proposed RMP Amendment for the Project published in the Federal Register (84 FR 71455), which initiated a 30-day public protest period and a 60-day Governor’s consistency review. The BLM received six (6) protest letters; the BLM considered each protest letter in its decision. The Protest Resolution Report was completed on July 21, 2020 and is available for public inspection at the addresses listed above. On May 14, 2020, the BLM received a written response from the Governor’s office with no inconsistencies identified. After environmental analysis, consideration of public comments, and application of pertinent Federal laws, it is the decision of the Department of the Interior to authorize the Project in Catron County, New Mexico, and amend the 2010 Socorro Field Office RMP by selecting Alternative 2A, which was a modification of the agency’s Preferred Alternative. Approval of these decisions constitutes the final decision of the Department of the Interior and, in accordance with the regulations at 43 CFR 4.410(a)(3), is not subject to appeal under Departmental regulations at 43 CFR part 4. Any challenge to these decisions, including the BLM Authorized Officer’s issuance of the right-of-way as approved by this decision, must be brought to the Federal district court. Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10. Timothy R. Spisak, New Mexico State Director. [FR Doc. 2020–17431 Filed 8–13–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [20X.LLAK930100 L510100000.ER0000] khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Notice of Availability of the Willow Master Development Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement, Alaska Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has prepared a SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Aug 13, 2020 Jkt 250001 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Willow Master Development Plan, and by this notice is announcing its publication. DATES: The BLM will issue a Record of Decision for the project no earlier than 30 days from the date of the Final EIS Notice of Availability published by the Environmental Protection Agency. ADDRESSES: To access the Final EIS or to request an electronic or paper copy, please reach out to: • Website: http://www.blm.gov/ alaska/WillowEIS. • Email: rajones@blm.gov. • Mail: Willow FEIS Comments, BLM Alaska State Office, 222 W 7th Ave. #13, Anchorage AK 99513. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Racheal Jones, Willow EIS Project Manager, telephone: 907–290–0307; address: 222 West 7th Avenue, #13, Anchorage, Alaska 99513. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1–800–877–8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FRS 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 Willow Master Development Plan Final EIS analyzes an oil and gas development project proposed by ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. on federal oil and gas leases it holds in the northeast region of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR–A), as well as alternatives to the proposed project and measures to avoid and mitigate impacts to surface resources and other uses including subsistence use. The BLM has identified Alternative B and Module Delivery Option 3 as its preferred alternative. If the Willow Master Development Plan is approved, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc. may submit applications to build up to five drill sites, a central processing facility, an operations center pad, gravel roads, ice roads and ice pads, 1 or 2 airstrips (varies by alternative), a freshwater reservoir, an ice bridge across the Colville River to transfer facility modules into the NPR–A, pipelines, and a gravel mine site. The project would have a peak production in excess of 160,000 barrels of oil per day (with a processing capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil per day) over its approximately 30-year life, producing up to approximately 590 million total barrels of oil. The project would help offset declines in production from the North Slope oil fields and contribute to the local, state, and national economies. PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49677 Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6(b). Chad B. Padgett, State Director, Alaska. [FR Doc. 2020–17722 Filed 8–13–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–JA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–NRNHL–DTS#–30714; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions National Park Service, Interior. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service is soliciting electronic comments on the significance of properties nominated before August 1, 2020, for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. DATES: Comments should be submitted electronically by August 31, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments are encouraged to be submitted electronically to National_Register_Submissions@ nps.gov with the subject line ‘‘Public Comment on <property or proposed district name, (County) State>.’’ If you have no access to email you may send them via U.S. Postal Service and all other carriers to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, MS 7228, Washington, DC 20240. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The properties listed in this notice are being considered for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations for their consideration were received by the National Park Service before August 1, 2020. Pursuant to Section 60.13 of 36 CFR part 60, comments are being accepted concerning the significance of the nominated properties under the National Register criteria for evaluation. 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. Nominations submitted by State or Tribal Historic Preservation Officers: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\14AUN1.SGM 14AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 158 (Friday, August 14, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49676-49677]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-17431]


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

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[LLNMA02000.L51010000.ER0000.19X LVRWG19G1360; NMNM 136976]


Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Final 
Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Land Use Plan Amendment for 
Borderlands Wind Project in Catron County, New Mexico

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 Record of Decision (ROD) to authorize a right-of-way (ROW) 
and amend the 2010 Socorro Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP) 
for the Borderlands Wind Project (Project) and by this notice, is 
announcing the availability of the ROD.

DATES: The Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior signed 
the ROD on August 3, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection at the 
Socorro Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 901 S Hwy. 85, 
Socorro, New Mexico 87801 or, via the internet at the project's 
ePlanning page at https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-in-development/new-mexico/proposed-borderlands-wind-project.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Virginia Alguire, BLM Socorro Field 
Office, 901 S Hwy. 85, Socorro, New Mexico 87801; phone (575) 838-1290, 
or email to [email protected]. 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 Ms. Alguire 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: Borderlands Wind, LLC submitted an 
application to the BLM requesting authorization to construct, operate, 
maintain, and terminate an up-to-100 megawatt commercial wind energy 
generation facility--Borderlands Wind Project (NMNM136976), in Catron 
County, New Mexico, within a boundary that encompasses land managed by 
the BLM, the New Mexico State Land Office (NMSLO), and private 
landowners. The project would be located south of U.S. Route 60 in 
Catron County near Quemado, New Mexico, and the Arizona-New Mexico 
border. Authorization of this proposal requires amendments to the 2010 
Socorro Field Office RMP to modify the visual resource management class 
in the project area and to modify a ROW avoidance area.
    The Final EIS analyzed the direct, indirect and cumulative 
environmental impacts of the Proposed Action, Alternative 1 (optimize 
the proposed wind facility components in order to minimize potential 
environmental impacts), Alternative 2 (change in the turbine generation 
types), and the No Action Alternative. Alternatives 1 and 2 would be 
constructed and operating and maintained with the same project area. 
The Proposed Action and Alternative 1 would construct 40 turbines. 
However, because of the difference in the types of turbines, 
Alternative 2, the BLM Preferred Alternative would only construct 36 
turbines instead of 40 turbines within the same area as Alternative 1. 
The No Action Alternative would be a continuation of existing 
conditions.
    On May 27, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal 
Revenue Service issued Notice 2020-41, providing an extension of the 
timeframe to claim tax credits for the development of renewable energy 
projects, which includes wind generating facilities. On June 22, 2020, 
the Proponent informed the BLM it must use GE 2.3 MW turbines instead 
of the GE 2.5 MW turbines for the Project to obtain the full tax 
incentive. As a result of these new circumstances, Alternative 2A is a 
modified version of Alternative 2 to include the construction of 30 GE 
3.0 MW and 4 GE 2.3 MW turbines instead of the 4 GE 2.5 MW turbines. 
Alternative 2A would not result in significant effects outside the 
range of effects already analyzed in the EIS because use of the 4 GE 
2.3 MW turbines was already evaluated in both the Proposed Action and 
Alternative 1. The difference in potential impacts between Alternative 
2 and Alternative 2A would not be discernable because the turbine 
generator model characteristics are technically similar with the 
exception of one physical aspect, which is the hub height on the GE 2.3 
MW is 33 feet shorter than the GE 2.5 MW turbine model. The difference 
between the GE 2.3 MW and GE 2.5 MW turbine models are shown on Table 
2-1 of the Final EIS. The environmental consequences of using the GE 
2.3 MW turbines were discussed as part of the Proposed Action and 
Alternative 1. There are no other modifications or changes in the 
construction, maintenance, operation, or decommissioning activities 
associated with the modified Alternative 2 (known as Alternative 2A). 
The difference in potential impacts between the Alternative 2 and 
Alternative 2A are not substantial when taking two of the key resources 
into consideration--risks to eagles and visual resource impacts with 
the 33 feet hub height reduction for four turbines. Therefore, 
supplementation is not necessary because Alternative 2A is within the 
range of alternatives evaluated in the EIS and will not significantly 
alter the impacts from Alternative 2 as analyzed.
    A Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the proposed Project was 
published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2018 (83 FR 56097). 
The public scoping period closed on December 10, 2018. The BLM held one 
public scoping meeting on November 14, 2018. The BLM received 51 public 
scoping comments during the 45-day scoping period. The scoping comments 
focused on wildlife; visual and cultural resources; light pollution, 
human health, local economic benefits; and property values.
    A Notice of Availability (NOA) to publish the Draft EIS and RMP 
Amendment for the proposed Project was published in the Federal 
Register on August 9, 2019 (84 FR 39366). The BLM held one public 
comment meeting. The public comment period closed November 7, 2019. The 
BLM received 39 letters/comment forms/emails and 247 individual 
comments during the 90-day public comment period. The comments focused 
on effects to sensitive wildlife species specifically avian and bats, 
change to Visual Resource Management Class as a result of the impacts 
to visual resources and change to the existing rural landscape 
character; groundwater level changes during construction, lack of 
benefit to the local area, and decreased property value concerns. 
Comments on the Draft EIS and RMP Amendment EIS were considered and 
incorporated, as appropriate, into the Final EIS and Proposed RMP 
Amendment. Public

[[Page 49677]]

comments did not result in the addition of substantive revisions to the 
Draft EIS and RMP Amendment that was published in August 2019. 
Responses to all comments are in Appendix H of the Final EIS.
    On April 10, 2020, an NOA of the Final EIS and Proposed RMP 
Amendment for the Project published in the Federal Register (84 FR 
71455), which initiated a 30-day public protest period and a 60-day 
Governor's consistency review. The BLM received six (6) protest 
letters; the BLM considered each protest letter in its decision. The 
Protest Resolution Report was completed on July 21, 2020 and is 
available for public inspection at the addresses listed above. On May 
14, 2020, the BLM received a written response from the Governor's 
office with no inconsistencies identified. After environmental 
analysis, consideration of public comments, and application of 
pertinent Federal laws, it is the decision of the Department of the 
Interior to authorize the Project in Catron County, New Mexico, and 
amend the 2010 Socorro Field Office RMP by selecting Alternative 2A, 
which was a modification of the agency's Preferred Alternative. 
Approval of these decisions constitutes the final decision of the 
Department of the Interior and, in accordance with the regulations at 
43 CFR 4.410(a)(3), is not subject to appeal under Departmental 
regulations at 43 CFR part 4. Any challenge to these decisions, 
including the BLM Authorized Officer's issuance of the right-of-way as 
approved by this decision, must be brought to the Federal district 
court.

    Authority: 40 CFR 1506.6, 40 CFR 1506.10.

Timothy R. Spisak,
New Mexico State Director.
[FR Doc. 2020-17431 Filed 8-13-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P