DOE-EA-1759

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOE-EA-1759
EA at Bristol Bay Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration

EA for Geothermal/Exploration at Southwest Alaska Regional Geothermal Energy Project Naknek, Alaska

Proposed Action

The Proposed Action would include the construction, operation, drilling, well logging, completion, installation of a seismic monitoring network, and drilling of two wells (G2 and G3 on an existing gravel pad) to a depth of approximately 3,658 meters (m) (12,000 feet [ft]) below ground surface. If data from the wells indicate it is necessary, one well (G1, G2, or G3) would be stimulated to fracture the rock and increase permeability within the rock structure. Stimulation protocol would utilize EGS and would increase the potential of the field to produce energy.


Data Completion Notes

Data entry complete 8/14

Documents

Categorical Exclusion Approval: FONSI:


 

<metadesc> : NEPA document related to geothermal resource areas </metadesc>

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
Wastes Hazardous or Solid
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

CloseAn inert waste monofill—waste that is neither chemically nor biologically reactive would be

disposed of here.

A drilling fluids storage cell—36 m by 21 m by 4 m (117 ft by 70 ft by 14 ft) (300,000 gal). Drilling fluids are estimated to be less than 250,000 gal and would be stored here until they can be pumped back down the well into a lost circulation zone.

A temporary cuttings storage area—drill cuttings are estimated to be 914 cubic m (1,000 cubic yards) per well and would be stored here until approved for disposal through beneficial reuse or in the inert waste monofill
 
Soils
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Ground disturbance would be kept to a minimum to help prevent soil erosion during construction.

 
ClosePreserve vegetation where possible.

Compact and seed topsoil on the perimeters of the drill pad and monofill and on the down-slope side of the access road.

Five culverts would be used to control stormwater flowing through the project area.

Silt fences would be installed to protect wetlands and drainages as described below:

  • At the toe of the slope where the road crosses through any poorly drained areas
  • At the north end of the drill pad to prevent sediment from contaminating the mapped wetland

to the north. Sediment would be removed and taken to the inert waste monofill when it has reached 23 cm (9 inches) of accumulation

Minimize the amount of land disturbance and develop and implement stringent erosion and dust control practices.
Air Quality
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Under State of Alaska regulations, 18 AAC 50.502(c)(1)(C), the drilling, completion, and testing of well will not require an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Air Quality Control Minor Permit

 
CloseSoils, material stockpiles, and other surfaces would be watered as necessary to reduce dust

emissions.

Roadways, laydown areas, storage areas, and gravel surfaces would be kept in clean condition.
Noise
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

It is not anticipated that noise levels, associated only with temporary drilling activities, would be high enough to affect any biological resources in the area.

CloseEfforts to control noise emissions would include installing the appropriate mufflers and noise abatement equipment, as necessary.
 
Wildlife Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

The development and existence of the proposed geothermal exploration and production facilities are not anticipated to have an effect on terrestrial mammals and would not obstruct movements.

 
CloseWorkers would be instructed to avoid disturbances to terrestrial mammals as much as practical. Hazing, if necessary, would be performed only by designated personnel. Vehicles would not be used to haze wildlife.

Reduce habitat disturbance by keeping vehicles on established access roads or well pads and by minimizing foot traffic in undisturbed areas.

Report observations of potential wildlife problems, including wildlife mortality, to the appropriate wildlife agency.

On-site facilities would be maintained in a sanitary manner to prevent attracting wildlife. Any

food and putrescible waste would be stored so that it cannot be accessed by wildlife
Fisheries Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

The Bristol Bay region is home to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. The major salmon producer near the project is the Naknek River.

 
CloseTemporary water use of a nearby pond is permitted through ADNR. Additionally, no impacts to fish would occur because project activities are not occurring near fish streams, rivers, or lakes and activities would not disrupt sensitive periods of fish or their life cycle (e.g., spawning).
Floodplains
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
CloseLocate well pads outside of the 100-year floodplain.
Vegetation
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

 
CloseVegetation that is cleared for construction activities would be allowed to grow back to a natural state.
Induced Seismicity Impact
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

NEA is committed to follow the IEA Protocol for Induced Seismicity Associated with Enhanced Geothermal Systems to minimize impacts that may cause seismic events.

 
Close
This includes the following steps:
  • Review laws and regulations
  • Assess natural seismic hazard potential
  • Assess Induced Seismicity Potential
  • Establish a dialogue with Regional Authority
  • Educate Stakeholders
  • Establish Microseismic Monitoring Network
  • Interact with Stakeholders
  • Implement Procedure for Evaluating Damage
Geology and Minerals
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Locally, should EGS methodology be implemented, the geology would be affected due to the creation of additional cracks and fissures in rock layers from increased water pressure.

   
Migratory Birds
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

The proposed project would be located within or near breeding grounds, staging grounds, and migratory corridors for many species of land birds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and seabirds.

   
Threatened and Endangered Species
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

No threatened and endangered species are found in the immediate vicinity of the project area. Steller’s eider, however, use the coastal and marine environment near the project area or around the vicinity of King Salmon

 
CloseNo disturbances or displacement of Steller’s eiders are anticipated to occur.

No habitat loss or alteration would occur because Steller’s eiders are not expected to use the habitat within the project area.

Since no Steller’s eiders are anticipated to occur within the project area, mortality is not an issue.
Wetlands and Riparian Zones
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

A review of the wetland determination prepared by HDR, dated April 2009, shows wetlands within the vicinity of the Proposed Action.

CloseThe Proposed Action does not involve placing fill in previously undisturbed areas, therefore, no impacts to wetlands or vegetation are expected.
 
Cultural Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

While numerous archaeological sites have been identified in the broader Naknek River drainage, no known or potential cultural resources or archeological sites were identified within 3.2 km (2 mi) of the geothermal project area

   
Lands and Realty
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Proposed activities would occur within the existing 49-hectare (120-acre) project area. The existing project area holds no special land use designation.

   
Visual Resources
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

The aesthetic value of NEA’s project area is not likely to be greatly affected by proposed project development. Due to the existing drill pad and access road, the change in landscape would be minimal with 0.4 hectares (1 acre) of additional surface disturbance.

   
Social Values
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Should drilling of geothermal wells G2 and G3 result in successful energy prospects, the long-term socioeconomic effect would result in power delivery to Bristol Bay Borough communities at a greatly reduced rate

   
Economic Values
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

Should drilling of geothermal wells G2 and G3 result in successful energy prospects, the long-term socioeconomic effect would result in power delivery to Bristol Bay Borough communities at a greatly reduced rate

   
Environmental Justice
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
Water Quantity
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

The activities associated with proposed geothermal exploration are not expected to have any direct effects on water resources within the proposed project area.

 
CloseDevelop a spill management plan. Erosion-control measures would be installed around any area that is disturbed during construction to minimize erosion and sedimentation flowing into waterways.