DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0029-EA

From Open Energy Information


NEPA Document Collection for: DOI-BLM-NV-C010-2012-0029-EA
EA at Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Area for Geothermal/Well Field

Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Exploration Project EA for Geothermal/Well Field Drilling and Well Testing

Proposed Action


Ormat is proposing to conduct a geothermal exploration project in Churchill County, Nevada on public lands managed by the BLM (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). Specifically, the Tungsten Mountain Geothermal Exploration Project (Project) includes:

  • Constructing up to 27 exploration well drill pads;
  • Drilling and completing an exploration well to a depth of about 7,000 feet from each of the constructed drill pads;
  • Flow-testing each exploration well to obtain samples of geothermal fluids and to collect aquifer information from the geothermal reservoir;
  • Constructing, improving or maintaining access roads (both on lease and off lease);
  • Constructing and maintaining a 5-acre mineral material pit on lease; and
  • Drilling temporary water wells at one or more proposed drill sites.


Data Completion Notes

Data entry complete.

Documents

Other Documents:



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.

 

Close
Water and/or aggregate would be applied to the ground during the construction and utilization of the drill pads, access roads, and other disturbed areas as necessary to control dust;

Equipment and vehicle idling times would be minimized to 15 minutes during construction activities;

Prudent speed limits on unpaved roads would be observed throughout the Project Area in order to reduce dust emissions; and

Access roads and other traffic areas would be maintained on a regular basis to minimize dust and provide for safe travel.

All applicable county, State, and federal air quality standards would be met through the use of the available technology to control emissions.
 
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.

 

Close
  • Ormat would avoid cultural resources sites that are known to be eligible or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places through design, construction and operation of the Project;
  • An approximately 100-foot buffer zone would be established and identified by placing flagging around eligible and potentially eligible cultural resource sites to help provide protection to the sites. Project equipment and facilities would not encroach into the established 100-foot buffer zone;
  • Ormat employees, contractors, and suppliers would be reminded that all cultural resources are protected and if uncovered shall be left in place and reported to the Ormat representative and/or their supervisor; and
  • Any unplanned discovery of cultural resources, items of cultural patrimony, sacred objects or funerary items would require that all activity in the vicinity of the find ceases, and the Field Manager, Stillwater Field Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701, be notified immediately by phone (775.885.6000) with written confirmation to follow. The location of the find would not be publicly disclosed, and any human remains must be secured and preserved in place until a Notice to Proceed is issued by the Authorized Officer.
 
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.

 

CloseA certified weed-free seed mix would be used during revegetation of disturbed areas;

Concurrent reclamation would be used when feasible in order to minimize disturbed areas where weed species could establish;

Ormat would devise and implement a weed plan in coordination with the Stillwater Field Office weed coordinator if noxious weeds were observed during reclamation monitoring. If invasive species are found in the Project Area after treatment and seeding, the sites would be identified for treatment in the field Office Annual Weed Treatment Plan.

Growth medium and overburden stockpiles would be seeded with a weed-free seed mix as soon as possible following stockpile completion;

Vehicle traffic would be restricted to defined roads to reduce potential mechanical transport of noxious weed seeds;

Herbicides would be applied as per label instructions;

All personnel applying herbicides would either be certified by the BLM and/or the State of Nevada, or they would be supervised by a BLM or State of Nevada Certified Applicator;

Bureau or other personnel applying herbicides would use personnel protective equipment while spraying or handling herbicides;

Herbicide application operations would be suspended when wind speed exceeds 6 mph or precipitation is imminent;

Some treatment areas could be signed, if needed, indicating the herbicide used and the date of treatment. Areas which are isolated and/or receive very little use by human beings would not be signed;

During herbicide treatments, a pre-application sweep of the area would be completed (ie. looking for nesting birds);

Herbicide would not be applied during the flowering season when pollinating insects are present (fall for rabbitbrush);

Soil disturbance would be minimized, to the extent possible, within the project area in areas with existing weed infestations; and

Disturbed areas would be monitored for weed infestations until reclamation has been completed.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

ClosePortable chemical sanitary facilities would be available and used by all personnel during periods of well drilling and/or flow testing, and construction. These facilities would be maintained by a local contractor;

Trash and other waste products would be properly managed, and Ormat would control garbage that could attract wildlife. All trash would be removed from the Project Area and disposed of at an authorized landfill.

A Fire Contingency Plan, Injury Contingency Plan, Spill or Discharge Contingency Plan, and Hydrogen Sulfide Contingency Plan have been produced and are contained in the Operations Plan;

Handling, storage and disposal of hazardous materials, hazardous wastes and solid wastes would be conducted in conformance with federal and state regulations to prevent soil and groundwater contamination;

Diesel for use in equipment would be stored on-site in proper containment for use in mobile equipment;

Standard non-hazardous bentonite clay-water-based or polymer-water-based mud would be used for lubrication to cool the drill bit and to remove drill cuttings from the well;

Wells would be cased and cemented in accordance with approved drilling permits to insure integrity of the well bore and to isolate the wellbore from ground water aquifers;

Only non-hazardous additives would be used to prevent corrosion, adjust mud weight, or control lost circulation; and

Wells would be plugged and abandoned in accordance with BLM and NDOM regulations.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

CloseWater would be periodically applied on soil surfaces during construction and grading to control dust;

Cut and fill areas would be minimized by proper placement of roads and well pads;

Equipment placed at the well pads after drilling and testing would be removed so that only the wellhead extends above the well pad;

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 that focuses direct light to the immediate work area; and

Disturbances would be reclaimed to pre-construction conditions or equivalent.
 
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.

 

CloseTopsoil would be salvaged, stockpiled and reused whenever possible and in a timely manner;

Temporarily disturbed areas would be reseeded where previously vegetated, using a BLM-approved seed mixture;

Erosion control measures, including but not limited to silt fencing, diversion ditches, water bars, temporary mulching and seeding, and application of gravel or rip rap, would be installed, where necessary, immediately after completion of construction activities to avoid erosion and runoff;

Access roads would follow existing contours to the extent possible;

An average of 4 inches of gravel would be used as road surface where appropriate because roads would be used during all seasons; and

Gravel would be laid down when ground conditions are wet enough to cause rutting or other noticeable surface deformation and severe compaction. As a general rule, if vehicles or other project equipment create ruts in excess of 4 inches deep when travel cross-country over wet soils, a gravel surface would be added prior to additional vehicle use.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
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.

Wilderness Study Areas

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

 

   
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.

 

CloseSpeed limits would be posted, and if necessary, speeds would be reduced, especially when wildlife is active near access roads;

Employees and contractors are strictly prohibited from carrying firearms on the job site discourage illegal hunting and harassment of wildlife;

Reclamation of disturbed areas, as described in Section 2.1.9, would be completed in order to return these areas to the condition required in the drilling permit Conditions of Approval; and

Vegetation clearing/blading would be avoided during the migratory bird nesting period. If vegetation removal is planned during this time, Ormat would have areas surveyed for active nests prior to disturbance.

Employees are prohibited from entering abandoned mines and mine shafts. White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a disease responsible for unprecedented mortality in hibernating bats and the disease can be transmitted by human vectors. Stay Out and Stay Alive.
 
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.

 

   
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.

 

   
Fire 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.

 

CloseThe BLM Stillwater Field Office (775.885.6000) would be notified immediately of any wildland fire, even if the available personnel can handle the situation or the fire poses no threat to the surrounding area;

A roster of emergency phone numbers would be available at the project site so that the appropriate firefighting agency can be contacted in case of a fire;

All vehicles would carry, at a minimum, a shovel, five gallons of water and a conventional fire extinguisher;

All construction and operating equipment would be equipped with applicable exhaust spark arresters. Fire extinguishers would be available on the active sites. Water that is used for construction and dust control would be available for firefighting;

Personnel would be allowed to smoke only in designated areas; and

All cutting/welding torch use, electric-arc welding and grinding operations would be conducted in an area free, or mostly free, of vegetation. An ample water supply and shovel would be on hand to extinguish and fires created from sparks. At least one person in addition to the cutter/welder/grinder would be at the work site to promptly detect fires created by sparks.
 
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.

 

CloseDrill pads would be graded to allow stormwater diversion from potential contaminants and to prevent ponding on the pad;

Pads would be designed to avoid drainages and to minimize required cut and fill;

Access across drainages, seeps and springs would be avoided wherever possible. Culverts would be used if it is necessary to cross any large drainages;

Silt fences and/or straw bales would be used in areas requiring sediment control; and

Ormat would routinely inspect the integrity of the berm around each reserve pit to ensure it provides an effective barrier between surface waters outside of the berm and drilling/geothermal fluids inside the berm;

Preparation of a Hydrologic Watering Program would be instituted once exploration activities commence (see Section 3.3.9); and

Drilling activities would be kept to a minimum distance of 650 feet from surface water body, riparian area, wetlands, playas or 100 year flood plains.
CloseLessee shall monitor and collect the following hydrologic data from the spring located in the SE1/4 of the SE1/4 of Section 13:
  • Representative temperature, flow or stage, and basic thermal water chemistry - once immediately prior to the commencement of drilling and once immediately following the completion of drilling;
  • During the drilling or flow testing of well 57-13 - Representative temperature and flow or stage - once each week until drilling or flow testing is completed;
  • Each year following the drilling of the first well until all wells have been abandoned - Representative temperature, flow or stage, and basic thermal water chemistry - once per year.

Collected data shall be reported to the BLM Stillwater Field Office Project Lead and Hydrologist in written form within one week of receipt by the lessee.

A hydrologic monitoring program would be instituted once exploration activities commence; the details of which are to be site specific and the intensity commensurate with the level of exploration. Monitoring activities would include reporting the number of aquifers encountered, their quality and their saturated thickness. This information would be submitted to the BLM SFO in a timely manner.