DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0006-EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2010-0006-EA
EA at Gabbs Valley Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Exploration

Gabbs Valley and Dead Horse Wells Geothermal Exploration Projects EA for Geothermal/Exploration

Proposed Action

Ormat is proposing to conduct geothermal exploration projects in Gabbs Valley Nevada. The proposed action consists of exploration drilling, drilling temporary water wells, road construction and maintenance, (both on lease and off lease), and develop four gravel pits for aggregate to be used for proposed actions. The proposed action includes:

  • Drilling up to 58 TGHs (31 at Gabbs Valley and 27 at Dead Horse Wells), each to a maximum depth of approximately 1,000 feet, and measuring the temperature profile in each;
  • Constructing up to 38 observation well drill pads (25 at Gabbs Valley and 13 at Dead Horse Wells) at the sites designated as TGH/Observation/Exploration Well sites. Drilling and completing each observation well to a depth of about 3,000 feet from each of the constructed observation well drill pads,
  • Constructing up to 38 exploration well drill pads at the sites designated as TGH/Observation/Exploration well sites (by enlarging the previously constructed observation well pads or constructing new drill pads on an undrilled site). Drilling and completing an exploration well to a depth of about 7,000 feet at each of the constructed drill pads;
  • Flow-testing each observation and exploration well to obtain samples of geothermal fluids and to collect aquifer information from the geothermal reservoir. Aquifer testing would define aquifer characteristics and would predict the effects of pumping on existing wells as well as determine potential dewatering of shallower aquifers and springs in the geothermal unit areas. During testing, all geothermal fluids would be discharged into the well pad reserve pits. After more than one well has been completed, further flow testing may be conducted by running a temporary pipeline between wells and flowing the fluids from one well into the other well;
  • Constructing, improving or maintaining access roads (both on lease and off lease), as proposed;
  • Drilling temporary water wells at one or more proposed drill site; and
  • Develop three material sites for the Gabbs Valley Project and one material site for the Dead Horse Wells Project to supply aggregate for road and drill pad construction and maintenance.


Data Completion Notes

Data entry complete. 7/22: Added decision and conditions docs

Documents

Serial Register Page: Application: Application Attachments:




FONSI: Decision:


 

<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
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.

 

CloseWater and gravel would be applied to the disturbed ground during the construction and utilization of the drill pads and access roads as necessary to control dust.
 
Areas of Critical Environmental Concern
"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.

 

CloseAll NRHP-eligible cultural sites would be avoided. Avoidance would include a 30 meter buffer around the documented site boundary. An archaeological monitor will be onsite during construction.
Close
  • If previously unrecorded cultural resources are encountered during grading or other

surface-disturbing activities, all grading or other surface-disturbing activities at the location of the discovery would cease within 100 meters/330 feet of the discovery, and the BLM would be notified. No surface disturbing activities would be allowed until the BLM Authorized Officer issues a Notice to Proceed (NTP) based upon the evaluation, mitigation, as necessary, and the acceptance of a summary description of the fieldwork performed for the discovery situation.

  • The locations of the historic properties will be provided to Ormat and flagged for

avoidance. If avoidance of currently documented historic properties is not possible a resolution of adverse effects would be followed as defined in 36 CFR 800.6.

  • An archaeological monitor should be present during any ground disturbing activities.

They should have the authority to halt all earth moving activities in the area of the discovery if prehistoric or historic artifacts are discovered until the find can be assessed. In the event of an inadvertent discovery all construction would cease within 100 meters/330 feet of the discovery.

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.

 

   
Prime or Unique Farmlands
"NEPA_Resource_Analysis" is not in the list of possible values (Not Present, Present, Not Affected, Present, Potentially Affected, Not Indicated) for this property.

 

   
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.

 

   
Invasive, Nonnative 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.

 

 
CloseThe underside of all heavy equipment would be cleaned by water before entering public

lands to do work. Driving through or parking on noxious weed infestations would be avoided.

The access roads and well pads would be recontoured and ripped and then covered with

native topsoil and reseeded with a BLM-approved certified weed-free seed mix.
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.

 

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

 

   
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.

 

   
Special Status 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.

 

   
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.

 

CloseTrash would be contained on-site and hauled to an approved landfill. Burial of trash on-site is not permitted. Portable chemical sanitary facilities would be available and used by all personnel during periods of TGH or well drilling and/or flow testing. These facilities would be maintained by a local contractor.
 
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.

 

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

 

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

 

   
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.

 

   
Range 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.

 

Close
  • Topsoil would be salvaged during the construction of all pads and new access roads, as

feasible, and stockpiled on the pads for use during subsequent reclamation of the disturbed areas.

  • Gravel (or similar materials) would be removed, to the extent feasible. That which could

not be removed would be buried deep in the recontoured cut to prevent possible surface exposure.round.

 
Recreation
"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.

 

   
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.

 

 
Close
  • Access roads requiring construction with cut and fill would be designed to minimize

surface disturbance and take into account the character of the landform, natural contours, cut material, depth of cut, where the fill material would be deposited, resource concerns, and visual contrast.

  • Wellhead equipment left on the drill site following the completion of drilling would be

painted a color, subject to approval by the authorized officer, which would blend with the landscape. Prior to paint selection, Ormat would contact the Stillwater Field Office project lead.

  • All drill rig and well test facility lights would be limited to those required to safely conduct

the operations, and would be shielded and/or directed in a manner which focuses direct light to the immediate work area.

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.

 

CloseFrom November 1 through April 1, vehicular travel through the Monte Cristo Mountains

would be limited to the minimum number feasible and as safely needed to conduct drilling operations. Additionally, caution signs restricting speeds to 25 m.p.h. would be

placed on the road at the entrance/exit of the Monte Cristo Mountains.
CloseThe reserve pit should be fenced in conformance with the Gold Book.
Wild Horse and Burro Management
"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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
Wilderness
"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 action is not within the Gabbs Valley Range WSA. However, the southeast corner of the Dead Horse Wells Project area abuts the northwest corner of the Gabbs Valley boundary road.

   
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.

 

CloseA Hydrologic Monitoring Program (as required under the Special Stipulation for All

Leases in the Carson City District Office Management Area “Special Stipulation for Water Resource”) is provided as Appendix D. Consistent with the Special Lease Stipulations and the prepared Hydrologic Monitoring Program, Ormat would monitor the quality, quantity and temperature of the hot springs or other water source within the

Gabbs Valley Project Area. Results would be reported to the BLM Stillwater Field Office.
Close
  • Ormat would inventory and monitor existing wells in the geothermal leases to determine

their suitability for use as monitor wells. Where necessary, monitor wells would be installed at appropriate locations and depths to monitor geothermal exploration drilling.

  • Ormat would collect standard aquifer test data during and after well testing from

completed cased wells. Data collection would include but not be limited to static water levels, well drawdown, and other data that characterizes the aquifer(s) and that can be used to predict future scenarios as well as determine boundary affects. The data collection applies to both unconfined and confined aquifers.

  • Ormat would collect baseline hydrologic data from both geothermal lease units. Data

would include ground and surface water temperature, chemistry, groundwater elevations, and surface water flows (springs). Data would be collected to support and expand upon the required hydrologic monitoring program.