DOI-BLM-CA-C050-2009-0005-EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-CA-C050-2009-0005-EA
EA at Geysers Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field

Engineered Geothermal Enhancement System Demonstration Project EA at Geysers Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field

Proposed Action

AltaRock Energy Inc. (AltaRock) and the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA) are proposing to undertake an Engineered Geothermal System (EGS) well stimulation project in the Geysers Geothermal Field (GGF). In essence, EGS is the process of the injection of water into wells to create an artificial reservoir and steam, which is harnessed to produce energy.


Data Completion Notes

8/2: Addition of new information

Documents

FONSI:


 

Resource Analysis

Resource Not
Present
Present,
Not
Affected
Present,
Potentially
Affected
Not
Indicated
Comment Applicant
Proposed
Mitigation
Agency
Imposed
Mitigation
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.

 

   
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.

 

 
CloseAs stated above, vented steam can contain significant amounts of dust, hydrogen sulfide, and other non-condensable gases. As part of the proposed project, hydrogen sulfide emissions due to the project would be abated through the injection of hydrogen peroxide and sodium hydroxide into the blooie line. Also as part of the proposed project, dust emissions from venting steam would be reduced by injecting water into the blooie line. In addition, the project would comply with all applicable mitigation measures identified in the 1994 EIR/EIS/EIS for air quality control, as described below. With the obtainment of this revised Authority to Construct and compliance with applicable mitigation measures identified in the 1994 EIR/EIS detailed below, there would not be adverse effects associated with air quality.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.4.1.A: The project sponsors shall obtain an Authority to Construct permit prior to construction and Permit to Operate from the LCAQMD. The project sponsors shall follow the conditions of this permit. The following is a dust control program that should be followed if one is not specified in the Authority to Construct permit:

  • The area disturbed by clearing, earth moving, or excavation activities shall be minimized at all times. Construction of new dirt surface roads shall be minimized.
  • All material excavated or graded shall be sufficiently watered to prevent excessive amounts of dust. Watering shall occur at least twice a day with complete coverage, carried out preferably in the late morning and after work is done for the day. Watering shall be more frequent on hot windy days (days where ground-level wind speeds exceed 13 mph). An effective watering program can reduce uncontrolled fugitive dust emissions from excavation and grading by up to 50%.
  • All active construction areas shall be sufficiently watered to prevent excessive amounts of dust.
  • All material transported off-site shall be either sufficiently watered or securely covered to prevent excessive amounts of dust and sediment deposition on roads.
  • Vehicle speeds shall be limited to 15 mph or less on unpaved access roads.
  • All areas with vehicle traffic shall be watered periodically or shall be treated with palliatives acceptable to LCAQMD or NSCAPCD (as appropriate) for stabilization of dust emissions.
  • Disturbed areas (including temporary access roads and construction yards) shall be revegetated as soon as practicable once construction activities have been completed.

Mitigation Measure 5.3.5.4: Viral and bacterial contamination of injection derived steam and/or effluent should be evaluated to assure absence or destruction of

pathogens prior to atmospheric release
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

 
CloseImpact CR-1: Disturbance or destruction of these resources may result from ground disturbing activities associated with project-related construction.

With implementation of Mitigation Measure CR-1, there would be no adverse effects associated with this impact.

Mitigation Measure CR-1: Implement Plan to Address Discovery of Unanticipated Buried Cultural, Paleontological, or Geologic Resources. If buried cultural resources such as chipped or ground stone, midden deposits, historic debris, building foundations, human bone, or paleontological resources are inadvertently discovered during ground-disturbing activities, work shall stop in that area and within 100 feet of the find until a qualified archaeologist or paleontologist can assess the significance of the find and, if necessary, develop appropriate treatment measures in consultation with Lake County and other appropriate agencies.


Impact CR-2: Possibility of construction activities resulting in the discovery of human remains. With implementation of Mitigation Measure CR-2, there would be no adverse effects associated with this impact.

Mitigation Measure CR-2: Implement Plan to Address Discovery of Human Remains. If remains of Native American origin are discovered during proposed project construction, it shall be necessary to comply with state laws concerning the disposition of Native American burials, which fall within the jurisdiction of the Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC). If any human remains are discovered or recognized in any location other than a dedicated cemetery, there shall be no further excavation or disturbance of the site or any nearby area reasonably suspected to overlie adjacent human remains until:

  • the County coroner has been informed and has determined that no investigation of the cause of death is required; and
  • if the remains are of Native American origin:

– the most likely descendants of the deceased Native Americans have made a recommendation to the landowner or person responsible for the excavation work for means of treating or disposing of, with appropriate dignity, the human remains and any associated grave goods as provided in Public Resource Code (PRC) 5097.98; or – the NAHC has been unable to identify a descendant or the descendant failed to make a recommendation within 24 hours after being notified.

According to the California Health and Safety Code, six or more human burials at one location constitute a cemetery (Section 8100) and disturbance of Native American cemeteries is a felony (Section 7052). Section 7050.5 requires that construction or excavation be stopped in the vicinity of discovered human remains until the coroner can determine whether the remains are those of a Native American. If the remains are determined to be Native American, the coroner must contact the NAHC.

The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) provides for discoveries on federal or Indian land. If the discovery occurred in connection with an activity, including (but not limited to) construction, mining, logging, and agriculture, the person shall cease the activity in the area of the discovery, make a reasonable effort to protect the items discovered before resuming such activity, and provide notice under 43 CFR 10. Following the notification under this subsection, and upon certification by the Secretary of the department or the head of any agency or instrumentality of the United
Paleontological 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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

 
CloseImpact HAZ-1: Excavation without the proper dust control and work safety measures would result in the release of asbestos fibers and possibly heavy metal–containing dust into the air and expose workers to a health hazard.

Compliance with applicable mitigation measures from the 1994 EIR listed below when excavating serpentine material containing more than state Title 22, Section 66261 limits (even if the level of asbestos is below 1%), combined with additional worker safety training on the hazards of mercury-containing material, would provide adequate worker protection, and there would be no adverse effect related to excavation of hazardous materials.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.A: The construction contractors shall comply with LCAQMD regulations for the excavation of serpentine rock in Lake County and meet the LCAQMD performance goals.

LCAQMD regulations for the excavation of serpentine material are contained in LCAQMD Regulations Section 467. The regulations require that serpentine material be analyzed for asbestos and that dust mitigation and construction management plans be developed and approved by the LCAQMD prior to excavation. There is a performance goal of "no visible emissions" and requirement of not exceeding a visible opacity of greater than 5%. Water or other control measures may be used to meet the dust mitigation requirements.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.B: The construction contractors shall comply with OSHA and CalOSHA asbestos removal worker requirements whenever serpentine rock containing over one percent asbestos is being excavated. OSHA asbestos worker safety regulations are found in 29 CFR 1910. CalOSHA regulations are found in 8 CCR. The regulations require monitoring airborne asbestos fiber levels, worker safety training and the use of personal protective equipment by workers when asbestos levels exceed 0.2 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of ambient air.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.C: Any serpentine material encountered in disturbance areas prior to or during construction shall be analyzed for heavy metals. If the levels of the metals exceed the state CCR Title 22, Section 66261 limits, the construction contractor shall comply with the hazardous waste worker safety requirements. Any serpentine soil excavated that contains both asbestos and heavy metals in excess to the state Title 22, Section 66261 limits shall not be disposed as side cast. The material should be handled and disposed of in a manner to minimize to potential for short-term and long-term dust generation. LCAQMD and the Lake County Department of Environmental Health shall approve the method of disposal. Hazardous substance worker safety regulations are found in 40 CFR 262,29 CPR 1910, and other federal and state Title 22 regulations. In general, the regulations require safety training for workers, the use of engineering controls to reduce worker exposure to hazardous materials, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce worker exposure.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.4.D: The construction contractor and the geothermal operators shall instruct workers on the proper and safe procedures for disposal of

hazardous wastes generated during project construction and long-term operation.
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.

 

   
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.

 

 
CloseImpact NOI-1: Project construction and operation of the drilling rig used to deepen and complete well E-7 and to drill and complete well E-8 generate noise levels in excess of local standards.

This effect would not have the potential to expose persons to or generate noise levels in excess of standards established in the local zoning ordinance. As noted above, the closest sensitive receptor is approximately 1.8 miles from the site and would not be exposed to noise in excess of the adopted County zoning standard as a result of the project. Operation of the drilling rig would not result in new or more severe adverse effects than considered in the 1994 EIR/EIS.

The applicable noise mitigation measures from the 1994 EIR/EIS, outlined below, would be applied to the project.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.A: The construction contracts shall specify that noisy construction activities (including heavy truck trips on local roadways, but not including highways) are to be limited to 8:00 a.m, to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.B: The construction contracts shall specify that construction equipment powered by internal combustion engines must be equipped with best available mufflers.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.E: The construction plan shall identify all construction yards and staging areas. The construction yards/staging areas shall be located as far as practicable away from existing residences and schools. Other construction yards/staging areas shall not be permitted.

The construction yards/staging areas shall be located as far as practicable away from existing residences and schools. Other construction yards/staging areas shall not be permitted. With a substantial buffer distance between the construction yard or staging area and residences and schools, nuisance impacts would be less likely.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.F: All vehicles and heavy equipment used on-site shall be adequately muffled to comply with Motor Vehicle Code requirements.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.G: Adjustable backup beepers (when required by law) shall be set to the lowest allowable levels.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.5.1.H: In the event substantive noise complaints are received, the project sponsors shall submit a noise control plan for review and approval by the Lake County Noise Control officer.
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.

 

 
CloseMitigation Measure 3.2-4: Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

NCPA shall require contractors to develop a SWPPP for construction of proposed facilities (i.e., well drilling), as required by the RWQCB. The objectives of the SWPPP are to identify pollutant sources that may affect the quality of storm water discharge and implement Best Management Practices to reduce pollutants in storm water discharges. The SWPPP for this proposed action would include the implementation, at minimum of the following elements:

  • Source identification;
  • Preparation of a site map;
  • Description of construction materials, practices, and equipment storage and maintenance;
  • List of pollutants likely to contact storm water;
  • Estimate of the construction site area and percent impervious area;
  • Erosion and sediment control practices, including soils stabilization, revegetation, and runoff control to limit increases in sediment in storm water runoff, such as detention basins, straw bales, silt fences, check dams, geofabrics, drainage swales, and sandbag dikes;
  • Proposed construction dewatering plans;
  • List of provisions to eliminate or reduce discharge of materials to storm water;
  • Description of waste management practices;
  • Maintenance and training practices; and
  • Sampling and analysis strategy and sampling schedule for discharges from construction activities.

Maintenance of equipment would require the use of hazardous materials such as gasoline, engine oil, and concrete, which could contaminate runoff and surface waters in the project area. Additionally, operational impacts of automobiles and other post-construction activities could potentially impact the beneficial uses of the receiving waterways. With implementation of Mitigation Measures 5.2.10.4.A, 5.2.10.4.B, 5.2.10.4.C, and 5.2.10.4.D, there would be no adverse effect.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.A: The construction contractors shall comply with LCAQMD regulations for the excavation of serpentine rock in Lake County and meet the LCAQMD performance goals.

LCAQMD regulations for the excavation of serpentine material are contained in LCAQMD Regulations Section 467. The regulations require that serpentine material be analyzed for asbestos and that dust mitigation and construction management plans be developed and approved by the LCAQMD prior to excavation. There is a performance goal of "no visible emissions" and requirement of not exceeding a visible opacity of greater than 5%. Water or other control measures may be used to meet the dust mitigation requirements.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.B: The construction contractors shall comply with OSHA and CalOSHA asbestos removal worker requirements whenever serpentine rock containing over one percent asbestos is being excavated. OSHA asbestos worker safety regulations are found in 29 CFR 1910. CalOSHA regulations are found in 8 CCR. The regulations require monitoring airborne asbestos fiber levels, worker safety training and the use of personal protective equipment by workers when asbestos levels exceed 0.2 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter of ambient air.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.1.C: Any serpentine material encountered in disturbance areas prior to or during construction shall be analyzed for heavy metals. If the levels of the metals exceed the state CCR Title 22, Section 66261 limits, the construction contractor shall comply with the hazardous waste worker safety requirements. Any serpentine soil excavated that contains both asbestos and heavy metals in excess to the state Title 22, Section 66261 limits shall not be disposed as side cast. The material should be handled and disposed of in a manner to minimize to potential for short-term and long-term dust generation. LCAQMD and the Lake County Department of Environmental Health shall approve the method of disposal. Hazardous substance worker safety regulations are found in 40 CFR 262,29 CPR 1910, and other federal and state Title 22 regulations. In general, the regulations require safety training for workers, the use of engineering controls to reduce worker exposure to hazardous materials, and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment to reduce worker exposure.

Mitigation Measure 5.2.10.4.D: The construction contractor and the geothermal operators shall instruct workers on the proper and safe procedures for disposal of

hazardous wastes generated during project construction and long-term operation.